Daily Headline – 03/04/13

Class rethink

Class StruggleWhen we think of class we tend to categorise it into the following groups:

Working Class
Middle Class
Upper Class

Or possibly:

Working Class
Lower Middle Class
Upper Middle Class
Upper Class

Marx would define these groups by people’s relationship to the means of production and labour power, for example:

Working Class (proletariat) – Worker
Middle Class (petit-bourgeoisie) – Small business owner, cannot employ anyone
Upper Class (bourgeoisie) – Business owners who employ others

For some time now there have been people saying that this classification is too outdated and no longer has relevance in the 21st century.

A new survey in the UK (the largest study of class in the UK) has created a new system involving 7 classes:

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

There is a test you can take to see what class you are under the newly defined criteria, click here.

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