To think the working classes have been demonized in this country?

(177 Posts)
AwkwardMary Wed 28-Mar-12 23:15:24

I just read an article about it...lost the page though...so can't link sorry! It really resonated with me...it spoke of how their are no positive working class characters on TV anymore...the comedy shows that portray them make them the lowest of the low and shows like TOWIE are only illustrating how the working classed "done good" are only as tacky and badly informed as they "ever were"...and how Little Britain was written by two middle class men who'd been to private schools...so who the eff were THEY to take the piss out of working class girls like they did?

In the 80s we had good, positive and sympathetic worknig class characters like Yosser and it spoke of how Brookside was born of the Thatcher Years and showed a truer representation of the hard working working classes. Those with respect for themselves and a good work ethic. The 50s, 60s and 70s had lots of good literature such as Kes and Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, Poor Cow, Up the Junction etc

These days people are all about moving forward and away from being working class...nothing wrong with that you may think...why shouldn't people aspire to a better lifestyle? Well of course they should but not if it means that anyone who isn't striving for a bigger house and more "things" is looked down on and called a chav.

Is it all about respectability? Have the real working classes lost their self respect?

(I am working class right through and often feel confused about my past and my present)

raffle Wed 28-Mar-12 23:21:44

I often feel confused about the definition of 'working class'. Can anyone enlighten me?

Devora Wed 28-Mar-12 23:23:53

Yes, OP, I agree.

AwkwardMary Wed 28-Mar-12 23:24:22

It's not all down to income...if your parents were in non-professional jobs and you are too...and you are not degree educated, then you're working class.

AwkwardMary Wed 28-Mar-12 23:27:26

Sorry...my last post was to raffle

I am working class...I work as a freelance writer and have a degree. BUT...my home is privately rented and I have the kind of accent that you'd hear on Hollyoaks. If you met me...then you'd know I was brought up on a council estate I think.

I have good manners and have travelled, I know how to mix in polite society...but I have "rough edges" which I will always have. I don't mind them...they are part of who I am.

jaquelinehyde Wed 28-Mar-12 23:29:01

So I am the daughter of a miner and a housewife. Born in the midlands, my parents are seperated and both re-married. I left school at 16 and currently claim benefits.

So I must be working class?

troisgarcons Wed 28-Mar-12 23:31:29

It's not all down to income...if your parents were in non-professional jobs and you are too...and you are not degree educated, then you're working class.

that doesn't stand up these days at all I'm afraid.

it is quite possible to
(a) have the same basic education
(b) the same parental back ground
(c) work at the same job/career/profession
(d) have the same salary

and not have a degree.

And having a degree does not change your social background. You can come off the crappiest sink estate, go to the a failing school, achieve educationally and have a first from Oxford - that does not propel you out of 'the working class'.

Reverse; you can come from the most priviliged back ground, attend the best schools and chose to not go to uni and that does not put in the 'working classes'.

AwkwardMary Wed 28-Mar-12 23:31:58

I would think so jaqueline yes...do you not like that label then?

jaquelinehyde Wed 28-Mar-12 23:32:18

So I am a married mother of three children, both my parents are retired and I lived for most of my life in a desirable south east town and now reside on the Shetland Isles. I am currently on a gap year having just completed my degree and hope to begin my Masters in Social Work later this year. I do voluntary work and tutor other Uni students free of charge.

So I must be Middle Class?

griphook Wed 28-Mar-12 23:33:17

i'm working class, will properly never own my own home particulary in the area I have always lived.

I feel looked down on by people, and feel that there is a an assumption that because I'm poor/low wage that i don't work hard or as hard as people thathave more than me. The realilty is that I work hard, long hours, but for less money thn other people.

AwkwardMary Wed 28-Mar-12 23:33:45

trois I know what you're saying and I never said having a degree changed class...I have a degree and said that I am working class. I DID NOT want this thread to become one of those boring "What is class" things....I wanted t to be about the demonisation of the working classes.

raffle Wed 28-Mar-12 23:34:34

Ok, out of our four parents both DFs were manual workers, one DM was a SAHM, the other in a proff role, both DH and I are graduates, we own our own home, we've enough money...but we both work full time. Confusing, not sure I want to be bracketed.

Am having a think about who might be classed as a modern day working class role model.

AwkwardMary Wed 28-Mar-12 23:35:17

jaqueline sorry...I don't want to talk about it like this....I want to know what people think of the demonisation of the working classes where there can be no doubt about their class. smile

grip That's what I want to know about...who do you feel looks down on you?

AwkwardMary Wed 28-Mar-12 23:35:52

Thanks raffle

HalfPastWine Wed 28-Mar-12 23:35:55

I just hate all this 'class' stuff. You are who you are, it's the person inside that matters, not the material possessions, education you have or where your family came from. Anyone who looks down on me can just fook right off. I have senior managers at the office who have this attitude and it just makes them look like a bunch of snobby wankers.

jaquelinehyde Wed 28-Mar-12 23:36:04

I have no issue with being called working class however, I do have issues with labels.

I think that the problem is that the class structure does not exist in the same way it did 20 years ago. There have been numerous stratifications within each class grouping and we now have classes within classes.

The class of society that is truely demonised is what is referred to as the under class.

QZ Wed 28-Mar-12 23:36:15

Stop watching television!

The working class are not demonised in my life (nor indeed any class) .

troisgarcons Wed 28-Mar-12 23:36:39

You cannot explain "class" (actually I dont like "class" it's a bit of an obsolete phrase these days) - social hierarcy to Non-Brits. There are tiny inferences that we would pick up on that incomers wouldnt.

AwkwardMary Wed 28-Mar-12 23:38:34

Oh but what about those people who are living in council estates, are on low incomes or unemployed...I doubt they'd agree that class isn't and issue or that the working class structure doesn't exist anymore.

raffle Wed 28-Mar-12 23:38:49

Sorry AwkwardM, my fault it took that direction. Just genuinely interested in perception of class, as I really cannot define it.

AwkwardMary Wed 28-Mar-12 23:39:37

trois what bollocks! It's not obsolete at all...it's massively important in the UK...it's going through changes but there IS still a working class.

jaquelinehyde Wed 28-Mar-12 23:40:05

AkwardMary, sorry but I don't think that it is possible to have a conversation of this type without actually having a clear idea of what is meant by class.

If we don't agree on what class is or which people fall into which class - if any at all, how can we possibly know whether they are being demonised?

realhousewifeofdevoncounty Wed 28-Mar-12 23:40:18

I agree. Even in the 90s it was cool to be working class. Oasis etc, and blur trying to be. Nowadays chavs are naff and anyone "credible" are posh boys. I too come from a very working class background, but work in a very middle class setting. I also am confused most if the time!

griphook Wed 28-Mar-12 23:40:26

my boss, my brother, my dad. I feel that I am pitied because i don't have 'stuff'. Constantly being ask 'when' i am moving to a bigger house. (like that will ever happen.) and that I should only have one child, because 2 children can't possibly share in this day and age.

That I should work harder and then I would be able to buy my on home.

I was recently told that both my partner and myself should get second jobs untill we had saved up enough money.

troisgarcons Wed 28-Mar-12 23:40:32

I would have thought 'working class' these days means anyone who is managing to hold onto a job?

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