Social Classes in Britain Essay Sample

9 September 2017

In this essay on societal categories in Britain I will largely concentrate on construction of assorted categories in Britain and dealingss between them. I will besides depict some alterations and motions which this classes went through over the old ages. Furthermore. I will set accent on today’s of import issue in Britain. the job of category battle i. e. disparity between the rich and the hapless. Although there are assorted definitions of societal category. we may state that societal category is connected with factors such as wealth. degree of instruction and business. To be more precise in specifying it. a societal category is “a position hierarchy in which persons and groups are classified on the footing of regard and prestigiousness acquired chiefly through economic success and accretion of wealth.

Social category may besides mention to any peculiar degree in such a hierarchy. ” [ 1 ] Social categories represent an of import portion in people’s lives because they are indispensable to proper apprehension of British history and because category is a major British preoccupation. particularly in political life. Therefore. it concerned British Prime Minister John Major twenty old ages ago in such a manner that he tried to accomplish his purpose to convey about “classless society” . He didn’t accomplish that and Britain continued to be class-bound state. [ 2 ] Class is really much nowadays in Britain. Besides him. harmonizing to Margater Thatcher: “Class. ” she insisted. “is a Communist construct. It groups people as packages. and sets them against one another. ” [ 3 ] We may reason that to her. category has been corruption of human behavior.

Today there are six societal categories in Britain established in the 1950s and used of all time since. [ 4 ] Following categorization based on the business of the caput of the family harmonizing to National Readership Survey [ 5 ] is for 2008. The upper in-between category ( class A – high managerial. administrative or professional. 4 % ) in Britain is really little and consists largely of baronage. aristocracy and familial landholders. This category is more defined by household background than by occupation or income because these people were born into households that possessed higher incomes. In other words. it represents the wealthiest category with people holding inherited money and place. The in-between category ( class B – intermediate managerial. administrative or professional. 23 % ) in Britain consists of people who are educated in either private or province schools. Typical occupations include attorneies. physicians. designers. instructors. directors. every bit good as civil retainers and other skilled occupations. The lower in-between category ( category C1 – supervisory. clerical and junior managerial. administrative or professional. 29 % ) in Britain consists of people in white-collar occupations ( do non affect manual labour ) life in less comfortable suburbs.

For illustration. they are employed as retail salesmen. railroad guards. air hose air hostesss. travel agents. low degree civil retainers etc. Members of this category frequently did non hold an university instruction until 1970s enlargement in higher instruction. The skilled on the job category ( category C2 – skilled manual workers. 21 % ) consists of people who work in skilled blue-collar occupations ( frequently involve manual labour ) . chiefly in the building and fabrication industry or as self employed contractors. The semi-skilled and unskilled working category ( category D – semi and unskilled manual workers. 15 % ) in Britain consists of people who work in blue-collar occupations with low incomes. What is typical for this category is that people do non hold chance to take portion in higher instruction. Many would travel on to work semi-skilled and unskilled occupations on the assembly lines and machine stores of Britain’s major auto mills. steel Millss. metalworkss and fabric Millss in the extremely industrialized metropoliss. Category E ( province pensionaries. insouciant or lowest grade workers. unemployed with province benefits merely. 8 % ) . known as the “underclass” consists of the long-run unemployed. occasional part-time. economic immigrants. aged pensionaries and dependant on province benefits. Many would be in public lodging or council estates. [ 6 ]

While the fact that people largely mix socially with other people from the same category and milieus gives the incorrect feeling of invariable state of affairs. there has ever been major motion between categories. This motion is a effect of the fact that people move from one societal category to another during working lives. [ 7 ] Some even try to acquire into another. more flush category. through matrimony or in some other manner. “Marriage outside one’s category is much more common than it used to be. Consequently. the ‘extended’ household. including cousins. will likely include people who in their societal life belong to quite different societal categories. ” [ 8 ] For illustration. during the Victorian epoch. when societal category became a national compulsion. industrialists in the House of Commons tried to achieve the position of House of Lords landholders through civilization. matrimony and rubric. [ 9 ] After the Vicorian epoch. things started to alter. “The working category is quickly worsening. In 1911 three out every four employed or freelance people were manual workers. By 1950 that proportion had fallen to two out of three. but since so has fallen to 40 per cent or so. ” [ 10 ] Changes besides occurred after the Second World War.

