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what does Middle Class mean?

79 replies

fluffybutt · 24/05/2011 15:31

I am slightly suprised at the amount of reference to Class, on MN. So I was just wondering, what determines ones class?.

OP posts:

FabbyChic · 24/05/2011 15:33

My son tells me that whilst he was brought up working class, as he has now been to Uni and will be in a job paying X amount he is now middle class.

I never understand it myself to be honest, surely it makes no difference what class you are?


LineRunner · 24/05/2011 15:35

I'm riff raff, myself.


darleneoconnor · 24/05/2011 15:40

how is this aibu?

yabvu to lazily post this here instead of searching for the fecking hundreds of threads done before on this q


fluffybutt · 24/05/2011 15:46

OOh, beg your pardon Darlene. Wasn't really sure where to put it, and yes much too lazy to search all the previous posts :)

OP posts:

RobF · 24/05/2011 15:46

IMO a lot of people think they are middle class because they work in an office, or have been to university, neither of which makes you middle class in 2011 IMO.


MorrisZapp · 24/05/2011 15:48

Oh jeez not this again.


Hammy02 · 24/05/2011 15:50

zactly RobF. When just 5% of peeps went to Uni, fair enough but seeing as the average Joe can go to Uni now, it isn't really a factor. Unless you go to Oxbridge or another top uni.


leonoravonwagner · 24/05/2011 15:51

People who are posher than me. Smile


RobF · 24/05/2011 15:51

IMO you need to be earning £100,000 a year as a household to be middle class in 2011. Probably more than that in London.


AuntieMonica · 24/05/2011 15:51

yes, i'm terribly middle class as i don't have a job outside the home and married.


fluffybutt · 24/05/2011 15:52

Fabbychic, I don't understand it either. I consider myself an Ok, hard working person, with morals. At the moment OK financially. Middle Class? If I for what ever reason fell on financial hardship, had to claim benefits etc, would I then become a lower class?

OP posts:

fluffybutt · 24/05/2011 15:55

RobF, blimey, in that case, I am working class and proud :)

OP posts:

RobF · 24/05/2011 15:57

John Prescott said "we are all middle-class now". I wonder if the youths hanging round outside the jobcentre all day, smoking and spitting on their floor, and showing off their dangerous dogs realise that they are middle class?


MorrisZapp · 24/05/2011 15:58

Class has nowt (or very little) to do with income.

Wayne Rooney.

I rest my case.


Pendeen · 24/05/2011 16:05

I think one way to consider "class" is that it is more about how other people categorise someone rather than an individual's opinion of themself.

First impressions e.g. - accent, clothes, general appearance etc. which might then be modified when they learn a little more about someone: job, home, pastimes, family, education and so on.


AMumInScotland · 24/05/2011 16:09

TBH MN is the only place where I've found people dividing themselves up into these categories - anyone who actually studies demographics recognises the traditional working/middle/upper as being meaningless, partly because people are more varied these days, but also because nobody agrees what the definitions are.

Here it seems to be a way of saying "us and them" from either side!


MorrisZapp · 24/05/2011 16:10

I'm the opposite Pendeen. I'd say most people are what social class they think they are.


LadyOfTheManor · 24/05/2011 16:13

I thought it was to do with profession of either oneself or ones' parents; as well as education and income?

In my own snobbery, I take postcode into account also.


Tortu · 24/05/2011 16:14

Blimey MN is the most middleclass place I've ever been (only started looking at it a couple of weeks ago). As a teacher who has always taught in quite deprived areas I have a complete, open-mouthed fascination with the Education area of this site. I've never met parents like you. In fact, I never really meet parents TBH, as they can't be bothered to come in unless it's to fight their child's exclusion.

In my opinion, it's all about education and not just the institutions you've been to. Yes, those are part of the definition, but honestly, most of my students' parents couldn't tell you who the PM was, or point to Scotland on the map. As most of the parents aren't in formal employment they couldn't be classified as working class, but I'd definitely say they were 'lower class' just in terms of expectations and awareness of the world. My kids' aspirations are so low it terrifies me.


colditz · 24/05/2011 16:14

It means someone who's posher than you, but not so posh they won't talk to you.

It means flat shoes for the school run - but NOT white trainers.

It means not putting your daughter in bright pink velour, no matter how much she may beg.

It means not shaving your son's head.

It means starting and finishing your words with no slurring (sober) or glottal stops.

It means parenting more by guidance than by instinct.

It means breastfeeding, or at least toturing yourself for not breastfeeding.

It means not wearing short skirts unless your legs are practically perfect.

It means owning a house, or paying higher than average private rent - not because you can necessarily afford that, but because this is the best catchent area.

It means that oven chips are a quick tea for after an afterschool club - and in your head, you don't really count them as cooking.

It means you'll avoid extra cheap sausages like the plague, rather than picking up three packs and shouting "Let's have a barbeque!!!"

It means buying second hand clothes and leather shoes, instead of brand new clothes and plastic trainers.

It means using sunblock, even if it makes you feel sticky.

And most of all, it means not bleaching the top half of your hair blonde and dying the underneath bit black.


Insomnia11 · 24/05/2011 16:17

I am a lawyer and listen to Radio 4. I don't think I could be anything other than middle class these days. :) I'm a B on here and so is DH.

Definitely would say my background is working class or lower middle class though. Parents' jobs were C1/D.


RobF · 24/05/2011 16:19

I think that table is wrong. I bet the majority of C2 jobs pay more than most C1 jobs.


petitepeach · 24/05/2011 16:22

colditz Grin


DontGoCurly · 24/05/2011 16:23

It means caring about and being aware of your 'class' and 'social status'

Two utterly irrelevant things.

People who value class are to be pitied imho.


Goodynuff · 24/05/2011 16:24

but Insomnia11, there is no catagory for the kept woman?ShockGrin

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