to think this class system only exists on MN?

(309 Posts)
GildedWingsOfGrace Fri 13-Sep-13 20:00:38

All the time I hear "middle class" bashing on here.

Or "working class" guilt. Only on MN.

I wouldn't have a clue what class I am or what class my friends are, or the people I work with are.

It doesn't even occur to me, and I never hear it mentioned in day to day life confused

SirRaymondClench Sun 15-Sep-13 18:47:40

Mini what a load of bollocks.

That may be your experience but not mine and whereas I am aware there are stereotypes for the different classes - some correct, some not - there are far more than two classes. That is a fact.

You didn't answer my question, was your father the Count or was he your step-father?

MiniTheMinx Sun 15-Sep-13 18:17:25

SirRaymondClench erm, thank you [shakes head]

The reason for my list of cultural attributes is because rather than it being a "hit at sophistry" it is all correct. It paints a picture though not just because of what I have incl but by what I have omitted.

So if I say my car is 12 years old = not through choice but necessity
I watch Polo occasionally = but only because it is free and Wimbledon isn't
I read the FT sometimes = but I always read the Mirror
I am a drop out = but not in everything
My children have very strange names = only because they are not fashionable
I never shop on the high street = I don't like shopping and most of my clothes are s/hand
I hate Asda = because it's owned by Walmart
I have no o'levels I'm too young to have sat them = I have those down rated GCSEs
My speech is more RP than cockney = not because of schooling but my mother hitting me with a fly swat if I dropped an H
My mother married a Count = she divorced him
I don't work for wages = I'm a student
I have no modern furniture or prints = that is just luck and choice
I think floors are for walking on and I would be perplexed if you take your shoes off = but only because I never do the HW, DP does grin

Using cultural signifiers as a way of working out class is using a flawed methodology.

To quote HeadsDownThumbsUp
Class is, in the end, all about people's relationship to capital and degree of power in the labour market But this was ignored and people duly continue to profess their class credentials based on nothing more than their own fanciful aspiration and dogged determinism. This is why Marxism has been replaced with very many other "isms" because those other "isms" prevent people from looking at the structural causation of inequalities.

There are two social classes, one owns the means of production and has access either to their own capital or other capital and they make surplus capital from your labour. The other class lacks either their own or access to capital and must sell their only marketable resource, their labour for wages.

There are two social classes and everything else is just wishful thinking and subterfuge.

Lizzylou Sun 15-Sep-13 17:32:40

Exactly Estelle, you don't hear it here in Lancashire.
Perhaps it's a regional thing?

EstelleGetty Sun 15-Sep-13 17:17:30

Class obsession is such a miserable, dull thing.

I don't find it's such a big deal here in Scotland, but you do meet some exceptions. Any time I hear somebody call someone 'common' in RL or on here, I shudder. It just makes the speaker sound like such a dick.

Crowler Sun 15-Sep-13 17:13:05

If you distinguish between Victoria Beckham's & Kate Middleton's upbringing based on their sense of style (and VB's hair was a long, sleek ponytail at the royal wedding - very chic, actually), then that's problematic. I think we're meant to understand that class informs taste, not the other way around.

I think the difference between VB & KM is one crucial decision, which was KM going to Marlborough. This probably had a heavy hand in shaping her understated style & her path to St Andrews. You could argue that was a MC decision (it is), but it's just one decision.

SirRaymondClench Sun 15-Sep-13 17:00:24

Mini

Let me clear this up for you:

So if I say my car is 12 years old? - tends to be a UC thing
I watch Polo occasionally - more UMC
I read the FT sometimes - UMC
I am a drop out - universal
My children have very strange names - MC
I never shop on the high street - UMC
I hate Asda - universal
I have no o'levels I'm too young to have sat them. - me either not a class thing
My speech is more RP than cockney - MMC
My mother married a Count - is your father the Count?
I don't work for wages - universal
I have no modern furniture or prints - again not a class thing
I think floors are for walking on and I would be perplexed if you take your shoes off - UMC

Incidentally I am a dyed-in-the-wool aristocrat with a title and I work for my money. I am still an aristocrat.

TheUglyFuckling Sun 15-Sep-13 16:28:31

wannastepfordwife it really isn't that you have failed your DC. Any parent who loves and takes care of their child can never fail as a parent.

i think the Daily Fail relies on reserach which shows that it is the mother's educational background which heavily influences the academic success of their child.

Of course you can often get graduate Mums who never bother reading with their children or talking with them. but the chances are that even if that is the case, the child will be daily exposed to more articulate and expressive language and more erudite opinions. If necessary they can competently help their children with their homework even at an advanced level etc.

but typically the educated Mum is not only passing on her genetic advantage of good intelligence, but typically raises her child in a more intellectually stimulating environment. often it's not even deliberate, but the child grows up surrounded by books and decent newspapers and hears educated conversation and a better vocabulary of words.

These are generalisations of course.

MiniTheMinx Sun 15-Sep-13 14:48:13

gee whiz.

>We must never use long words or complicated sentences.

>Anyone working class must never claim to know anything because they are stuck on their l1 NVQs (what are they?) they must be thick

>Only the prizes awarded by the institutions of the ruling elite prove how clever we are and must be used to prove our place in the pecking order.

