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Maciamo
25-09-06, 15:48
Social classes exist in any society, whether we want it or not, whether we are aware of it or not.

Introduction to the meaning of 'social class'

Traditionally social classes were determined mainly by birth (e.g. caste, nobility...) and wealth. Nowadays, as money can be made and lost more quickly than ever before, and people in the developed world have easier access to knowledge (e.g. free compulsory education), what distinguishes classes is the mindset, manners, behaviour, values, tastes and education in the broader sense (general knowledge, beyond diplomas). It has always been like that, but wealth does not necessarily match one's social class anymore (although often it still does).

Usually the parents' own class, education level, job and wealth during childhood are more relevant in determing one's social class than the person's own education level, job and wealth. This is because a person's mindset, character, manners, etc. are usually determined in childhood, before puberty. It is already possible, and relatively easy, to recognise a child's social class from his/her behaviour around the age of 6 or 7.

Discussion

What image (job, education level, status, function...) do you associate with each of the following social class ?

- upper class
- upper-middle class
- middle class
- lower class


------------------------------------

Here are my personal impressions :


- the upper class : probably makes up less than 0.1% of the population in Western countries. They are extremely rich from generation to generation, or from the high nobility. They live in castles or very big properties, with servants for almost everything (cleaners, cook, chauffeur, accountants, financial advisors...) There is usually very little chance of meeting them for people outside that milieu. They socialise and marry almost exclusively within that social class, and arranged marriages are still common. When they are not owners or CEO of big companies or high-ranking politicians, they do not really work but live off the profits generated by their real estate properties, stocks or other investments. In many capitalist countries, and especially in the USA and UK, it is the most influencial class that makes all the big decisions for the country economy and politics.

- the upper-middle class : composed chiefly of well-to-do and well-educated professionals, such as managers, cadres, lawyers, doctors, engineers, accountants, insurance brokers, university professors... They are predominantly an intellectual class, who read a lot and may like debates more than others. They usually have more cultural interests, like art exhibitions, theatre, classical music, etc. They dress more conventionally (e.g. suits) and/or soberly than average. This is the kind of people that prefer sports such as tennis, golf, sailing or horse riding.

- the middle class : the biggest chunk of society. They are all the people with "normal" jobs, like shop assistants, clerks, office workers (secretaries, helpdesk, sales people...), floor-level civil servants, school teachers, plumbers, electricians, carpenters, bus/taxi/truck drivers, farmers, cleaners, social assitants, etc.

Sometimes the "middle class" is further divided in a "lower middle class" for less skilled or less educated jobs, so as not to put teachers and cleaners in the same category. However, as it is difficult to determine where the limit should be, and because education levels may vary a lot even for the same job description (e.g. civil servant), I prefered having only one "middle class" for all.

- the lower class : mostly poorly educated people with little job opportunities beyond (often undeclared) unskilled construction or factory workers. More often they are not employed at all and have no choice but to live off the social security system (at least in Europe), with almost no prospect of finding permanent employment. A big part of them are immigrants from developing (or not even developing) countries. Homeless, people, "bad boys" (vandals, pretty criminals, petty gangsters), or such people also belong to this category. One characteristic of this class is that their poor presentation and language abilities (or strong accent, even if native speaker) may not even be good enough to get an unskilled customer-oriented job. Naturally this is also the class with the highest crime rate. Most of the serial criminals in prisons belong to this category.

Ma Cherie
27-09-06, 01:19
Interesting, very interesting indeed. :smoke:

My image of each social class,

The upper class or capitalist are the ones who control the means of production. They usually have education from the most prestigious universities and they have jobs as top executives and theyfre heirs.

The upper middle class are folks who have very decent careers and have college education (postgraduate degrees and higher). I would agree that these folks are more cultured and are professionals. Theyfre also more likely to belong to some kind social club.

Itfs strange to see how social class is divided here in the US, especially when you get down to the middle class area in particular.

Now itfs the lower middle class, the working class, the working poor and the underclass.

The middle class are people with low management jobs and have some kind of college education. (Probably just a bachelorfs degree or associates). But people of this class live comfortably.

The lower middle class are people with jobs such as teachers, nurses, office workers, etc.

Then therefs the working class, they consider themselves having greal jobs.h Ifm assuming this means taxi drivers, construction workers, clerical workers, etc.

The working poor, well thatfs pretty self-explanatory. They work full-time and theyfre still poor. These people live on minimum wage, but still have a difficult time making ends meet. An example of a working poor person is someone who works at a fast food restaurant or perhaps someone who busts tables for a living. The most education they may have doesnft go beyond high school.

