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(124 Posts)
mabon1 Wed 26-Sep-18 11:51:03

This morning I heard a programme on Radio 4 when a woman thought that having a lot money made one middle class. I haven't much money at all but have a degree and consider myself "cultured" as I read poetry, novels, biographies, play the piano and a member of two "cultural" societies, so where do I belong?

JudyJudy12 Wed 26-Sep-18 12:17:32

I would define class by money and breeding. It would have to be both for me as winning the lottery would not in itself be enough to make you upper class and aristocracy that had lost their fortune would not in my mind make them lower class equally a member of the aristocracy that was not intelligent would not drop them a class.

I do not know the correct definitions of class and hopefully future generations will be unconcerned with it.

DIL17 Wed 26-Sep-18 12:23:07

I'm not sure how I would define but i think maybe along the following lines

Upper class: Title holder, aristocracy.

Middle class: Wealthy, business owner

Lower middle: comfortable wealth, good job degree

Working: No job or manual job, no qualifications above GCSE

M0nica Wed 26-Sep-18 12:25:51

Class is bunkum these days. regardless of education or background, people's choices on how they live their lives, where they live, how they spend their money what they aspire to for their lifestyle, even their income.

The only demographic divider that is reliable is income. All the rest is for the fairies.

M0nica Wed 26-Sep-18 12:27:28

I left the end of para one out.

..... is completely unrelated to their education, choice of career or background.

Jane10 Wed 26-Sep-18 12:27:53

I don't think money has anything in the least to do with 'class'.
I know impoverished 'aristocrats' and very wealthy 'working class' people.
In fact, I think a person's attitude to 'class' demonstrates what class they actually are.

goldengirl Wed 26-Sep-18 12:28:12

Oh glory! Why do we continue to have these divisions after all these years? Does it matter what 'class' people are? Really? I feel there is the Royal Family - and the rest of us. Just because you have a title doesn't necessarily make you upper class - unless it is inherited I suppose. And as for working class - no qualifications above GCSE? What about technical qualifications etc? Oh dear, oh dear!

Elegran Wed 26-Sep-18 12:35:07

It just shows how daft some of the ideas are about class. It never was only about money, even in the heyday of class distinction. Someone can be a multi-millionaire and still be a guttersnipe, it just means that they can afford to wear ermine in the gutter. They may be treated as though they had class , by people who hope that a bit of that money will be spent in their direction.

BlueBelle Wed 26-Sep-18 12:50:12

You belong wherever you consider you belong

I hate class stuff, so although in the regimented class list I d be considered middle class (I had a grammar education had a profession and own my own house) I consider I ll always be where my roots are fully working class I have no desire to be classed at all but also have no desire to be considered anything other that an ordinary Joe Soap
You can have a person living on the street who likes poetry classical music etc etc I don’t think your knowledge or hobbies make you any class
I have a very well read acquaintance, who is way below me in education but way above me in knowledge, who was a manual worker and now is unemployed I used to be friendly with a lady educated to masters degree who drunk herself into oblivion and her partner a university lecturer now in prison
Forget about class it’s a horrible system

Willow500 Wed 26-Sep-18 14:40:36

Pete Cook, Dudley Moore & John Cleese - I look up to him cos he's upper class and I look down on him cos he's lower class grin Load of rubbish - we're all just people!

humptydumpty Wed 26-Sep-18 14:57:11

According to wikipedia in 2008:

upper middle class
Higher managerial, administrative or professional 4%

middle class
Intermediate managerial, administrative or professional

lower middle class
Supervisory or clerical and junior managerial, administrative or professional 29%

skilled working class
Skilled manual workers 21%

working class
Semi-skilled and unskilled manual workers 15%

ginny Wed 26-Sep-18 15:06:43

I don’t think I have ever thought about what ‘class’ other people are or indeed myself.
Surely we should judge people by their actions not by what they have , where they were born or what job they do.

humptydumpty Wed 26-Sep-18 15:23:12

These class definitions are used for research purposes, e.g. how do different illnesses etc. differ by social class - can give an insight as to what might be causing illnesses (e.g. exposure to asbestos causing mesothelioma)

cavewoman Wed 26-Sep-18 15:28:51

Where do you think you belong mabon ?

