Social class- how does it work and where do I fit in now?

(11 Posts)
Forwardsnotback Sun 19-Jun-16 16:00:11

It's become a lot more difficult to identify social class in Britain today. It's confusing as to the social/economic/cultural factors and what makes someone working/middle class today. How would you define it?

DP and I were talking, and he says he'd consider us "skilled/affluent/upper working class". Is he right?

Me and DP both had crap educations, I left school w 2 O levels and worked in a factory, then became a care worker. In 1992 I went to college and became a pediatric speech therapist in 96. DP did 2 A Levels, then went to a Poly to do economics. He then also became a care worker and then trained as a psychiatric nurse and became one in 2009.

I work part time and earn around £30,000pa, DP works full time and earns approx 26,000pa.

We own a flat in Harlesden, London that we bought together with my sister in 1987 (she no longer lives there).

My mum was a nurse, dad an electrician. DP's parents were shop worker/builder. Both our families put lots of emphasis on self education, we both grew up w lots of books/broadsheet papers/radio 4. But as said before, I had a crap time at inner city comps so no proper traditional education until later life. DP doesn't think his uni education makes him m/c as it didn't lead to a professional job. But idk if our jobs are w/c or m/c.

We both enjoy film/theatre/literature and have had trad left wing political beliefs instilled from parents. But we also like reality telly, football, and DP still goes to see greyhound racing as he did as a boy.

W/c upbringings, but are we still w/c? Or m/c now? Is there more to it? How do class distinctions work today?

concertplayer Mon 20-Jun-16 18:01:48

Interesting post. The traditional class system started to be eroded when M Thatcher came into power and the emphasis on buying property came in.
Traditional working class tradespeople moved up to become Tory voters
as they not only became property owners but earned more as the demand for their services increased.
Business also flourished and less education was needed- more an attitude to take a risk was required than formal qualifications. And hard work - which had often eluded the Establishment!
When the Beckhams tried to get their kids into an elite school they were
turned down. It was felt their background was too different from rest of
the other kids whose parents were presumably well--educated too
I remember a w/class bloke who won the lottery being asked to leave a
holiday resort as the higher class guests who were regulars found him loud.

0phelia Mon 20-Jun-16 18:21:23

I'd say you were upper working class or middle class.

Take this test!
www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-22000973

The traditional working class in the UK is disappearing, we see more "underclass" (unemployed or zero hours service industry transients). The middle class is struggling under wage compression and Tory austerity.

If you rent, even in jobs like teaching and nursing or pharmaceutical etc you could still be "working class". Previously teachers and nurses would be middle class, but now if you own your own home you are far better off regardless of your profession.

There is now a greater wealth divide than ever, so traditional class systems are changing as the top 1% absorb everything for themselves, experience all the gains from economic growth, and avoid tax, while the rest of us find living conditions worsen. There may eventually be only 2-3 groups. The super rich premier class, moderate class, and underclass.

PortiaCastis Mon 20-Jun-16 18:29:03

I don't understand why we have to class people and to label some human beings underclass is disgusting..

0phelia Mon 20-Jun-16 19:06:58

Try living in India as an "untouchable" to understand the reality of class as a disadvantaged human being.

We are moving closer to that sort of thing in the west as our governments pander more and more to the super rich.

Just5minswithDacre Mon 20-Jun-16 19:17:29

DP and I were talking, and he says he'd consider us "skilled/affluent/upper working class". Is he right?

But OTOH, he doesn't think his tertiary education 'makes him MC'?

So what does he think makes him upper MC ? confused

Not nursing? Or buying a flat in Harlesden when it was cheap as chips and very WC?

Personally I think your story shows why the tradition class system is redundant.

Leftish WC autodidacts always had a proud history of being hard to pigeonhole anyway and that's just your childhoods. smile

Your poor DP sounds very muddled about it all. Tell him to forget it grin

Forwardsnotback Mon 20-Jun-16 19:19:28

Took the test, got "new affluent worker", also looked at the ABC1C2DE classification, and we do C2 jobs apparently.

Just5minswithDacre Mon 20-Jun-16 19:19:49

Oh, so sorry, I misread, he said upper WC. I thought he was another victim of the crazy London house prices grin

Tell him we're all middle class now and don't let him bend his brain with upper and lower this n that smile

Davros Tue 21-Jun-16 16:04:30

I describe myself as "mixed class"

JoJoSM2 Sun 26-Jun-16 12:36:31

Why do you even care?

AgentProvocateur Sun 26-Jun-16 12:49:03

Why does it matter? hmm

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now