The lower class or the underclass are the people that are criminals, they have no education due to dropping out of high school. I would agree that most of the people in this category donft have the opportunity to find a stable job. And I would include panhandlers in this category as well.

Kinsao
28-09-06, 15:09
Okay, my stereotypes...

upper class
More rich than I could imagine. O_o Having inherited money, and a wealthy upper class ancestry going back a long way. They live in mansions, in some cases castles, or huge country houses, and have several properties, abroad as well as in this country (UK). They don't have to work for a living because they can get enough money to live off from interest on what they already have. They play around with stocks and shares, property and other financial things beyond my comprehension. Hunt, shoot, fish. Have libraries in their homes, roaring log fires, servants, and pedigree dogs. Except for special occasions they wear incredibly boring looking clothes that nevertheless cost an absolute fortune.

upper-middle class
They could be people with inherited wealth but less of it than the upper class, or most likely people who are more newly rich, i.e. their family has made its money within the last 2 or 3 generations, through a profession. These would be 'high up' working people, such as company managers, doctors, accountants and generally, wealthy professional people.

middle class
Relatively 'ordinary' people, with a comfortable income, probably thinks a university education is the norm. Can be irritating by aspiring to be 'higher' class and therefore becoming a bit snobbish. Lives in suburbia and has 3 new cars.

lower class
Do unskilled, low-paid, often dirty or unpleasant work, or else they are on the dole. Don't talk proper. Looked down on by most people in the other classes. Has no hobbies except sex, football and watching TV. Oh, and drinking. Don't eat healthily, have too many kids, smoke too much.

....
It's actually pretty difficult to make stereotypes because the boundary between 'lower class' and 'middle class' is a bit hazy to me. I've always been used to referring to 'working class' rather than 'lower class'. This of course excludes people on the dole (or out of work), but it does include people doing 'salt of the earth' jobs that actually do have skill in them, like road-mender, bricklayer, electrician and plumber. Skilled electricians and plumbers earn as much as a 'middle class' person, but the nature of their job makes people regard them as 'working class' - but not as 'lower class'. ;-) Similarly, someone working in retail or in a call centre would probably think of themselves as 'working class' rather than 'middle class' because of the lowness of the wages.

:mad:

Minty
03-10-06, 00:25
-The upper class: They are people like Paris Hilton, George Lucas, Tom cruise, Angelina Jolie, Oprah winfrey...etc basically Hollywood people or multibillionaires or royalties. They socialize and marry almost exclusively within that social class and they protect each other. Some of them work successfully to become wealthy while others are born wealthy. They have so much money that their pets wear diamond necklaces. They are also so rich they are capable of making themselves richer, like the French actress Monica Bellucci and her husband, because their professions get taxed a lot in France they decided to live in Britain, but they fly back and forth to Paris to appear on television or movies.

- The upper-middle class: composed chiefly of the highly educated professionals like lawyers, doctors, engineers, accountants, dentists... They are smart and intelligent and they usually socialize among themselves. They usually like to talk about politics or the economy. They are quite wealthy and intellectual but not necessarily well dressed, and they are usually people who play golf, tennis, and they go to restaurants and socialize a lot.

- The middle class: The average people, in Europe they made up the largest percentage in the population. They are people who have jobs that pay not very well but commonly found in societies like waitresses, cashier, plumbers, teachers, secretariescetc

- The under class : This group consists of the refugees and the other immigrants in Europe. Mind you in Europe usually immigrants are the lower class but in Anglo English speaking countries it is not necessarily the case as there is business immigration and sometimes I feel the Asian immigrants have more money than the white community because of its tough immigration laws, except for the Asians came to Australia by refugee status.

In Europe as there is no such thing as business immigration, so the immigrants are usually the underclass. Most of them are North Africans followed by blacks and Asian boat people and lastly Latinos. They live in ugly, cheap neighborhoods and either work in very low pay labor work or they are criminals.

It appears that in Europe the Asians are usually the people with very low pay jobs, which is why I never see Asians dining in restaurants. I am always the only one because they canft afford it where as in Australia I remember a lot of Asians I know dine in restaurants quite often.

The North African communities seem to be the ones who commit the most crimes; there are more of them in jail charged of criminal activities than any other ethnic groups. They don't look very welcome by Europeans from my point of view.