Jane10 Wed 26-Sep-18 15:34:17

Obviously I'm extremely posh. Where does does that place me? wink

Anniebach Wed 26-Sep-18 15:48:18

Regards money, there is old money and new money, I like old money people more than many new money people.

How can reading poetry, novels and biographies and playing the piano define class - horrible word .

M0nica Wed 26-Sep-18 17:08:34

I think Wikipedia is confusing class with socio-economic categories used in demographic research and data gathering with class. They have always been very different entities.

HildaW Wed 26-Sep-18 17:19:17

As a child my siblings and I were often teased for being 'posh', it was almost a term of abuse. Father worked in a factory, Mum was always short of money midweek. Yes my parents were buying the house on a mortgage but often the only decent clothes us kids had were our school uniform. Still we were regularly teased for being posh. Hey ho! its all relative because those that did the teasing often seemed to have more money to throw around. But as my dear Mum used to say....its common to put all your money on your back.
Can remember having great fun reading Jilly Cooper's book Class....she went into very tongue in cheek detail. Can remember her comments about the 'lower middle class', something to do with the brands they bought and the type of lace they had in their curtains.
We do have a type of class system still but its so flexible and thankfully we can pretty much move around in it as we see fit. Some of the grandest people I served as a junior bank clerk were the most frugal and thrifty and on closer inspection were pretty dim whilst the local scrap metal dealer had the most expensive car and the broadest (self taught) education.

Lynne59 Wed 26-Sep-18 17:22:12

I'm working class, proud of it. Having said that, I DO work, in a well-paid albeit part-time job (my choice). I've got an I.Q. of 148, so not unintelligent, and I live a nice life.

I grew up in what would now be classed as a slum, but my parents were good and decent, dad worked all his life, mum stayed at home until we were older.

I cannot stand these snobbish prigs who think they're something special because they've got money - they are no better than me or anyone else

HildaW Wed 26-Sep-18 17:30:42

Well said Lynne59, we are all human beans!

Scribbles Wed 26-Sep-18 17:33:20

Class? Who cares? Please, like me or dislike me for the person I am not where I live, who my parents were; whether or not I have a degree or any money. I promise to do the same for you!

Newatthis Wed 26-Sep-18 17:37:52

In the past the class system in this country has suppressed people by putting them into 'boxes'. These days, what with lottery wins etc, many people are judged by their bank balances, some judged by their accent. Why not just take people for what they are, their personalities, character and not what they have, own, background or how they speak. I do and I have an eclectic mix of friends of different colour, sexual orientation - rich and poor!

Elegran Wed 26-Sep-18 18:09:00

Lynne59 Some of the most snobbish prigs of all don't have any money. They can trace their forebears back to William the Conqueror, they went to the most elite schools, but they don't have the brains or the personality to actually earn a living, and when the ancestral home has to be sold to meet death duties, they are adrift.

The other side of it is that some others whose proven family tree goes back five centuries, who went to the "right" schools and who are on chatting terms with half the aristocracy have no snobbery or "side" at all. I knew one who made a living hiring out Portaloos, and the actual work of hosing then out and delivering them was done himself, not by underlings.

Money isn't the key to class, but having it , and having what used to be called "breeding" but is now blanketly condemned as snobbery isn't either. Nor are possessing money and/or breeding automatically a bad thing. "The rank is but the guinea's stamp, the man's the gowd, for a' that"

HildaW Wed 26-Sep-18 18:09:59

Over the years I've done several trips to the US and found that when conversations have been about such things as Downton Abbey (they loved it) folks have been very critical about what they perceive as our British class system. However, I have often felt their system is much more ridged and unfair. They do not have such terms as we use but they do jump to assumptions and label people much more on their jobs and incomes (and still of course race and colour.
In a huge US hotel a couple of years ago we were in a lift that stopped halfway to the ground floor....the door opened and there was a member of the hotel cleaning staff with a trolley of clean linen. She quickly put up her hand in a slightly defensive gesture and stepped backwards. We indicated that there was plenty of room in the lift (they are huge) and continued to hold the door open. Upon joining us she quietly thanked us for our courtesy and upon realising we were English stated wryly stated that no American would have done what we had done.

MissAdventure Wed 26-Sep-18 18:13:18

I seem to have slipped down from lower middle to working class.
Oh well, onwards and downwards!