“Britain’s category construction loosened after the Second World War. The landed nobility became comparatively poorer. the figure of people in manual work decreased and the 1944 Education Act opened universities to more kids whose parents could non afford private education” . [ 11 ] “From a sociological point of position the category system in Britain changed well during the ‘Thatcher Era’ . Home ownership ( on mortgage ) was extended throughout the in-between categories and below. With the loss of the bulk of traditional working category industrial occupations from the market. a new ‘underclass’ . below working category emerged. The ‘underclass’ . defined as unemployed trusting on province benefits. is the new underside of the British category system. ” [ 12 ] “Since the 1950s there has been a monolithic growing of the in-between category. But there has besides been the outgrowth of a ample ‘underclass’ . as class E is normally known. ” [ 13 ]

As opposite. in the 1990s. harmonizing to Andrew Adonis and Stephen Pollard there have been discovered a new upper in-between category described as ‘the ace class’ . which consisted of elect professionals and directors. which held high wages and portion ownership. [ 14 ] Because of such state of affairs. caused by the fact that the in-between category is nomadic and fluid. there has been important alteration in per centums of families since 1992. As the in-between category is spread outing. per centums of classs A. B and C1 have increased. and per centums of classs C2. D and E have decreased. “The in-between category. in peculiar. has great fluidness and mobility. … Over half of today’s in-between category started life in the on the job category. ” [ 15 ] But troubles arise when “despite this fluidness. the elite of society. itself a section of the professional category. takes great attention to protect itself. This includes the ‘gentry’ category made up chiefly of landholders. and others who move in the most sole English societal circles. ” [ 16 ] Therefore. societal categories with a great trade of power are normally viewed as ‘the elites’ within their ain societies. I think the job consists of that societal categories with greater power effort to procure themselves by segregate in ‘closed circle’ above the lower categories in the hierarchy but at the disbursal of the society overall.

In that manner. the category differentiation between the powerful and the powerless is more emphatic. Thus we come to a really of import issue of the category struggle or the category battle which is manifested in wealth spread between the rich and the hapless in Britain. “The category battle takes assorted signifiers. The bulk of category battles today are over ‘economic issues’ . including an increasing portion of national income. ” [ 17 ] “The classical reading of category battle today is between the capitalist ( or having ) category and the labor ( or working ) category. ” [ 18 ] One of the most powerful sociological accounts of societal struggle is that of Karl Marx. who posited a category battle between labor and middle class intrinsic to capitalist. industrial society. “Here is Karl Marx: ‘The history of all hitherto bing society is the history of category struggles’” . [ 19 ] For Marx. category was the kernel of history and of human behaviour and for Thatcher. as stated above. category has been the corruption of both. “Class may non be the kernel of history in the manner that the Marxists and public assistance province progressives one time believed. But neither is it the perversion of history that Margaret Thatcher claims.

Taking a long and wide position. alterations in popular perceptual experiences of British society have been at least every bit of import as alterations in British society itself. and it is in the germinating relationship between these societal perceptual experiences and societal constructions that the history of category is decently to be found and to be studied. ” [ 20 ] Throughout the last three centuries of Britain’s history. there has been much less grounds of category consciousness and category struggle than Marx erroneously asserted. Furthermore. it is an sarcasm that. long before John Major made the phrase stylish during the 1990s. Marx had predicted that a ‘classless society’ would one twenty-four hours come into being. [ 21 ] “Finally. the division between categories will widen and the status of the exploited worker will deteriorate so severely that societal construction prostrations: the category battle is transformed into a proletarian revolution. The workers’ victory will extinguish the footing of category division in belongings through public ownership of the agencies of production.

With the footing of categories therefore wiped off. a egalitarian society will result ( by definition ) . and since political power to protect the middle class against the workers is unneeded. political authorization and the province will shrivel off. ” [ 22 ] But despite everything said. the category system in British society is alive and good and. hence. the job of category struggle is still present. Unfortunately. the spread between the rich and the hapless in Britain has about reached a record degree. “It is besides true that the ‘top’ 1 per cent has tremendous influence and control. … The top 1 per cent of wealth holders likely own about one-fourth of the nation’s wealth. a big bead from the two-thirds they controlled in 1914 but a larger proportion than one might anticipate in a modern democracy. “ [ 23 ] It is rather distressing information that such disproportion and inequality exist in Britain. but unluckily the really rich merely go on acquiring richer. “The latest study by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation confirmed once more what we already know about the turning spread between rich and hapless. It says that it is now greater than it has been for the last 40 old ages. There has been an addition in the figure they define as ‘breadline poor’ to around a one-fourth of all families. ” [ 24 ] “By contrast the wealth of the richest in society has immensely increased.

