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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?

lappy Wed 06-Feb-13 20:18:44

Nothing helpful to add but just like to comment that in my workplace (large office) we are all generally working class but also have some very posh ladies (private school educated - working to help pay private school fees for their kids) and also some very much 'dragged up on rough estate' folk. Have to say they all get on really, really well with each other and all seem genuinely interested in each other. Us 'in the middle' love both sides equally. Social events are well attended by everyone and no one seems to judge anyone. So in my life class doesn't matter.

sad

lazybastard Wed 06-Feb-13 18:53:43

Maybe I just know a lot of ignorant snobs like the guy who told dd in front of me 'just ask your Mum for an iPad, I'm sure she'll buy you one if she loves you' or the person I had thought was a friend who now blanks me in the street and has defriended me and blocked me on FB.

lazy your posts are really interesting but very sad. I'm also on benefits and I don't feel the way that you do (perhaps because my children aren't at school yet? I don't know).

FergusSingsTheBlues Wed 06-Feb-13 18:31:24

im ashamed to say that When I watched the seven up series as a young teenager I was surprised that all the WC kids were so content. At that age, it never occured to me that anybody could be satisfied with what they have Its a much nicer outlook than the constant striving to climb up the greasy old class system. The MCs are basically always going to be "aspirational" but its pretty depressing as a life style.

lazybastard Wed 06-Feb-13 17:24:14

Katy the people who say these things are those with power. The power to hire and fire so the power to decide if our job hunting will ever succeed. The people with the power to make benefit decisions, the power to make dd cry when they tell their child not to play with her.

Hobbitation Wed 06-Feb-13 13:49:46

I was definitely aware of class before I could have labelled it as such. To say class isn't important elsewhere is disingenuous, it just tends to be called/wrapped up in other things.

scarlettsmummy2 Wed 06-Feb-13 13:45:49

If someone got a 'c' from eton I would think they were virtually special needs wink

KatyTheCleaningLady Wed 06-Feb-13 11:58:49

"lazy" you are letting what other people say about you dictate what you say about you.

I know we can all have a bad day where we feel down and talk gloomy talk, but if you really think that the stupid fuckers who make assumptions about you without knowing you have any business being in your head, then you should try and overcome that.

lazybastard Wed 06-Feb-13 11:06:48

Because everything I have done is considered worthless because ending up needing top up benefits to feed my children means it's ok for people to call me irresponsible, scum, lazy, stupid or whatever insult they feel like. Hitting rock bottom and needing help from benefits as far as UK society is concerned renders anything good or sensible you may have done null and void. Any good you try and do in the present and future will be labelled as a cynical ploy to con the system or an attempt to get something you are not entitled to as the underclass.

baskingseals Wed 06-Feb-13 10:46:33

having a C from Eton isn't going to help you if you are so screwed up by your experience there you take anti-depressants and struggle to get up in the morning.

why do you say you haven't achieved anything lazy?

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Wed 06-Feb-13 09:36:21

So what if I'm working class?

Sorry, had to do that.

Anyway, I'm pretty happy with the life I've got. I shop at Asda instead of
Waitrose, my children wear clothes from George rather than Verbaudet, we live in a 2 bed council house rather than a beautiful 4 bed detached house, we don't have the luxury of a car just to go down the road to the shop or to go wherever so we walk or rely on public transport, and we go on a little Haven holiday rather than 2 weeks in Florida. But who cares, really?

Not moaning at all. My family and I appreciate the smaller things in life we really do because if we don't then we'll be forever I want want want and when we can't have it that causes great misery. Working class people are not any less worthy of a happy and decent life, they just don't have as much priviledges and luxuries that I suspect middle class people have become so accustomed to that they take for granted.

If I was to become middle class now, having being in a "lower class" I would not look down on people and I would not change my attitude. I am currently working hard towards my career, which isn't bad going for a council house occupying, bus chasing, money budgeting, working class person like moi. smile

lazybastard Wed 06-Feb-13 09:35:36

I haven't achieved anything basking, only failed. On one hand I hope they don't want to go to Uni so I don't have to disappoint them with not having the money then I worry they won't because I don't want to sentence them to a life of not knowing where their next meal is coming from.