Maciamo
03-10-06, 00:36
-The upper class: They are people like Paris Hilton, George Lucas, Tom cruise, Angelina Jolie, Oprah winfrey basically Hollywood people or multibillionaires or royalties.

Funny, I wouldn't classify any of the people above as upper class. They are all very rich middle or upper-middle class. They lack the political or economical power (e.g. Warren Buffet, Bill Gates...), the pedigree (high nobility, famous ancestors, influential family...) and the way of speaking (posh accent) of the upper class. Paris Hilton is even "anti-upper-class" in my eyes.

Minty
03-10-06, 00:56
Funny, I wouldn't classify any of the people above as upper class. They are all very rich middle or upper-middle class. They lack the political or economical power (e.g. Warren Buffet, Bill Gates...), the pedigree (high nobility, famous ancestors, influential family...) and the way of speaking (posh accent) of the upper class. Paris Hilton is even "anti-upper-class" in my eyes.

Well maybe my classification of what is the upper class is different from yours...*shrugs* I believe you need money to become the upper class and money can purchase power. If they did not originate from nobility families then they are considered the new rich the new upper class, who become rich from making a lot of money from their new found wealth and it is not something that they inherited from associations with royalties. Also not all countries/ethnic groups continuously have royalties. For example, there are Chinese elite but they do not have royal blood lines.

I notice in the US when they are famous and wealthy enough they can move into influential sphere. Like Arnold schwarzenegger for example.

Ma Cherie
03-10-06, 01:00
Perhaps it's an issue of status. Celeberties do have alot of influence over certian people. Personally, I wouldn't consider Tom Cruise, George Lucas, and definitely not Paris Hilton do not really have what I would consider "class."

Minty
03-10-06, 01:13
Perhaps it's an issue of status. Celeberties do have alot of influence over certian people. Personally, I wouldn't consider Tom Cruise, George Lucas, and definitely not Paris Hilton do not really have what I would consider "class."

I don't think they have influences over the political spheres but they do have influences over the media which is a popular medium. I supposed with Paris because she is a bimbo she has a lot of people not recognizing her, that I know...and similar things with other actors... However considering she can so easily get into the Hollywood circle because of her background it does say something about her social status, and she certainly doesn't need to work like other middle class people and she appears to have more wealth than the middle upper class professionals.

Maciamo
03-10-06, 09:44
Many artists come from the middle and often also lower class. It is even more obvious for famous sports people. I do not know any famous football player who is above "middle class" (not even upper-middle class).

Maciamo
03-10-06, 10:31
I don't think they have influences over the political spheres but they do have influences over the media which is a popular medium. I supposed with Paris because she is a bimbo she has a lot of people not recognizing her, that I know...and similar things with other actors...

Many lower class people have a lot of influence. Just look at all these Islamic leaders from poor countries. When could even say that historical religious leaders like Jesus or Mohammed were rather lower class too. Many communist leaders, like Lenin, Stalin or Mao, came from the lower or middle class. As I said in my introduction, one's social class is not determined by who they become, but by the milieu in which they grew up ,and the education they received in their childhood. I am convinced, from experience and observation, that someone's social level is determined by the age of 12, and is often already clear by the age of 6.

Ma Cherie
03-10-06, 21:51
Yeah, I think at times it's an issue of status. Which is different from social class. Then that makes me wonder, can you have power without having money?:?

Minty
03-10-06, 22:46
Many artists come from the middle and often also lower class. It is even more obvious for famous sports people. I do not know any famous football player who is above "middle class" (not even upper-middle class).

I can see that your definition of the upper class is what I know as the gOld Richh, where as I do define the gNew Richh also as the upper class as long as they have enough power and money in the society.

Just wondering on your opinion on this Maciamochow about those rock n roll royalty? They did get the title "sir" from the Queen. Also how about the heirs of the Chinese royalties who no longer has the title because of what happened to China? And now that the new rich Chinese have more economic and political influence than them?

Kinsao
12-10-06, 13:33
It appears that in Europe the Asians are usually the people with very low pay jobs, which is why I never see Asians dining in restaurants. I am always the only one because they can’t afford it where as in Australia I remember a lot of Asians I know dine in restaurants quite often.

