British class / American class
There’s been a survey doing the rounds on the good old BBC website to help you define which class of British person you are.
Really. Go on, do it!
I took it and I am Established Middle Class British, which I am a bit miffed about because that means I am AVERAGE.
Anyway, it is an amusing (and not entirely accurate) quiz to do, and one that my American chums might wish to partake in to see what they would be classed as if they were British.
My twitter friends and I debated about this quiz and British class-ness for a while with my favourite comment being: ‘class is more accent and word usage’ (like tea/dinner and loo/toilet and scone (skon) or scone etc). How the British class debate will forever rage on me thinks!
It made me wonder about the British class system in comparison to the American one.
This is what I found:
Social class in the United States is a controversial issue, having many competing definitions, models, and even disagreements over its very existence. Many Americans believe in a simple three-class model that includes the “rich”, the “middle class”, and the “poor”. More complex models that have been proposed describe as many as a dozen class levels; while still others deny the very existence, in the European sense, of “social class” in American society. Most definitions of class structure group people according to wealth, income, education, type of occupation, and membership in a specific subculture or social network.
Sociologists Dennis Gilbert, William Thompson, Joseph Hickey, and James Henslin have proposed class systems with six distinct social classes. These class models feature an upper or capitalist class consisting of the rich and powerful, an upper middle class consisting of highly educated and affluent professionals, a middle class consisting of college-educated individuals employed in white-collar industries, a lower middle class, a working class constituted by clerical and blue collar workers whose work is highly routinized, and a lower class divided between the working poor and the unemployed underclass.
So, it appears that it is based on money? Materialisam? Interesting…..
I need a dinner party with some American friends to get the lowdown (this probably means that I will be inviting upper-middle class and middle class Americans, just by the nature of having a dinner party….). Perhaps I should invite people from all ends of the spectrum so that I can better understand it. Or better yet, why don’t I get on The View and ask those nice ladies….. 🙂
Anyway, this Established Middle Class Brit is popping off for a herbal tea in her undies, so that she doesn’t look quite so average……. 😉