School does matter though, a C from Eton is worth significantly more than an A from the local comp.

baskingseals Wed 06-Feb-13 09:10:21

lazy - there is a sense in the UK of being a subject, rather than a citizen.
the class system is alive and kicking. but that doesn't mean you have to live your life according to it.

be yourself. be proud of who you are, and your own achievements. find your own way in the world. you honestly don't need to send your children to public shcool for them to have a sheen of confidence, that comes from within.

the upper classes are not special, i don't think they should be emulated or admired. what are you admiring? do you want to be like them?

or do you want to be yourself - whoever that is?

chilliplant Wed 06-Feb-13 09:08:48

I'm also wondering why that would make me feel better?

chilliplant Wed 06-Feb-13 09:08:08

Lazybastard - she's not married.

lazybastard Wed 06-Feb-13 08:59:23

Totally agree basking there are some people who are upper class who seem to get their whole sense of worth from how many people they can destroy emotionally. They spout vile diatribes about who deserves to live, eat etc. They say low paid workers are worthless to society etc. They have no interest in reality just bugging themselves up by putting others down.

baskingseals Wed 06-Feb-13 08:54:12

thank you Hamish.

i'm finding it more and more difficult to listen and read on mn the veneration of the upper classes, it's like watching a beaten dog lick their abuser's hand.

these people are not innocent. some of the views they spout are appalling, disgusting even, they certainly are acutely aware of class and if you are not in theirs - forget it. you may be tolerated, especially if you 'know your place'
but you will not be receiving any 'At Home' invitations, but don't worry, because you are certainly not missing anything.

it's a chimera. an illusion. a left-over from feudal days. move on. live your own lives, your own way, don't look to other people thinking they have got it right because they say napkin.

lazybastard Wed 06-Feb-13 08:54:08

I chose my nickname because of the comments people make about low paid part time workers. I figured if the cap fits.

Btw before I'm flammed I'm only part time because it's all I could get after redundancy. When you take into account studying, working and job hunting I actually do 80-100 hrs per week over and above house work etc.

Hamishbear Wed 06-Feb-13 08:36:58

Baskingseals you have it absolutely spot on but no one gets it. I think because generally they're not there to hear them.

SnowBusiness Wed 06-Feb-13 08:32:28

lazybastard why did you choose your NN? Were you being tongue in cheek?

chilli, you've missed out the info on your husbands. Is that where your SIL (sexism alive and well!) has deemed to get her new found class. Also, if she's skint and you're not, she's probably just trying to make you feel better.

chilliplant Wed 06-Feb-13 08:21:09

Actually, I wonder if you can settle an argument for me.

My SIL says she is middle class, whereas I am working class. Both our parents were blue collar workers, we both went to a state school, both went to Uni, both brought up in a similar size/ value house. However, because I am from up north and have a strong accent and she is from down south and because she recently, in the past 10 years, decided to talk with someones plums in her mouth, she says I am working class whereas she is middle class. I don't dispute this, but can't see why she thinks she is superior to me. She lives in a tiny house and is skint and I am quite the opposite. But still she is insistent that I am working class and that because she speaks a bit posh, she's the dogs bollocks.

As mentioned, not really that bothered about my class, but she is getting on my tits.

chilliplant Wed 06-Feb-13 07:48:57

I guess I am new money then. I was brought up in a semi up-north, my Dad was a blue collar worker. We all went to state school and then Uni. We all have good jobs, one of my brothers is a self made millionaire. My kids go to private school, we have a nice house and a nice car.

Does that make me a nouveaux riche chav?

Tindertree Wed 06-Feb-13 01:40:29

I think the last ten years have seen an incredible proliferation of class-consciousness. The great middle class trick, perpetrated by conservatives and new labour alike, didn't really, in the long term, help anyone.

Ten, fifteen years ago, you could read an article in the sunday papers about anyone with cultural significance, and it would not, as far as I recall, state that person's class. Now, invariably, it will.

I'd love you all to disagree. I really would.

Tindertree Wed 06-Feb-13 01:33:34

Quite.

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