This year’s Sunday Times ‘rich list’ shows that the addition in wealth of the top 1. 000 people in Britain has been 20 % in one twelvemonth to around ?360 billion. You have to hold ?70 million merely to acquire on the bottom round of that list. ” [ 25 ] That sort of informations surely tell us that the spread is excessively broad and that something must be done to contract it down. I think some of the best ways to make it are: the demand for increased revenue enhancements on the super rich. equal chances ( e. g. abolition of the public school sector ) . more equal redistribution of the wealth. the transnational companies owned by the rich demand to go publically owned etc. But this would non stop the huge inequalities in British society. nor work out jobs such as category struggle because unluckily. inequality is built into the system. Merely as Dennis Gilbert asserted: “Class is bound to be in any complex society as non all businesss are equal and that families do organize form of interaction that give rise to societal categories. ” [ 26 ]

To reason. obviously societal categories affects everyone and they are decidedly relevant. as has been proven through history of Britain. When the upper category give up from insulating itself from other categories and when rich people quit mundane ‘rat race’ to better or keep their place in societal life. possibly so will Britain make beginnings of conditions for a genuinely classless society. Although. harmonizing to per centums from NRS. there have been some betterment. there is still present really broad spread between the rich and the hapless and likely will hold existed for some clip. Hence Britain must set all its attempt into contracting the wealth spread and stamp downing category battle because “classes do non be because there is a struggle ; the struggle exists because there are categories and it is easy for the strong to work the weak. The category domination is in economic favoritism and non in the colour of your tegument or your gender. To take the side of the hapless or the rich is to take against the other. the oppressed against the oppressors. one category against the other. ” [ 27 ]


1. ) Business Dictionary. Social Class: Definition. 2010. 24 June 2011. 2. ) David Cannadine. The Rise and Fall of Class in Britain. 2010. 24 June2011.

3. ) Social class. A Categorization Tool. 2009. Ipsos MediaCT. 24 June 2011.
4. ) McDowall. D. ( 2000. ) . Britain in close-up. London: Longman 5. ) James Petras. Capitalism and Class Struggle. 25 April 2011. 24 June 2011.

6. ) The Latter Rain Page. Class Struggle. 2009. 25 June 2011.

7. ) R. J. Rimmel. Marxism. Class Conflict and the Conflict Helix. 2010. 26 June 2011.

8. ) Socialist Party. Social Class in Britain Today. 30 August 2007. 26 June 2011. & lt ; hypertext transfer protocol: //www. socialistparty. org. uk/articles/3075 & gt ;

9. ) Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Social Structure of the United Kingdom. 18 June 2011. 26 June 2011.

10. ) Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Social Class: United Kingdom. 20 June 2011. 26 June 2011.
& lt ; hypertext transfer protocol: //en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Social_class # United_Kingdom & gt ;

11. ) Andy McSmith. The Large Question: Has the Divide Between Britain’s Social Classes Really Narrowed? . 4 November 2008. The Independent. 26 June 2011.
hypertext transfer protocol: //www. independent. co. uk/news/uk/home-news/the-big-question-has-the-divide-between-britains-social-classes-really-narrowed. hypertext markup language & gt ;

[ 1 ] Business Dictionary. Social Class: Definition. 2010
[ 2 ] McDowall D. . 2000. . p. 93.
[ 3 ] Cannadine D. The Rise and Fall of Class in Britain. 2010
[ 4 ] McDowall D. . 2000. . p. 93.
[ 5 ] Social class. A Categorization Tool. 2009
[ 6 ] Social construction of the United Kingdom. 18 June 2011
[ 7 ] McDowall D. . 2000. . p. 93.
[ 8 ] McDowall D. . 2000. . p. 93.
[ 9 ] Social Class: United Kingdom. 20 June 2011
[ 10 ] McDowall D. . 2000. . p. 93.
[ 11 ] McSmith A. The large inquiry: Has the divide between Britain’s societal categories truly narrowed? . 4 Nov 2008 [ 12 ] Social Class: United Kingdom. 20 June 2011
[ 13 ] McDowall D. . 2000. . p. 93.
[ 14 ] Social Class: United Kingdom. 20 June 2011
[ 15 ] McDowall D. . 2000. . p. 93.
[ 16 ] McDowall D. . 2000. . p. 93.
[ 17 ] Petras J. Capitalism and Class Struggle. 25 April 2011
[ 18 ] The Latter Rain Page. Class Struggle. 2009
[ 19 ] Cannadine D. The Rise and Fall of Class in Britain. 2010 [ 20 ] Cannadine D. The Rise and Fall of Class in Britain. 2010 [ 21 ] Cannadine D. The Rise and Fall of Class in Britain. 2010 [ 22 ] R. J. Rimmel. Marxism. Class Conflict and the Conflict Helix. 2010 [ 23 ] McDowall D. . 2000. . p. 95.

[ 24 ] Socialist Party. Social Class in Britain Today. 30 August 2007 [ 25 ] Socialist Party. Social Class in Britain Today. 30 August 2007 [ 26 ] Social Class: United Kingdom. 20 June 2011
[ 27 ] The Latter Rain Page. Class Struggle. 2009

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