Why do people care about class?

(254 Posts)

I really don't understand. Why does it matter? I can't think of a single time in my life when I have considered class to be an issue and tbh I have no idea what class I am.

AIBU or just ignorant?

Maryz Thu 31-Jan-13 21:46:55

'cos you're all English of course shock

It is vair, vair important, and all to do with crooking your little finger when drinking tea or summat.

I have to admit I only know what a chav is because of mumsnet.

Isildur Thu 31-Jan-13 21:49:23

A concept of class underlies the monarchy.

It has become the English way.

I mean 'The Underclass', WTF?

MamaMary Thu 31-Jan-13 21:49:31

I have been astounded at the obsession with class on MN - it reveals that (English) people really are obsessed with it.

The thread on the citizenship test - where people made up questions for an alternative test - was a real eye-opener for me. The vast majority of questions (supposedly to pose to newcomers) were about class. It is clearly a very important issue for many people.

As for me I am totally baffled by it.

I see it as a tribal thing. Cluster with your own crowd and you feel safer?

chickensarmpit Thu 31-Jan-13 21:51:32

It doesn't bother me to be fair. We all come into this the world the same way we go out. With fuck all.

KatyTheCleaningLady Thu 31-Jan-13 21:51:46

I'd say that you are lucky if you are truly oblivious to class.

In the US (where I am from) most people are in deep denial about class. They don't really understand the categories very well, and confuse "class" with "virtue." As in "My grandpappy was a hog farmer and he had more class in his little pinkie toe than Donald Trump has in his entire life!!!" Or, they confuse class with income.

I once made a comment to some Americans about some "posh" people who had been behaving obnoxiously in a restaurant. They demanded to know how I knew they were "posh." Many of them flatly refused to believe that you can tell social class with fair accuracy, and most of them confused class with income, wanting to know how I could possibly know how much money they had.

I do think class is a real thing, and that most people recognize it and there is a general consensus on what class people belong in, particularly in regards to knowing if you are one of them or not.

But, in the UK, it seems that people are much more open about it and talk about it openly.

Does it make a difference that I consider myself British and not English (born in England but part Scottish and lived in Wales for over a third of my life!)? grin

MamaMary Thu 31-Jan-13 21:52:17

And feel superior by looking down on others, who you believe behave in a certain way that is different and inferior to you.

LynetteScavo Thu 31-Jan-13 21:57:07

I am very English.

My Grandmother was very, very British (even though she didn't step foot in the UK until she was in her 50's).

These days class is no longer about money, or education...it's about values.

Unless you are conservative.

LynetteScavo Thu 31-Jan-13 21:57:32

Or should I say, vote Conservative.

I agree that there are people who behave differently to me but I think it's more down to personality, not class.

apostropheuse Thu 31-Jan-13 22:00:58

I don't do class.

Newborn children untouched by the world are the same.
We all bleed when we're cut.
We all have the same bodily functions.
We will all rot in the grave when we die.

To define someone as lower, working, middle, upper class I find divisive and offensive in the extreme.

People are people.

BikeRunSki Thu 31-Jan-13 22:05:35

People care about class because they are snobs.

LynetteScavo Thu 31-Jan-13 22:05:51

apostropheuse, you sound rather working class.

<<runs off sniggering>>

Maryz Thu 31-Jan-13 22:06:08

See, I get more pissed off by inverse snobbery. I can laugh at snobbery (I suppose because I was lucky that my parents brought me up to look at everyone as equals, no matter what their background or financial status), but inverse snobbery really gets me.

So I can feel a bit sorry for people who think they are better than everyone else, because they are so obviously wrong.

But I get very cross at people who despise people that they themselves think are better than them (if I've explained that properly). Hating people because you feel inferior to them is just plain bananas.

LynetteScavo Thu 31-Jan-13 22:07:22

BikeRunSki, does that include working and lower middle class?

I know some upper middle class people (by my calculation, for want of a better word) who don't care about class.

I don't understand class at all. confused I mean, 200 years ago I guess it was fairly clear cut but now I haven't a clue. I couldn't tell you what class I am and don't have the faintest idea how to work it out!

mrsbunnylove Thu 31-Jan-13 22:11:53

tidiness and boxes. we like it tidy. we like to put stuff in boxes. that includes people.

kim147 Thu 31-Jan-13 22:16:14

So you know who to mix with and who to let your PFB's mix with grin

Personally, class is not important to me. It's attitudes towards things and your personal values.

CloudsAndTrees Thu 31-Jan-13 22:20:31

I don't think class is anywhere near as important to the majority of people on MN as it appears to be. It gets talked about on here a lot, but I very much doubt it enters into most MNers real life conversations.

People are just people, and while people at both of the extreme ends of the scale might be apparent, everyone else is just a person.

I'm so glad it's not just me! grin

apostropheuse Thu 31-Jan-13 22:40:15

See, I get more pissed off by inverse snobbery. I can laugh at snobbery (I suppose because I was lucky that my parents brought me up to look at everyone as equals, no matter what their background or financial status), but inverse snobbery really gets me

That's how I was brought up too Maryz It installed a strong sense of self-worth in me, and I hope a positive attitude towards people from all walks of life.

I was always told "You're no better than anyone else, but you're just as good as everyone else".

Foggles Thu 31-Jan-13 22:53:27

My extended family range from the piss-poor to millionaires (I am nearer the poor end grin).

There are good & bad characters throughout.

Personally, I don't give a flying fig about class but I hate pretentious people.

Sparklyboots Thu 31-Jan-13 23:20:09

I don't think the problem with class is so much about whether or not you are looking up or looking down on people personally. It's more about the fact that if you are working class (and most of us are, by the way, one of the biggest successes of the Thatcher govt was to persuade people who are working class that they are middle class - Kate Middleton is middle class for reference) you are less 'well-connected' (read able to use nepotism), you don't go to a public school which has a fast track to a Russel Group Uni, your voice doesn't mean people automatically think you are intelligent or that you're reliable, you probably have to work your way through your 'full time' degree to support yourself, your parents most likely won't be able to put a deposit down on a house for you, dominant culture doesn't reflect your values, your access to good quality legal representation is potentially bankrupting, you have to work longer and harder to get the same sort of jobs that middle class people can get through internships, if some disaster befalls your family it doesn't become a cause celebre, and a whole load of other stuff that I can't think of at this time of night after that kind of day.

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