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(125 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?

Bellanonna Wed 26-Sep-18 18:23:41

How would you “class” Alan Sugar? He has a title and he is wealthy. 🤔

Elegran Wed 26-Sep-18 18:25:26

Hilda -America, the land of equality! hmm With no historical aristocracy, the upper classes are the moneyed classes.

They also come out with disapproving cliches like "You British do love your Royalty" Eh? When Americans sit up to watch royal weddings and know more about the participants and their dresses than the average Brit?

MissAdventure Wed 26-Sep-18 18:28:57

Alan Sugar is working class, I would say, if I had to.

Elegran Wed 26-Sep-18 18:29:25

Alan Sugar's title is not an ancient one passed down since an ancestor earned it for some service to a monarch (or some service his mother, sister or daughter performed, more likely) so he is not classed automatically in "upper class" It was a reward for his services to industry, and so is his money. I wonder what class he claims for himself?

M0nica Wed 26-Sep-18 18:38:54

But Lynne, you think you are something special because you are working class. It's a two way street.

Grammaretto Wed 26-Sep-18 19:06:14

The duke of buccleuch (one of the richest aristocrats) met a man on his land "oi you" he shouted (or words to that effect) "you are on my land".
"How is it your land" said the man. "My ancestors fought for it" said the duke.
The man lifted his fists and said. "I'll fight you for it then"

Madgran77 Wed 26-Sep-18 19:50:14

Class - why bother? Just people!

Fennel Wed 26-Sep-18 19:53:58

I asked on another thread, 'who are the working class now?'
and never got an answer.

annsixty Wed 26-Sep-18 20:08:17

Surely if we are work, we are working class, is that wrong.
My ancestors worked on looms, down mines and on the land.
My H and I got scholarships to Grammar Schools , got professional qualifications, though not at University, our families couldn't afford that, but my H in particular acheived Fellowship of his Institution by his hard work.
We still consider ourselves working class, having needed to work as we inherited nothing from either family.

Cherrytree59 Wed 26-Sep-18 20:15:52

Surely anyone who has had to work for a living is Working Class.

M0nica Wed 26-Sep-18 20:49:22

Exactly. Most of the population has to work for its living.

In the past the divider was whether you worked with your hands or in an office. In these post manufacturing days this doesn't really apply any more.

Marketing organisations, do not use the standard socio-demographics, or old fashioned class divisions. They have breakdowns that divides people into 50 or more segments based on a wide list of factors.

lemongrove Wed 26-Sep-18 21:04:53

I’m not proud or otherwise of my class, it just is what it is.
Didn’t somebody ( aristocracy naturally) say in amazement of someone ‘ the fellow has to buy his own furniture!’
That amused me.

Fennel Wed 26-Sep-18 21:07:21

'In the past the divider was whether you worked with your hands or in an office. In these post manufacturing days this doesn't really apply any more.'
That was the kind of thing I was getting at M0nica . My childhood friends came from families who were coalminers or shipbuilders. whereas my family were office workers. We all mixed in though.
It's not so clearcut now.

Apricity Thu 27-Sep-18 01:21:42

Classy is as classy does. Some people have class and some people don't. It has nothing to do with money, what school you went to or who your parents were - or thought they were.

M0nica Thu 27-Sep-18 09:05:16

I do not have a class and do not understand the question if asked.

lemongrove Thu 27-Sep-18 09:13:57

It’s harder to answer than it was 50 years ago Monica but still, I couldn't say I don’t understand the question if asked, although I may wonder why anyone was asking.

paddyann Thu 27-Sep-18 10:34:25

I went to college with a woman from Liverpool who was obsessed with "class" its not something I ever remember hearing when I was growing up so it was a surprise.She used to tell us she was middle class because she had a car and a fridge freezer! Thats how absurd the whole "class" thing is.If you work for a living ,even if its a high paying job or your own business you are working class.The only ones I would say arent are the royal parasites who depend on us to provide for them and shake hands and smile in return for vast sums over centuries.Everyone else ...if you depend on a wage then you're no different whether you work in McD's or as a surgeon or Ploice Inspector .

Squiffy Thu 27-Sep-18 10:59:58

I think of class more as an attitude. Those with class do not have affected mannerisms, don't brag, are courteous and considerate of others.

I knew a titled Lady, who happily drove up our road in a beaten up old Mini to pick up her cleaning lady. In my job, I came across several people, who would have been thought of as 'upper class', who were very humble, considerate of others and hard-working. I also met several who thought of themselves as 'upper class', who were just the opposite and so 'up themselves' it's not true!

Nonnie Thu 27-Sep-18 12:17:27

Hmm, not sure I agree with some of the above. I would have more respect for a self made person than someone with old money. Maybe that's because DH comes from a council house and, together, we have worked and progressed to a higher standard of living.

I am suspicious of those who find ways to tell us how much more intelligent they are (why did they get tested?), that they had a better education, own a more expensive home or car. Why do they need to tell us that? Oneupmanship?

On the other hand I strongly object to being called a snob because I live in a nice suburb. This is a miss-use of the word snob.

It seems that those in the media work hard at ensuring they have a regional accent, strong in some cases, so that their listeners will feel they can relate to them. That's fine as long as their English is grammatically correct but I get increasingly irritated by things like 'me and ....... went to ....!

Blinko Thu 27-Sep-18 12:29:12

Take President Trump. He is extremely wealthy. Does he have class...?

Fennel Thu 27-Sep-18 12:37:32

From what I've heard etc there is a class system in the USA but it's different from ours (whatever ours is.)
In France too. In spite of the fact that it's a socialist country there's still a large class of apparent descendent of the old nobility who seem to stick together.
Another aspect is social mobility - is this still relevant? There was a book called The Rise of the Meritocracy which came out in the '60s - getting a 'good' education can lift your social status. In those days anyway.

Fennel Thu 27-Sep-18 12:39:16

ps Trump - to me he belongs in the era of the Wild West where he would have been one of the leading lights.

ChaosIncorporated Thu 27-Sep-18 12:44:43

It is about upbringing (I hesitate to use the word breeding) not money.
There are enough classic novels around describing the turmoils of the "genteel poor".
The differences will never disappear. The way we deal with those differences is what counts.

I have a dear friend with enough money to float a ship. She worked for it, coming from extreme poverty. Her roots are completely obvious and she has intentionally kept many of the habits and idioms which formed her, as she couldn't care less where others place her on a 'scale' and is proud of her achievements.
Her boys, on the other hand, are absolute snobs, and middle class every step of the way...expensive middle class nannies, private English boarding school education, education, hobnobbing with a few minor titles, old boy route into very nice careers, and very firmly of the "not quite our type" brigade.
My mother tells me that she thinks they they only invite her to social events because she can probably still buy and sell them, and can be passed off as quaint and idiosyncratic.

It is noteworthy that she is American, and this has played out in that supposedly classless society. She will always be considered "new rich" not "well bred"
We don't own the rights to class distinction. We are just more truthful about it.

HildaW Thu 27-Sep-18 13:37:18

I doubt Trump would have got anywhere without his inherited wealth, pretty much all his businesses have actually lost him money. He would be living in a trailer shooting racoons and wearing a vest if his daddy had not made the money.

ChaosIncorporated Thu 27-Sep-18 13:37:48

*Mother?! FRIEND
Freudian slip.