Class system

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  3. Class TestException
  5. Classification of scales
  6. Classroom Notetaking
  7. Information Systems
  9. Lecture 6 The principles of lexical nomination: classification and analysis

British society is said to be very class-conscious. People say that the class system in England is breaking down. But it isnt. The English are snobs. Some things about Britain make sense only to the British. Of these, probably the strangest is social class. They know a persons class as soon as he or she says anything. The pronunciation tells all. You are not upper class just because you have money. Some upper-class people are quite poor, and some working-class people (especially pop stars) are quite rich. Your class is a result of your family, your school, your job, your house, and above all, your pronunciation.

The English are very interested in class. They like books and TV programs about upper-class people and their servants in the old days. But class is not a laughing matter. Working-class children do not do so well at school. And upper-class children, even the not-so-clever ones, have a much better chance of getting a job.

The British society can be roughly divided into seven basic classes:There are three main class divisions in Britain with some in between variations (such as upper middle): upper, middle and lower or working class. And people in Britain are very conscious of class differences.

1) Upper class. The traditional upper-class was always closely associated with the aristocracy. They lived in stately homes and had their character shaped on the playing fields of Eton. There were hereditary elite whose wealth and position were based on property and title. It includes people, usually from rich families, at the top in society, top-government people, PR people, highly-paid managerial elite (often dubbed City Fat Cats). They may have noble titles such as Lord or Lady, and they had attended fee-paying public schools such as Eton, Harrow, and Rugby, and most of them had been to Oxford or Cambridge (education). Many people often think of them as having a particular way of speaking (accent). Because of their connection with the land and the countryside, they are often associated with country sports such as shooting and horse riding. 1% of households

2) Upper middle class.The class of people in British society between the middle class and the upper class. Its members include people such as company directors, professors or barristers, who have a high social status and may earn a lot of money; senior civil servants, senior management and finance, large property owners, managers in large establishments, doctors and lawyers. In modern Britain, however, it is less common to identify people in this way. 3%

3) Middle-class. Middle managerial, is extremely fragmented in particular, has great fluidity and mobility. The social class between the working class and the upper class. It consists of people who are generally regarded as having an average status, education, income, etc. in society. This group includes a) higher professional doctors, journalists, senior architects, accountants, and business executives); b) salaried professionals (sometimes known as The Salatariat) (university and college lecturers, school teachers, local government officials, civil servants, and social workers). In Britain, the middle class is often divided into upper-middle and lower-middle. 16 %

4) Lower middle class. Junior managerial, clerical, non-manual workers. a) Routine non-manual employers, clerks, other office workers a kind of routine white-collar labour force. Clerical work is now becoming female-dominated. Some clerical jobs such as secretaries or telephone operators are almost totally held by women. b) lower grade of administrators and officials, managers in small businesses and industrial establishments, self-employed such as small businesspeople and shopkeepers (but not professional people), salesmen working in shops and similar services. 26%

5) Skilled working class. Oddly enough, it is the working class, at the bottom of the social pile, who have been most closely examined as a class. More ink has been spilled about them than about any other group in British society. They have been portrayed in novels, plays, films, and television documentaries. The working class includes mainly people who do physical work: skilled manual workers in all branches of industry - blue-collar workers. Its regarded as below the middle class in education, background and culture, but many people from working-class families, including those who are well educated and rich, are proud of their family background. Small businesses including self-employed skill-workers, electricians, plumbers, car mechanics, builders, carpenters, decorators. 25%

6) Semi-skilled/Unskilled working class. In all branches of industry and agricultural worker (farm or building labourers,bakers, hairdressers, seamstresses, dressmakers, casual workers picking fruits and vegetables). 17 %

7) Residual/Underclass. Dependent on state benefit, unemployed, occasional part-time. No jobs, no accommodation. Come from the inner city slums. 12%

The different classes in Britain tend to eat different food at different time of the day (and call the meals by different names), they like to talk about different topics, they enjoy different pastimes and sports and have different ideas about the correct way to behave.

The easiest way to guess the class to which the person belongs to is to listen to the way he speaks. A persons accent in Britain is an identity card. Other people will be able to say what social background you come from, where you were born or educated, and what kind of job you do.

Changing an accent is difficult, even for actors. To achieve the desired accent, a British person must speak it from childhood. This is one of the reasons why people still send their children to expensive private schools. It is not that the education there is better, but because, as adults, they will have the right accent and manners.

A persons vocabulary is also very important. Here is a good class-test you can try: when talking to an English person, say something too quietly for them to hear you properly. A lower-middle or middle person will say Pardon?; an upper-middle will say Sorry? (or perhaps Sorry what?); but an upper-class and a working-class person will both say What? The working person, however, will drop the t Wha?

Toilet is another word that makes the higher classes exchange knowing looks. The correct upper word is lavatory or loo. The working classes all say toilet, as do most lower-middles and middle-middles, the only difference being the working-class dropping of the final t.

Here are some more examples:

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