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How do you define 'Class'?

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naomi24 | 10:04 Mon 12th Apr 2010 | Society & Culture
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With the election looming, there's been much discussion on 'Class' on here lately, so how do you, personally, define 'Class'?

Take, for example, someone born to a poor family living in a deprived area in totally inadequate rented accommodation, but who is bright enough to pass an exam to enable them to get a place in a good school and gain a good education. They then work hard to succeed in their chosen career, become a high earner, and subsequently buy a house in a much more affluent neighbourhood, enjoying the foreign holidays, cars, and all the other things the fruits of their labour has brought them. What 'class' would you place such a person in, and do you applaud their success or resent it?


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Class is a notion defined by certain stereotype it has a lot to do with income but there is also elements of background, attitudes and values and education too.

I don't think you can accurately categorise someone on the information that you've given because we don't know enough anout their attitudes and values from that description.

People like Alan Sugar tend to think of themselves as working class despite their money and much of that is to do with their values.

Personally I applaud their success and some of those values but I do deplore certain working class "values" such as a distrust of "book learning" and education. You often see that in people who value "common sense" over "experts".

Mind you - you see that in Upper classes too like these appalling comments from Prince Charles
you have to take into consideration a lot of things such as, education, job, house quality, morals and some other stuff.

Footballer, are dam rich, can send their kids to private school and enjoy a high quality of life, but most of them are as thick as two short planks and i consider them to be working class.
So are you saying, mollykins, that working class people are as "thick as two short planks"?
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no, but footballers tend to be thick, uncivilised people.
Frank Lampard is supposed to be very intelligent....
That's a sweeping judgement Molly...!!!
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Regardless of class one can always have style.......

But I must say a lot of the people I have met who would by common definitions be upper or upper-middleclass have been among the most down to earth no frills folk who accepted anybody and everything

I have met with more negative attitudes snobbery and sadly predjudice from some working class and lower middle class individuals but I stress these were individuals

The only really 'classless' people I have met have been artists, musicians and writers Not that they lacked refinement but they just seemed oblivious to social status
on the footballer point

Apparently quite a few footballers have relatively high IQs but I think it is restraint they seem to lack rather than class Still if you were young and could afford a different car every day of the week and earnt as much in a week as 5 nurses earn in a year I guess you could afford to be a little unrestrained
but the big question is, what class would you define yourself as.

i'm upper working, we don't live in a council hosue but we're not snobs, we don't earn that much and i go to a state school so not quite middle class.
I know Red but....If I made a statement like that my parents would have told me off...!!!
My Grandad is a millionaire....does that make me upper class? Errrr....NO
Social class has (officially) nothing to do with income (although people in higher social class jobs usually do get paid more) it is to do with skill level. A good example is this-- someone who works as a cleaner for a company is working class but if that person then carries on doing exactly the same job but becomes self-employed they are then middle class.

If I learnt anything at all in my Xx years it was don't get too tied up with labels and definitions. They can restrict your options and can make you lower your aspirations

Set your sights high, work hard and look for and take every opportunity that comes your way... my mum wouldn't send me to grammar school when I was young as it wasn't for 'people like us' although I was offered places at really good London schools.

Treat everyone you meet with kindness and respect, believe you are a wonderful valuable individual and go for it..
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//don't get too tied up with labels and definitions. They can restrict your options and can make you lower your aspirations //

Absolutely right! Rowanwitch says her mother wouldn't send her to grammar school because it wasn't for people like them, and I have a friend who was in a similar situation. She wanted to work in an office, but her mother said 'if the factory is good enough for me and your sister, it's good enough for you'.

I actually think in this day and age, the perceived class system is maintained and exacerbated by such attitudes, and those attitudes come only from people who resent what they see as privilege, regardless of the background or of the effort that has gone into raising one's standard of living by one's own efforts.
I define class like this. There's everyone else (lower class) then there's me!
You're in a class by yourself, Justincider :-)
I'm a working class snob......

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