Who are the working class?

version

Well-known member
I'm seeing more and more arguments about who is and isn't working class atm and very few people seem to be able to come up with a decent answer. The impression I currently get from politicians and the media is that "working class" is just shorthand for "white, socially conservative northerners," but then there are also people arguing someone working as a barista in a city and renting has a greater claim to being working class than a tradesman who owns a home up north... (... Grace Blakeley recently caught some flack for arguing this... )
 

john eden

male pale and stale
We did a thread on this a while ago in which I pointed out that millionaire footballers were not working class, to mixed response.
 

other_life

bioconfused
there are also people arguing someone working as a barista in a city and renting has a greater claim to being working class than a tradesman who owns a home up north... (... Grace Blakeley recently caught some flack for arguing this... )
this should not be a controversial claim, in america this is not (really) a controversial claim. is this a controversial claim to make in the uk/europe?
 

other_life

bioconfused
i used to be an unreconstructed third worldist (and an unreconstructed stalinist 🤐) so i would have said "oh if you're a barista -or- a homeowning tradesman you're Labor Aristocracy in a global sense all the same" but i'm becoming more and more skeptical of the conclusions tw-ists/ml's draw from that claim (but not the basis they make it on, necessarily)
 

boxedjoy

Well-known member
the idea is that you're "common" if you drink tea and eat bacon rolls, and you're "posh" if you drink lattes and eat croissants. But you can go into any branch of Greggs (a cheap and cheerful food chain across the UK, for anyone who hasn't heard of it) and get the latter just as easily and low-cost as the former. Meanwhile, going to uni used to be a lot less normalised, now some schools send upwards of 50% of leavers on to a course.

These are only two examples off the top of my head but I think they show that the traditional stereotypes of what consitutes "posh", and subsequently your class status (or least the perception of), are being eroded.

All the people I know who grew up in a very obviously working-class background will all agree that it's not something that leaves you. I've got pals who've become teachers and scientists, but they'll always still be interpreting the world in the ways their roots have shaped them to.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
All the people I know who grew up in a very obviously working-class background will all agree that it's not something that leaves you. I've got pals who've become teachers and scientists, but they'll always still be interpreting the world in the ways their roots have shaped them to.
Thinking about my own family, both my parents were born into working-class families but were part of the generation where lots of people had essentially moved into the (lower) middle class by the time they came to have kids of their own. Helped by going to university in my mum's case, although my dad didn't. Maybe that doesn't happen any more, or maybe it's going to start happening more in the other direction, I dunno.
 

other_life

bioconfused
i think there's a parallel trend in the states of the children of generation x and later witnessing that kind of downward mobility via their parents
 

WashYourHands

Well-known member
Dogging - what do you drive? You don’t drive? Then how the fuck did you get here? The bus? You pikey cunt

Etc. Class riddled isle of code manners
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Dogging - what do you drive? You don’t drive? Then how the fuck did you get here? The bus? You pikey cunt

Etc. Class riddled isle of code manners
Imagine going for a good old dirty dogging session and then getting the bus back to the town centre... with a bunch of your fellow-doggers. I'm imagining a whole lot of very awkward gaze-avoiding. We are British, after all.
 

version

Well-known member
Middle class people working in coffee shops just get called stuff like "overeducated and underemployed" whilst remaining middle class. There doesn't seem to be a point at which they ever become working class.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Middle class people working in coffee shops just get called stuff like "overeducated and underemployed" whilst remaining middle class. There doesn't seem to be a point at which they ever become working class.
Perhaps if they identified as working class there might be some real change in this country.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
At a bare minimum, the Labour party needs to face the fact that retired, home-owning social conservatives and young, financially insecure social liberals have essentially no interests in common.
 
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