I don't know whether this is perhaps different in the UK than some other European countries... :? Here, Asians are often quite well-off (in some cases very wealthy) businesspeople. In the 1950s-'60s, many people came from the Indian sub-continent to the UK. They often opened up shops or other businesses (hence the stereotype of the "Indian who owns a corner-shop"). By this time, 50 years later, when these people are older and there is the second generation, these have often flourished into pretty lucrative businesses. For example, in my city there are a lot of Asian jewellers, doctors, estate agents, solicitors and textile-factory owners (to name a few). These people generally earn a "middle class" amount of money (at least - obviously more in the case of doctors etc.), own 2 or 3 new cars, big house, dine out in restaurants... etc. etc. :relief:

Of course, where I am "Asian" people are mostly Indian or Pakistani. There is a small community of people from East Asia, and I don't really know what "class" they tend to be generally considered :bluush: but here, East Asian people are pretty well-respected. For instance, there isn't prejudice against them in the same way as there is against Middle Eastern or some European people, because they are not perceived as being either potential terrorists or economic migrants. :bluush:

Ma Cherie
13-10-06, 03:56
There is a situation similar here in the US about Asians. In fact, people of Asian descent are considered to be "model minorities." This is also true for Jewish Americans. However, this label has contributed to certian stereotypes. Oh and I think Arab Americans are also beginning to fall into the "model minority" group. Though I'm not entirely certian. :?

And I just found out that there is more divison as the social ladder goes further down the bottom. In the US homeless people are at the bottom or just people who fell out of the social class system.

Maciamo
13-10-06, 10:50
I don't know whether this is perhaps different in the UK than some other European countries... :? Here, Asians are often quite well-off (in some cases very wealthy) businesspeople.
First of all we have to define who are the "Asians", as I am pretty sure that Minty is talking about East Asians (Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai...) except the Japanese, while you are talking about Indians (and not all of them are called Lakshmi Mittal).

It helps to know that most of the Indians, Bangladeshi or Pakistani living in Europe live in the UK, because of Britain's colonial past... In the Netherlands there are quite a lot of Indonesians (for the same reason). In France, most Asians are Vietnamese, Laotians (again, ex-colonies) and Chinese. In Belgium, they are mainly Chinese or Thai. In Germany, most of the Asians are Turks. ;-)
In Belgium, I also rarely see East Asians dine out apart from the tourists, and they is an increasng number of Chinese tourists (but not so many Koreans it seems). Around the Grand Place of Brussels, there are even souvenir shops catering almost exclusively to this new wave of Chinese tourists, with Chinese staff and signs in Chinese ! My wife often gets "nihao" from restaurant staff in touristic areas, because Chinese tourists have now completely overtaken Japanese tourists in number.

Maybe we rarely see immigrant Chinese or Thais dine out because most of them own restaurants !

As for "model minorities", I feel it is the Indians in the UK that have done the best among non-European immigrants in all Europe.

East Asians do not cause problems, and indeed make people happy because of the Chinese or Thai restaurants they open. The generation born in the country (a tiny number in Belgium) tends to integrate without much trouble, but many still stay in the family business (restaurant) without socialising much with the locals (outside school). France has more East Asian immigrants, and maybe because the Vietnamese and Laotians already spoke some French when they arrive, and did not intend to go back to their war-torn country when they came, most of them have really become true French citizens, with regular jobs and socialising with French people more than with other immigrants.

In any case, we can say that East Asian immigrants are perceived much more positively than Moroccan or Congolese immigrants. Few immigrants are seen as "very positive". East Europeans, Indians and East Asians receive fairly neutral feedback from locals, sometimes slightly negative, sometimes slightly positive, depending the the persons and their experiences. Black African immigrants are seen from slighlty to very negative depending again on the people. Moroccan immigrants are almost always and unconditionally seen as negative or very negative. At the last local elections 5 days ago, the anti-immigration far-right party still made big gains in Flanders (with majorities in a few municipalities), and I am convinced that this party wouldn't get a tenth of their votes had they never been immigrants from Morocco in Belgium, even if as many had come from, say East Asia, India or Eastern Europe.

Maciamo
13-10-06, 11:30
I can see that your definition of the upper class is what I know as the gOld Richh, where as I do define the gNew Richh also as the upper class as long as they have enough power and money in the society.
Yes, and as long as these new rich behave like the upper class. Class is all about behaviour and mentality. It is possible to change it, but for 99% of the people it won't change from their childhood to their death even if they get much richer. Well, actually, now that I think about it, it is much easier to go down than up. Some people lose everything in life, get depressed, become alcoholic and maybe homeless, and thus can pass from any class to the very bottom of society. But that's still fairly rare.


Just wondering on your opinion on this Maciamochow about those rock n roll royalty? They did get the title "sir" from the Queen.
Their class is the one you would attribute them based on the way they speak, think and behave if you met them without knowing who they were and how rich they were. I can tell someone's class after talking to them for a few minutes, sometimes before I even know their name !


