When we think of class we tend to categorise it into the following groups:
Lower Middle Class
Upper Middle 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For some time now there have been people saying that this classification is too outdated and no longer has relevance in the 21st century.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.
I took the test and came out at ‘Traditional working class’
New affluent worker. Damn my petit bourgeois step father!