A lecture that I recently attended, ‘Class + Society’ by Sean O’dell, explored the different social classifications and class scales that are present within society today and throughout history.
A recent BBC survey claims that people in the UK can now be split into seven social classes, as opposed to the traditional three ‘upper, middle and working’.
The seven new classes are described as:
Elite- the most privileged group in the UK, distinct from the other six classes through its wealth. This group has the highest levels of all three capitals
Established middle class – the second wealthiest, scoring highly on all three capitals. The largest and most gregarious group, scoring second highest for cultural capital
Technical middle class – a small, distinctive new class group which is prosperous but scores low for social and cultural capital. Distinguished by its social isolation and cultural apathy
New affluent workers – a young class group which is socially and culturally active, with middling levels of economic capital
Traditional working class – scores low on all forms of capital, but is not completely deprived. Its members have reasonably high house values, explained by this group having the oldest average age at 66
Emergent service workers – a new, young, urban group which is relatively poor but has high social and cultural capital
Precariat, or precarious proletariat – the poorest, most deprived class, scoring low for social and cultural capital
In my opinion, ‘class’ is relative and whether you choose to pay attention to it is a personal preference.