>We are prepared to plunge ourselves into debt servitude to acquire the outward signifiers: education, home ownership, the right clothes, car and holidays.

>We are so obsessed by class that we can only validate what others say if we first know what class they claim to be. This is why we prefer individual stories to theory.

>This obsession with using cultural signifiers obscures the real social relations under capitalism.

>We would like to hold on to these false propositions about class because we are not keen on the truth.

>To admit the truth may mean we have to admit we are not what we like to think we are.

HeadsDownThumbsUp Sun 15-Sep-13 14:39:11

A misleading argument doesn't necessarily mean that there isn't some truth, or worth in the points she made, even if you're suspicious of the conclusions.

Anyways, glad you agree.

Lazysuzanne Sun 15-Sep-13 14:34:10

Well I could make the point that sophistry and validity are mutually exclusive, but you're right I should find some other way to amuse myself

HeadsDownThumbsUp Sun 15-Sep-13 14:12:50

Yeah, tbf I think her smiley face was being used passive aggressively as well.

It's obvious what I mean, or do you want to split hairs about that too?

Anyway, so what if her "sentence structure hits at sophistry"? She still had valid, interesting things to say about the thread topic.

If you want to spend time doing prat crit on someone's sentence structure, why not start a thread for that.

Lazysuzanne Sun 15-Sep-13 14:09:07

but Mini herself used a smiley face, was she being 'passive aggressive'?

what exactly do you mean by passive aggressive anyway?

and to be frank her sentence structure hints at sophistry

Lazysuzanne Sun 15-Sep-13 14:05:30

Mini, I'd say you belong to the 'class' of people who likes to brag about being clever and classless and free

HeadsDownThumbsUp Sun 15-Sep-13 14:03:29

Why are you two so determined to derail the conversation with passive aggressive smiley faces, extended scrutiny of mini's sentence structure and blether about dictatorships?

marriedinwhiteisback Sun 15-Sep-13 13:59:02

No, but I bet you can be a pain in the bum mini - that much is clear. Marxism is just another way of installing dictatorship.

Lazysuzanne Sun 15-Sep-13 13:56:06

'Does it matter what I am to the extent that what I say can only be judged in light of what class I am'

is that a tongue twisterconfused

MiniTheMinx Sun 15-Sep-13 13:27:22

Well so far this week it has been insinuated I am up, wc, a teenager, an old hat, an o'level candidate and an academic. What am I? Does it matter? all of it stems from the fact that people will not engage with the argument and prefer resort to personal judgement. Again it matters "what" I am because people have a need to judge.
So if I say my car is 12 years old?
I watch Polo occasionally
I read the FT sometimes
I am a drop out
My children have very strange names
I never shop on the high street
I hate Asda
I have no o'levels grin I'm too young to have sat them.
My speech is more RP than cockney
My mother married a Count
I don't work for wages
I have no modern furniture or prints
I think floors are for walking on and I would be perplexed if you take your shoes off
etc,...

Does it matter what I am to the extent that what I say can only be judged in light of what class I am? Now who is being pretentious?

mizu Sun 15-Sep-13 12:55:17

Emergent services worker on the BBC survey.

I am an English language lecturer and run a department in a college. We live in a very affluent area.

The test seems to think i am not middle class because we rent and don't earn much.

Wannabestepfordwife Sun 15-Sep-13 12:53:35

Thanks heads I always hope the fact that I want to educate myself and encourage dd will have an impact

HeadsDownThumbsUp Sun 15-Sep-13 12:39:22

It also shows how pointless it is to move from broad generalisations and apply them to individual people by pigeonholing them.

Anything that suggests that to a working class parent that they aren't as good as parenting as a middle class person is horrible, offensive, patronising crap.

HeadsDownThumbsUp Sun 15-Sep-13 12:37:07

It just makes me feel like I've failed her already

That's the whole point of those DM articles. To make to feel bad and wear you down. And to make other people feel smug and buoyed up.

When researchers look systematically at people's educational outcomes and working lives, they do tend to find that children born into middle class families have better outcomes. But this is because of an inequality of wealth and resources. But instead of tackling inequality throughout society, DM writers would rather try and belittle working class people and make them feel that they have failed or done something wrong.

Wannabestepfordwife Sun 15-Sep-13 12:31:55

I know this is completely my issue but the thing that bothers me the most about class is how there all these studies and dm articles about how mc educated mothers are better mothers and how my dd won't be a successful as someone who's dm is educated. It just makes me feel like I've failed her already

HeadsDownThumbsUp Sun 15-Sep-13 12:30:33

I don't think there's anything unclear about the way mini has written, but to be honest, I'd rather see the occasional complex sentence than passive aggressive smiley faces everywhere.

Total distraction from the discussion.

Lazysuzanne Sun 15-Sep-13 12:29:03

yes, all those tautologies make one look so working class wink

TheUglyFuckling Sun 15-Sep-13 12:23:52

"I take the view that it would be contemptible to assume that everyone is dim and illiterate."

Oh ouch, ouch it's only a matter of time before you're trotting out 'Consequently, it is my hypothesis that' and 'Pertaining to my previous analogy I would like to further add'

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