Also how about the heirs of the Chinese royalties who no longer has the title because of what happened to China?
If they are still educated like royalities, still think of themselves as the heirs of Chinese emperors, still act, think and behave like royalties would have done, then they are still upper class. The same thing happened in Europe during the French Revolution; nobility was abolished, but the nobles remained noble, and many of them, or their descendents, claimed their nobility back when monarchy was restored. There are still descendents from the Bourbon family (to which the last kings of France belonged) who claim to be the heirs of the throne of France (the current pretender is Henri, Count of Paris and Duke of France (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henri%2C_Comte_de_Paris%2C_Duc_de_France)).

Minty
17-10-06, 01:31
First of all we have to define who are the "Asians", as I am pretty sure that Minty is talking about East Asians (Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai...) except the Japanese, while you are talking about Indians (and not all of them are called Lakshmi Mittal).
It helps to know that most of the Indians, Bangladeshi or Pakistani living in Europe live in the UK, because of Britain's colonial past... In the Netherlands there are quite a lot of Indonesians (for the same reason). In France, most Asians are Vietnamese, Laotians (again, ex-colonies) and Chinese. In Belgium, they are mainly Chinese or Thai. In Germany, most of the Asians are Turks. ;-)

Err... East Asians are only Chinese, Mongolians, Japanese and Koreans. Thai, Laotians...etc are South East Asians...


In Belgium, I also rarely see East Asians dine out apart from the tourists, and they is an increasng number of Chinese tourists (but not so many Koreans it seems). Around the Grand Place of Brussels, there are even souvenir shops catering almost exclusively to this new wave of Chinese tourists, with Chinese staff and signs in Chinese ! My wife often gets "nihao" from restaurant staff in touristic areas, because Chinese tourists have now completely overtaken Japanese tourists in number.

Maybe we rarely see immigrant Chinese or Thais dine out because most of them own restaurants !

But many South East Asians and East Asians in Australia own restaurants too!

Seriously in Europe (besides UK) there is no such thing called business immigration (a very difficult to qualify kind of immigration, don't believe me you can read it from the immi.gov.au website) where as English speaking Western countries all seems to have. Except for those who married citizens here vast majority of the Asian immigrants here come from refugee backgrounds or illegal immigration backgrounds and they are indeed very poor.


As for "model minorities", I feel it is the Indians in the UK that have done the best among non-European immigrants in all Europe.
East Asians do not cause problems, and indeed make people happy because of the Chinese or Thai restaurants they open. The generation born in the country (a tiny number in Belgium) tends to integrate without much trouble, but many still stay in the family business (restaurant) without socialising much with the locals (outside school). France has more East Asian immigrants, and maybe because the Vietnamese and Laotians already spoke some French when they arrive, and did not intend to go back to their war-torn country when they came, most of them have really become true French citizens, with regular jobs and socialising with French people more than with other immigrants.
In any case, we can say that East Asian immigrants are perceived much more positively than Moroccan or Congolese immigrants. Few immigrants are seen as "very positive". East Europeans, Indians and East Asians receive fairly neutral feedback from locals, sometimes slightly negative, sometimes slightly positive, depending the the persons and their experiences. Black African immigrants are seen from slighlty to very negative depending again on the people. Moroccan immigrants are almost always and unconditionally seen as negative or very negative. At the last local elections 5 days ago, the anti-immigration far-right party still made big gains in Flanders (with majorities in a few municipalities), and I am convinced that this party wouldn't get a tenth of their votes had they never been immigrants from Morocco in Belgium, even if as many had come from, say East Asia, India or Eastern Europe.

Well I am not sure about UK, I have heard of the Indians who receive pretty good reputations but I have also heard that the Chinese there are also very diligent.

In Australia in classes of Medicine in the University I went to, I heard from a reliable source, there were 1/3 of the students that are Chinese.

Considering Chinese is a minority in Australia and that medicine is a difficult degree, the Chinese community is doing relatively well. I have also heard praises from Aussies about overall East Asian's performances in mathematics in schools.

Maciamo
17-10-06, 11:00
Err... East Asians are only Chinese, Mongolians, Japanese and Koreans. Thai, Laotians...etc are South East Asians...

For me (and for Lonely Planet guide books), East Asia includes North East Asia (Japan, Korea, Mongolia & China) + South East Asia (from Burma to the Philippines). Its easier to have a term for all this area because it represents all the Mongoloid countries together. Naturally Papua New Guinea is not part of South East Asia for me, as its people are closely related to Australian aborigenes.


