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Do we judge people by their class

(230 Posts)
cheelu Sun 06-Jan-13 23:25:07

Are we open minded and accepting of people of all kinds or are we more likely to make friends with people of our own class. I have found that it is only in the UK that we have this snobbery, what do you think....and I know I am treading on thin ice.......

grannyactivist Mon 07-Jan-13 00:14:45

I would like to think that I am open minded and accepting of people, but the truth is I have prejudices. What I try to do is acknowledge this to myself and if the occasion arises to challenge myself.

marthanne Mon 07-Jan-13 01:05:10

I don't think its snobbery - we choose people who have similar tastes to ourselves. What I choose to do is what pleases me, within reason. Other people do the same, mostly , so we choose friends similar to what we like eg I don't like swearing so I choose not to be with someone who swears. Of course, it depends on how financially well off one is , to what we do socially.

kittylester Mon 07-Jan-13 07:28:08

I agree with ga (again). We all have prejudices but I try to know what mine are and ignore them. I started a thread like this last year cheelu and it ended up being quite unpleasant.

Mamie Mon 07-Jan-13 08:13:57

Why do you think it is only in the UK, cheelu? In many ways I find France much more rigid, with far less class movement. In the UK people seem to me to be much more accepting of business and enterprise, whereas here you have your métier and you stick to it. French education involves a series of examination hurdles and there is a lot of competition, including the choice of schools, to reach what seems to be the pinnacle of achievement, a top job in the civil service.

Riverwalk Mon 07-Jan-13 08:23:26

No I don't seriously judge people by their class but like anyone else I probably make sweeping assumptions at times!

Cheelu there is snobbery in all societies but if you don't live in a country, as opposed to visiting on holiday, you're not likely to notice it. smile

Joan Mon 07-Jan-13 08:28:25

I judge people, if I judge at all, by their behaviour towards others. I don't care about class as such - here in Australia class isn't much of an issue, but it does exist on the basis of wealth and where you live and which (expensive) school you send your kids to.

But there isn't the accent thing here - they all sound the same except immigrants like me.

Grannyknot Mon 07-Jan-13 08:38:10

Joan having been born and bred in South Africa and lived there for 50 years (in the UK for the past 12) - the ins and outs of the class system are a happy mystery to me. There were much bigger struggles going on there...

flowerfriend Mon 07-Jan-13 09:05:08

Class is less of an issue now than it was forty or fifty years ago. Thank goodness!

Joan Mon 07-Jan-13 09:10:37

You must have some interesting tales to tell about SA, Grannyknot! We have friends who lived in Port Elizabeth, but they left for NZ and then Australia about 5 years before the end of apartheid. They still get homesick for SA though, rather than for the UK, which they left while about 21 years old.

vampirequeen Mon 07-Jan-13 09:16:10

I'm quite happy talking to people from any class from L our local rough sleeper (his choice many have tried to get him to go into a hostel but he won't) to P (Old Etonian) who is like my brother.

However like most people I'm complex and I also have a snob streak a mile wide. This generally appears when I'm talking about people I don't like. Poverty/wealth doesn't bother me but dirt does. That's what triggers my snob gene. I know I look down on people who live in dirty houses (not untidy but those where you can smell the dirt).

Barrow Mon 07-Jan-13 09:49:42

I think we "judge" people more by appearance than by class. I try not to do this but I think we are all guilty of it sometimes.

The first time I met the lady who became my closest friend I really had doubts about her, she was a biker, wore leathers, had long black hair down to her waist and had tattoos. Once I got to know her I found she was kind, generous and had a really wide range of interests from art to ballet to Harley Davidsons'!

Ella46 Mon 07-Jan-13 10:01:58

Some of the nicest people I've met were bikers with piercings and tattoos, and some of the worst were so called 'upper class'.
I judge by how uncomfortable/anxious, some people's behaviour makes me feel.
If I feel happy in their company, then they are ok.

Nelliemoser Mon 07-Jan-13 10:44:27

I would use the term "making assumptions about people rather than "judging" them (ie as good or bad.)

These days you cannot usually make a guess at someones class by their accent in quite the way you used to be able to. Listen to the posh Eaton schooled politicians very few have those dreadfully posh accents the same types would have had even 40yrs ago.

I a bit of Nannying/mothers helping way back in the late 60s.
Most families were old money middle class, but it was possible to feel very different as an employee in different households. It was something subtle about how I was spoken to, all were polite but with some I just felt they didn't quite like treating an employee as an equal.
Some very posh thinking people seem to look down on talking to mere mortals if the haven't met them before. Its the "not our sort of people" attitude.

