Thursday, January 19, 2006


I've received this comment :

"if that's true, why do the British Social Attitudes surveys report more and more respondents defining themselves as "working class"?(See also)"

About the following line in my article about Labour:

"The rise of the service industry has increased the size of the group that self-defines itself as middle-class......"


What I should have written is either 'increased the size of the group that is defined as middle-class' or increased the size of the group of "skilled and unskilled workers [who] regard themselves as middle class". This article claims the UK middle-class defined by occupation and status is definitely growing. More interesting, the same survey found that ~ 25 % of people in management still regard themselves as working class. This is possibly due to the:

"The post war boom in so-called professional managerial jobs [which] propelled millions from working class origins to middle class aspirations" [my 'rise of the service industry']

This number seems to have grown over Labour's period in government with people working in "technology, engineering, medicine and teaching" regarding themselves as working class.

The ICM research in 1998 quoted on the BBC webpage also found that 1% of people regard themselves as upper class whereas the figure in terms of status and profession is 22%. From my experience, this is because 'upper class' conquers up images of Lord somebody (dressed in plus-fours and tweed) shooting pheasants outside Chatsworth House. This rules out almost everyone from being upper-class themselves, whilst watching the Fulfords swearing at each other suggests the fabled upper classes are still out there but we haven't noticed because we haven't met any of them (as a consequence of not being upper class). Apparently, it's not just me who's confused about who the upper class are these days.


  • At 9:50 am , Anonymous Lord Bonkers said...

    And what is wrong with wearing plus-fours and shooting peasants?

  • At 9:58 am , Blogger Femme de Resistance said...

    Absolutely nothing. I recall now that I have met a bonafide member of the upper classes.

    He was a friend of a friend and came to one or two of my dinner parties - his parents' lived in a castle in Scotland, he had plus-fours and a leather trunk.

  • At 12:29 pm , Blogger LibertyCat said...

    I hope you meant "pheasants", Lord B.

  • At 8:44 pm , Anonymous Lord Bonkers said...

    I mean precisely what I say.

    Incidentally, if your friend's friend had "plus-fours and a leather trunk" he was probably an elephant.


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