Seriously in Europe (besides UK) there is no such thing called business immigration (a very difficult to qualify kind of immigration, don't believe me you can read it from the immi.gov.au website) where as English speaking Western countries all seems to have.

I agree and that's a shame. I really wish that this changes. I believed that this is caused by the rotten Socialist parties in power in a lot of European countries (Blair's Labour is different though) that have made of immigration of kind of charitable humanitarian act rather than a rational economic policy. As a result all the "good", qualified and motivated immigrants go to English-speaking countries, while all the scum of the world goes to Europe because even other developing countries (and sometimes their own country) don't want them.


Well I am not sure about UK, I have heard of the Indians who receive pretty good reputations but I have also heard that the Chinese there are also very diligent.

That's probably because the Indians tend to be more peaceful better at learning languages (and so adapting to a new country) and more eager to learn, and the Chinese are indeed reputed for being hard-working and money-conscious, so they aren't going to wait lazily that the government take them in charge, unlike the African immigrants who are happy as long as they get bad but free social acommodation and can watch TV all day.


In Australia in classes of Medicine in the University I went to, I heard from a reliable source, there were 1/3 of the students that are Chinese.

That doesn't surprise me. When I was in Australia I was apalled at the fact that many of the Australians I met had very little "general knowledge" about medicine or anatomy (e.g. didn't know that their lever was on the right side of their belly). I found the (white) Australians to be good at sports and partying but usually had close to zero general knowledge (e.g. 2 persons out of 3 had no idea where Belgium was, when they knew it was a country at all !)

In Belgium medicine is a much more popular subject to study than in Britain or Australia because doctors have high salaries (in the UK it is pretty much fixed by the NHS) and there is still a lot of prestige associated with the title. So the vast majority of medicine students are Belgian, but also French because of the quota limits in France (so many come to study in Belgium). I do not have the data, but from what I remember when I visited the medical faculty, among non-European immigrants it is Black Africans that are the most numerous (esp. Congolese, Rwandese or Burundese, the ex-colonies of Belgium). Medicine seems to be one of the most popular university subject for Black Africans, certainly because of all the health problems in these countries.

Maciamo
29-10-06, 17:07
Another good model of social classes is the one proposed by William Lloyd Warner in his 1949 book "Social classes in America". It is still very valid nowadays. The Warnerian division of society comprises 7 classes :


* Upper-upper class. "Old money." People who have been born into and raised with wealth; mostly consits of old noble or prestigious families (e.g. Vanderbilt, Rockerfeller, Hilton).
* Lower-upper class. "New money." Individuals who have become rich within their own lifetimes (e.g. entrepreneurs, movie stars, as well as some prominent professionals).
* Upper-middle class. High-salaried professionals (e.g. doctors, lawyers, higher rung (were in the corporate market, yet left for a reason such as family time) professors, corporate executives).
* True-middle class. Professional with salaries and educational attainment higher than those found among lower-middle class workers (e.g. bottom rung professors, managerial office workers, architects)
* Lower-middle class. Lower-paid professionals, but not manual laborers (e.g. police officers, non-management office workers, small business owners).
* Upper-lower class. Blue-collar workers and manual labourers. Also known as the "working class."
* Lower-lower class. The homeless and permanently unemployed, as well as the "working poor."


I mostly agree, but I insist that class is still more a matter of values, manners and mindset (i.e. education in its broadest sense) than job description or salary. IMHO, this classification is too much salary-based, as the "lower-upper-class" category suggests.

Another American, Paul Fussell (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fussell%2C_Paul) classifies Americans according to the following classes:



1. Top out-of-sight: the super-rich, heirs to huge fortunes
2. Upper Class: rich CEOs, diplomats, people who can afford full-time domestic staff, and some high salaried, prominent professionals (examples include surgeons and some highly-paid types of lawyers)
3. Upper-Middle Class: self-made well-educated professionals
4. Middle Class: office workers
5. High Prole: skilled blue-collar workers
6. Mid Prole: workers in factories and the service industry
7. Low Prole: manual laborers
8. Destitute: the homeless and the disreputable (but still free)
9. Bottom out-of-sight: those incarcerated in prisons and institutions

I agree, atlthough there is not much necessity dividing the already tiny number of people making up 1 and 2. Another thing I find strange is that manual workers are divided in 3 categories, but the more varied middle class only makes one category. 8 and 9 is what I call the underclass.

