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Social classes

social classes

The BBC has carried out a huge sociological survey of more than 161,000 people with the aim of reflecting modern occupations and lifestyles.

The  study measured economic capital – income, savings, house value – , social capital – the number and status of people someone knows, and culltural capital, defined as the extent and nature of cultural interests and activities.

The results have shown that traditional British social divisions of upper, middle and working class seem out of date in the 21st Century. Researchers have presented a new model made up of seven groups.

The new classes are defined as:

  • Elite – the most privileged group in the UK, distinct from the other six classes through its wealth. This group has the highest levels of all three capitals.
  • Established middle class – the second wealthiest, scoring highly on all three capitals. The largest and most gregarious group, scoring second highest for cultural capital.
  • Technical middle class – a small, distinctive new class group which is prosperous but scores low for social and cultural capital. Distinguished by its social isolation and cultural apathy.
  • New affluent workers – a young class group which is socially and culturally active, with middling levels of economic capital.
  • Traditional working class – scores low on all forms of capital, but is not completely deprived. Its members have reasonably high house values, explained by this group having the oldest average age at 66.
  • Emergent service workers – a new, young, urban group which is relatively poor but has high social and cultural capital.
  • Precariat, or precarious proletariat – the poorest, most deprived class, scoring low for social and cultural capital.

Take the test to see where you fit in.

The Great British class calculator

(Source: BBC News)


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This entry was posted on 05/04/2013 by in Reading, Social Issues.
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