When talking to people generally it is not accent I go on but usually how easily and willingly someone will have a casual chat or joke with you.
Otherwise its probably what they say rather than accent or dress style how and how prejudiced they seem when talking about anything.

nanapug Mon 07-Jan-13 11:23:39

I try to be open minded about class and status BUT I really do struggle with the nouveau riche types who clearly have money but are so tarty. I was sitting in the car at Waitrose car park the other day and watched a lady (?) who had three designer dressed children,a brand new Land Rover, and she herself was fake tanned and "designer" from head to toe. She just left her trolley by her car and the words coming out of her mouth were not pleasant. I so wanted to get out of the car and ask her who she thought was going to put her trolley away. She clearly thought she was "special" and I hate that sort of attitude. Hope I haven't opened a can of worms here, and I will quickly add a IMHO ;)

nanaej Mon 07-Jan-13 11:27:51

Do as you would be done by! My mother brought me up to think this way, it was really her life motto.

I have prejudices that I work hard to challenge and I hope I mostly overcome.

I do get on with a wide range of people from different backgrounds but I cannot like racists or right wingers of any 'class'!

Movedalot Mon 07-Jan-13 11:29:39

I think I'm a bit like Barrow and first impressions are usually based on how people look. How wrong they can be! Many years ago I was at the top of an escalator with a pushchair and a young man dressed as an extreme punk came up and offered to carry the pushchair down for me. He was lovely but had we not spoken I think I would have formed a negative impression of him.

When we were househunting in Surrey an Estate Agent had taken down my Solihull address and said 'but you come from round here don't you?' She had assumed that because I sounded middle class it was not possible to come from what she perceived to be the 'north'. I did find quite often that I was judged and found wanting in the southeast because I had come from north of Watford. On one occassion a colleague was really bitchy so I asked if she believed people were better the further south they came from and she agreed that she did. I asked her where she was from, Chesham (Bucks) and told her that I came from Poole (Dorset)!

Fortunately I find people where we now live to be friendly and not very interested in what class we come from. I do however think this is a complex subject and prejudice occurs in all 'classes'

Grannyknot Mon 07-Jan-13 12:15:15

movedalot you've just reminded me that when we bought our first flat in the UK - on a (lovely) council estate because that was what we could afford - the estate agent kept saying to us "You do realise it's ex local authority" in the plummiest accent he could muster (or maybe he did have a plummy accent). We were very happy there for many years and had lovely neighbours. Joan yes I probably do smile

Barrow Mon 07-Jan-13 13:22:20

I grew up on a council estate and if someone needs to put me in a "class" I would say I am working class. When we moved into the village I now live in an acquaintance said that we were now middle class! I replied that as far as I was concerned anyone who had to work in order to live was working class!

Movedalot Mon 07-Jan-13 13:26:52

Barrow we once had a snobby neighbour who saw the sterilised milk on our doorstep which we had ordered because FiL was coming to say and said she thought it was working class. I responded that as she worked she was also working class but that as I didn't I was a kept woman. That shut her up!

jeni Mon 07-Jan-13 13:38:49

Nanapug I agree with you.

Many years ago, I was trying to arrange our wedding. I went to meet the local vicar at our parish church. I was a medical student and went straight from the ward, dressed in skirt and top with an anorak and flat shoes. No makeup and hair s ragged back into a ponytail.
I was informed it was not possible to have the date I wanted as it was a popular date. He then Enquired as to my address. I gave him my parents address which was in what was probably the most expensive road in our town.
Immediately his attitude changed. He double checked his diary and miraculously found that yes, it was possible!
I changed my mind and got married in my old family church instead in westbromwich instead of the fashionable church in great Barr that was my parish church.

celebgran Mon 07-Jan-13 13:42:21

Joan you are spot on |I always used to say to my kids it is not how clever you are (my son is Clever, Cambridge degree etc) but how you treat people that matters, always respect others and try to behave decently towards EVERYONE!!

Not sure that worked with my daughter!

i totally agree about cleanliness, I am stickler for that, but bit dust or untidyness well that is different.

I am guilty of probably judging people but I do try not to so much now, do you think we become more tolerant as we get older?

I went to girls high school and was probably one of the poorest in the class, it did not really bother me but I suppose I was hate to say it a little embarassed by our cottage, we had just one cold tap in bathroom!
a tiny immersion heater and old fashioned boiler Mum used to heat water in.
It was far cry from my best friends house - but we stayed firm friends until she left and went to uni not an option for me - I could not even stay on after 16 - not being self pitying just a fact.

sometimes the most wealthy people are the nicest!
do think the noveau rich as they called are probably the worst!

celebgran Mon 07-Jan-13 13:43:31

by way welcome home Jeni! dont worry about the extra pounds you are in good company!!

hope you had an amazing time!

celebgran Mon 07-Jan-13 13:44:35

Jeni that is horrid, what a snobby vicar!!

I am not suprised you got married in different place!

glammanana Mon 07-Jan-13 15:20:52

nanapug that woman sounded a right madam indeed,just goes to show you what my nanna would say "all fur coat and no knickers" she was probably having to look after her children herself without the help of a "nannie" or au pair.
I take every one as I find them and if I don't like anyone it shows right away irrellivent of their up bringing.