Based on these two models, I will attempt a new model with as many strata as necessary to describe society, although they do not really match what I consider to be classes. Let's just call it a division of the socio-economic strata, regardless of people's education.


1. Top Upper Class : "Old money." People who have been born into and raised with (extreme) wealth; mostly consits of old noble or prestigious families.
2. Upper Class : rich CEOs, diplomats, people who can afford full-time domestic staff. Mostly "new money", but with high education as well as power in society.
3. Nouveau riches : all the celebrities who have become rich and famous thanks to the arts or sports, make extravagent disply of their money, but lack the economic or political power of the above.
4. Upper-Middle Class : well-educated professionals (lawyers, doctors, engineers, bank managers, accountants, professors, interpreters, airline pilots...)
5. Middle Class : skilled non-manual workers (non-management office workers, nurses, school teachers, flight attendants, etc.) as well as shop assistants, sales people and other less specialised job requiring a good presentation.
6. Lower Middle Class : skilled manual workers (plumbers, carpenters, electricians, mecanics, farmers, taxi/bus/truck drivers, etc.), as well as fire-fighters, sports trainers/teachers, etc. All the messy or sweaty job which require skills and have reasonable (or even very good) salaries.
7. Upper Lower Class : low-skilled, low-paid jobs (supermarket cashier, cleaner, low-rank police officer, waste collector, etc.)
8. Lower Class : low-skilled, low-paid and tough manual jobs (low-skilled factory workers, peasants in poor countries, etc.), and the other working poor.
9. Underclass : the destitutes (homeless, beggars...)
10. The outclassed : the criminals (murderers, rapists, gangsters, robbers...)

Minty
29-10-06, 19:10
Another good model of social classes is the one proposed by William Lloyd Warner in his 1949 book "Social classes in America". It is still very valid nowadays. The Warnerian division of society comprises 7 classes :



I mostly agree, but I insist that class is still more a matter of values, manners and mindset (i.e. education in its broadest sense) than job description or salary. IMHO, this classification is too much salary-based, as the "lower-upper-class" category suggests.

Another American, Paul Fussell (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fussell%2C_Paul) classifies Americans according to the following classes:

Well when you started this thread you didn't divide the upper class into two sections, so I wasn't wrong in my perception of my classification of the upper-class.


I agree, atlthough there is not much necessity dividing the already tiny number of people making up 1 and 2. Another thing I find strange is that manual workers are divided in 3 categories, but the more varied middle class only makes one category. 8 and 9 is what I call the underclass.

Based on these two models, I will attempt a new model with as many strata as necessary to describe society, although they do not really match what I consider to be classes. Let's just call it a division of the socio-economic strata, regardless of people's education.


1. Top Upper Class : "Old money." People who have been born into and raised with (extreme) wealth; mostly consits of old noble or prestigious families.
2. Upper Class : rich CEOs, diplomats, people who can afford full-time domestic staff. Mostly "new money", but with high education as well as power in society.
3. Nouveau riches : all the celebrities who have become rich and famous thanks to the arts or sports, make extravagent disply of their money, but lack the economic or political power of the above.
4. Upper-Middle Class : well-educated professionals (lawyers, doctors, engineers, bank managers, accountants, professors, interpreters, airline pilots...)
5. Middle Class : skilled non-manual workers (non-management office workers, nurses, school teachers, flight attendants, etc.) as well as shop assistants, sales people and other less specialised job requiring a good presentation.
6. Lower Middle Class : skilled manual workers (plumbers, carpenters, electricians, mecanics, farmers, taxi/bus/truck drivers, etc.), as well as fire-fighters, sports trainers/teachers, etc. All the messy or sweaty job which require skills and have reasonable (or even very good) salaries.
7. Upper Lower Class : low-skilled, low-paid jobs (supermarket cashier, cleaner, low-rank police officer, waste collector, etc.)
8. Lower Class : low-skilled, low-paid and tough manual jobs (low-skilled factory workers, peasants in poor countries, etc.), and the other working poor.
9. Underclass : the destitutes (homeless, beggars...)
10. The outclassed : the criminals (murderers, rapists, gangsters, robbers...)


I like this classification of yours about social class better than your previous.:cool:

Maciamo
29-10-06, 19:51
I like this classification of yours about social class better than your previous.:cool:

Let's say that it fits better the American definition of social class (money and apperances) than the European one (the person you really are beyond the money and the apperances).

Minty
30-10-06, 23:14
Let's say that it fits better the American definition of social class (money and apperances) than the European one (the person you really are beyond the money and the apperances).

