I’ve Been Classified

Established middle class (see also In A Clas Of My Own)

The BBC has created a website on which one can answer a few simple questions that ascertain three basic unscientific elements about ones place in a class society. They use the word ‘capital’ to describe everything within each category, as if one has deliberately accumulated ones personality and Demeanour much in the same way as one might gather material wealth. Presumably there is the assumption that one determines the other. Firstly it looks at the amount of money we earn and/or the amount of savings one has managed to accrue, including the value of any pension funds. This I found surprising, for although my pension ‘pot’ may seem impressive, the actual value of payment upon maturity is frighteningly low: something that had not been factored into their calculation. Even so, my financial resources are, apparently, higher than the average person in the UK, giving me a score of 82 out of 100. Secondly, it queries the social aspect of ones life. The people with whom we associate based on their apparent social and economic standing in the world. I scored reasonably average on this with a total of 40, yet they say that my social network is rather typical. The reason given for my score in this category is because of the type of work I do I rarely have the opportunity to mix with others outside of my professional sphere, an outcome I find baffling. It’s akin to comparing how many friends one might have on a social network with the number and type of friends one may have in the ‘real’ world. In other words, quantity not quality. Finally, the survey asks questions about ones cultural activities and interests. Theatre, opera, music, books, hobbies etc. Well, my result for this category was a ‘clean-sweep’ giving me 100 out of 100 as, apparently, my range of cultural interests is broader than the typical person in the UK. Frankly, I can think of better ways to spend our licence fee.65301_10151595483578698_1320931293_n

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

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