They are available almost every time period. Typical characteristics are: Long-term unemployment, sometimes for generations, living in council housing. Children and teenagers of the underclass are generally associated with “chav” cultureBeen blamed for the 2011 England riots. Working classUnskilled and semi-skilled working classTraditionally, these people would work as manual laborers. They typically left school as soon as legally permitted and could not take part in higher education. Many of them would go on to work semi-skilled and unskilled jobs on the assembly lines and machine shops of Britain’s major car factories, steel mills, coal mines, foundries and textile mills in the highly industrialized cities in the West Midlands, North of England, South Wales and the Scottish Lowlands. However, since the mid-1970s and early-1980s, de-industrialization has shattered many of these communities, resulting in the life quality decrease and an opposite in rising living standards for the industrial working class. Many either dropped in status to the working poor or fell into permanent reliance on welfare dependence. Some dropped out altogether and joined the black market economy, while a limited few managed to climb up to the lower middle-class. It has been argued that with the decline in manufacturing and increase in the service sector, lower-paid office workers are effectively working-class. Call centers, in particular, have sprung up in former centers of industry. Terraced housing in Loughborough, built for the working classes. During the post-war era, their standard of living improved positively.
This class of people would be in skilled industrial jobs or tradesmen, traditionally in the construction and manufacturing industry, but in recent decades showing entrepreneurial development as the stereotypical white van man or self-employed contractors. These people would speak in local accents and have craft apprenticeships rather than university education. Trade union membership and Labour Party support is high, but some elements, particularly the demographic known as Essex Man located in the South East of England and the West Midlands are slightly more likely to vote Conservative than the unskilled working-class.
The British lower-middle-class mostly are office workers and their families living in less affluent suburbs. They are typically employed in relatively unskilled service industry jobs such as retail sales, travel agents, factory and other industrial building owners and low-level civil service jobs in local and regional government. Prior to the expansion in higher education from the 1960s onwards, members of this class generally did not have a university education. Members of the lower middle class typically speak in local accents, although relatively mild.
The middle class in Britain often consists of people with tertiary education and may have been educated in either state or private schools. Typical jobs include accountants, architects, solicitors, surveyors, social workers, teachers, managers, specialist IT workers, engineers, doctors, university-educated nurses and civil servants. They would rather save or invest in extra income that they have. Members of the middle-class are often politically and socially engaged and might be regular churchgoers, sit on local committees and governing boards or stand for political office. Education is very important by the middle classes: they will make every effort to ensure their children get a university education; they may pay for private education, or go to great lengths to get their children into good state or selective grammar schools, such as moving house into the catchment area. They also value culture and make up a significant proportion of the book-buying and theatre-going public.
The upper-middle-class in Britain broadly consists of people who were born into families which have traditionally possessed high incomes, although this group is defined more by family background than job or income. This level, in England, traditionally uses the Received Pronunciation dialect natively. The upper middle-class are traditionally educated at independent schools, preferably one of the “major” or “minor” “public schools” which themselves often have pedigrees going back for hundreds of years. Many upper-middle-class families may have the previous ancestry that often directly relates to the upper classes due to not be inherited from the upper-class family.
The British “upper class” is statistically very small and consists of the peerage (noble), gentry and hereditary landowners, among others. Those in possession of a hereditary peerage (but not a life peerage; for example, a dukedom, a marquessate, an earldom, a viscounty, or a barony/Scottish lord of parliament) are typically members of the upper class. Traditionally, upper-class children were brought up at home by a nanny for the first few years of their lives and then homeschooled by private tutors. From the late-nineteenth century, it became increasingly popular for upper-class families to mimic the middle-classes in sending their children to public schools, which had been predominantly founded to serve the educational needs of the middle-class. Nowadays, when children are old enough, they may attend a prep school or pre-preparatory school. Moving into secondary education, it is still commonplace for upper-class children to attend a public school, although it is not unheard of for certain families to send their children to state schools. Continuing education goals can vary from family to family; it may, in part, be based on the educational history of the family.
The erosion of the class system. The two World Wars had a huge impact on the British society. Man of every class needs to join the war. As the war went on and the soldiers continued fighting next to each other, it caused the two classes to become closer together and altered the way they viewed each other. Also, women take over the men’s job. Society is not divided much by upper class or lower class, but man and woman.
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