Well as you know I grow up in Australia and I am East Asian. The world that I grow up with has always been materialistic, and as my education is mainly done in Australia, vast majority of our textbooks come from the US.

But if you know me well in person, you would have realized I am not really that materialistic compare to other East Asians but I would be lying if I say I am not materialistic at all.

Ma Cherie
31-10-06, 01:13
Let's say that it fits better the American definition of social class (money and apperances) than the European one (the person you really are beyond the money and the apperances).

When you say social class goes beyond money and appearance are you talking about in terms of manners and how people behave? Difference in personality? What values a person may have?

Maciamo
31-10-06, 10:03
Well as you know I grow up in Australia and I am East Asian. The world that I grow up with has always been materialistic, and as my education is mainly done in Australia, vast majority of our textbooks come from the US.

I have lived 6 months in Australia, and all I can say is that I see it as a small version of the US South (Queensland would be Florida, and the rest would be mostly Texas, California and what's in between). I noticed that North-East Asians are much closer to the Americans than the Europeans, for their materialism, self-centrism, ignorance of the world, emphasis of education to get a job rather than to form the mind and give the passion to learn, etc.

These are countries where money make your respected, while in Europe people try to hide their money so as not to engender envy, jealousy and troubles. In the USA, Australia and East Asia, people's aim in life is to be rich, get married and have children; in Europe it is to be happy, with or without being riched or being married. Let's say that Europeans have a much more philosophical approach and value more quality of life over symbols and status. In a sense, Europeans care less about what other people think of them, they are more independent-minded.

Europe is not a society of "losers" and "winners" like in the US and East Asia. What makes you respected is your education, your behaviour, your manners or general knowledge, your kindness, your talent, possibly even your lineage (e.g. nobility), BUT not your money or your job title. Here ministers, who have special car plates, change their car plates to normal ones for discretion's sake (they put their ministerial plate behind the windscreen when parked in areas reserved for government cars to prove their identity). I think it reflects well this difference of mentality. In East Asia, modesty is usually valued, but when it comes to money, I was shocked to find out that showing off was not only okay, but almost necessary to gain people's respect.

Kinsao
31-10-06, 16:26
I noticed that North-East Asians are much closer to the Americans than the Europeans, for their materialism, self-centrism, ignorance of the world, emphasis of education to get a job rather than to form the mind and give the passion to learn, etc.

I understand what you are saying, but it sounds a bit harsh on Americans while making it sound as if Europeans are guiltless in these respects. I mean, in Europe there is also a lot of materialism, people wanting top brands, best cars, etc. etc., aren't we also the continent that is the home of a lot of fashion, traditionally, "London, Paris, New York" being capitals of style! (:p ) ... sure there is plenty of materialism here as well. :hihi: (But I know you weren't trying to say that all Europeans are immune from this! :p )


Let's say that Europeans have a much more philosophical approach and value more quality of life over symbols and status. In a sense, Europeans care less about what other people think of them, they are more independent-minded.

That's a good way of putting it. :)

Maciamo
31-10-06, 21:15
I understand what you are saying, but it sounds a bit harsh on Americans while making it sound as if Europeans are guiltless in these respects. I mean, in Europe there is also a lot of materialism, people wanting top brands, best cars, etc. etc., aren't we also the continent that is the home of a lot of fashion, traditionally, "London, Paris, New York" being capitals of style!
I noticed in big Parisian department stores (Galeries Lafayette, Printemps) and expensive boutiques that those who buy a lot of European brands in clothes and accessories are first and foremost Japanese (Louis Vuitton sells over half of its worldwide production in Japan), then other Asians (increasingly the Chinese) as well as Americans (some specific brands like Dolce & Gabbana, Versace...). So yes, Europe, and esp. France and Italy, produce the most famous brands in fashion, but I rarely see Europeans with Chanel or Vuitton bags and Yves-Saint-Laurent or Armani suits (at least not young people). In Japan, it is hard to find a girl that doesn't have at least one Vuitton bag (+ numerous other brand bags of course). If you don't in Japan or are a social outcaste. If you do in Europe, people will jeer at you (yes, even in well-to-do bourgeois milieu).

Likewise, few people buy Ferrari or Rolls; only those who are so rich they don't know what to do with their money. People don't work hard in order to buy a Ferrari (well, I don't know any) - they have other priorities. In the US and East Asia, people work hard and even borrow money in order to buy stuff which they can't afford, so as to look richer and show off. That is materialism.