To think the middle class is shrinking?(120 Posts)
I see jobs that were once solidy middle class such as bank manager, be downgraded with globalisation. The middle class is getting smaller, and there is a bigger divide between those below and above.
If bank manager is not middle class, what is it? It's not working class.
If anything I'd say the middle class is growing.
Public sector jobs that were once solidly middle class professions are becoming poorly paid, often on zero hour contracts with ridiculous workloads. I'm thinking of occupations such as nursing, teaching, etc which have been decimated by government budget cuts.
Bank manager may be lower middle class, but it was once a very highly paid job with a lot of responsibility. Now decisions are made using scoring and other protocols.
No. People are obsessed with salary equating to class - it doesn’t. Solid, middle class professions such as teaching, medicine, banking etc will always be middle class even if the salary isn’t. The wealth divide, however, is widening to a ridiculous degree and causing those professions to be underpaid. That doesn’t change which ‘class’ they belong to.
The jobs are still the same class though.
I can remember my Dad telling me about the workers on the shop floor earning as much as he did and he was a respected engineer/ originally draughtsman.
This was back in the 80's so hardly a new thing.
I don’t think there is really classes nowadays apart from the upper class with titles and inherited properties.
Well respected people like judges, top surgeons etc can come from the poorest of backgrounds.
Someone from a poor family can work themselves up to be very very very rich
People can win the lottery
People born into a rich family can end up on benefits or working in a factory.
The class system just doesn’t make sense anymore.
From what I remember of a level sociology Marx considered the middle class a false construct to divide people. In reality if you work for a living rather than live of your assets you are by definition working class.
Traditional ‘middle class’ professions are becoming deskilled and more insecure unfortunately
Class and money have very little in common. A lottery winner does not become middle class because of their bank balance.
The middle class is expanding with more graduates, more white collar work and less manufacturing industry. There is greater polarisation of wealth and this creates a culture whereby people cling ever tighter to their own belief and class systems. The likes of Farage play on this to build a climate of hostility towards those who are different in some way, he actively encourages people to cling tight to a traditional working class mindset whilst maintaining his own very wealthy lifestyle.
See I’d never see a bank manager as middle class. But then as mentioned, working class doesn’t really fit either.
This is from ages ago but I think raises some good points about later modern capitalism. www.telegraph.co.uk/men/thinking-man/11109845/Why-arent-the-British-middle-classes-staging-a-revolution.html
I think largely what’s suggested in the link above, that the middle class would realise they are in fact no better off or different than the working classes and rise up throwing of the shackles of the oppressors etc. Not that that’s generally worked out well...
There are owners and there are workers. Nothing has changed! The middle classes are an illusion. Another distraction from reality, aspiration as brain washing.
I don't understand the class system. I have no idea what makes someone middle class... is it their salary? Or their background/How they grew up? I have even seen people on here suggest it has its own uniform (mainly Joules, apparently!) I have heard plenty of attributes that each class supposedly have such as where they choose to holiday and who they may vote for in an election. Can you move up a class? I was born to working class parents and I am not educated higher than GCSE level but I have a well paid job and live in a naice house... What does that make me??
It's all so confusing that I can't even begin to answer the question and have pretty much convinced myself that the class system doesn't really exist as it seems to be so difficult to define.
You can definitely move up a class.
There are different kinds of working class and middle class which is where the problems with definition come from.
You get the traditional working class, tradesmen, cleaners, shop staff etc. May own a modest house or rent. Not particularly well educated but not opposed to education and often keen for their children to be educated. Normal, just getting on with it people. Most of my family are like this.
Then you get the new money working class. They have made it, often through their own business. Still go to the match, watch sky, do their own DIY and expect their children to work hard too.
Unfortunately you also get people who class themselves as working class but don't work and don't want to. Not even going to go there.
Middle classes are basically decided into two- hippies and normals. I don't think this is very controversial so not going to describe them.
Nothing wrong whatsoever with belonging to any of these tribes, particularly if you're born there. Stuff to be proud of and less proud off in all of these different cultures.
Be boring if we we're all the same.
I take it all with a pinch of salt. When people start claiming that owning a white Range Rover, having Sky TV, brown leather sofas and wearing designer labels are all "working class" - as always starts happening on threads like these - it sort of reinforces how absolutely meaningless class labelling has become.
And that's sort of the OP's point. Societal structures and lifestyles have changed to the extent that we can no longer designate people into neat boxes based on what they do for a living, the tenure of their home, their education level or how much money they have in the bank. Class has really just become a means of self-identification and tribalism and signalling what "sort" of person you definitely are not.
I think most people are working class - probably around 85%, middle around 14% and upper class less than 1%. I certainly don't think teachers and nurses are middle class. They don't earn that much. I'd say doctors and barristers were middle class. To the pp that said there are more graduates now, well that's true but how many of them are in non-graduate jobs? I work in admin and all of us have degrees but are only earning around 20k!
Agree with pp who said that it’s the wealth divide which is growing. I think the middle class is bigger than ever. I can’t think of anyone who would describe themselves as ‘working class’ now.
I really don't see either teaching or nursing as 'solid middle class professions'. I see them as essentially classless - there are upper class, working class and middle class people working in both roles. If you're a working class person and you train to become a nurse, why would you suddenly become middle class? It doesn't make sense.
The same can apply to builders and farmers IME
Of course most teachers are middle class as they require post graduate qualifications - many at the senior school i taught in were v well qualified- oxbridge/ a couple of doctorates/etc.
Surgeons and consultants often move into upper middle class/private school territory. Only 7 % of children are privately educated so that's a smaller subset of middle class.
No. People are obsessed with salary equating to class - it doesn’t.
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