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of social class, with the concept still affecting British society in the early21st century. Although definitions of social class in the United Kingdom vary and are highly controversial, most are influenced by factors of wealth, occupation and education. Until recently the Parliament of the United Kingdom was organised on a class basis, with the House of Lords representing the hereditary upper class and the House of Commons representing everyone else, and the British monarch is often viewed as being at the top of the social class structure. British society has experienced significant change since the Second World War, including an expansion of higher education and home-ownership, a shift towards a services-dominated economy, mass immigration, a changing role for women and a more individualistic culture, and these changes have had a considerable impact on the social landscape. However, claims that the UK has become a classless society have frequently been met with scepticism. Research has shown that social status in the United Kingdom is influenced by, although separate from, social class. Underclass The "underclass" was first identified in the 1990s, a group consisting of the long-term unemployed, elderly pensioners, economic immigrants and those dependent on state benefits, typically living in public housing or council estates, though these have since been replaced largely by housing association properties. Fictional character Frank Gallagher from the television programme Shameless would present a stereotyped example of life in this stratum of British society. Typical Mosaic Geodemographic types for these people are Tower Block Living or Sharing a stair case. The identification of an 'underclass' is controversial, and some have attributed the term more to right-wing rhetoric than reality. Working class Unskilled and semi-skilled working class Traditionally, these people would work in blue collar jobs. They would typically have left school as soon as legally permissible and not have been able to take part in higher education. Many 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, foundries and textile mills in the highly industrialised cities in the West Midlands and North of England. However, since the mid-1970s de-industrialisation has shattered many of these communities, resulting in a complete deterioration in quality of life and a reversal 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 did manage to climb up to the lower middle class.
hotel clerks. specialist IT workers. Fictional stereotypes include Andy Capp and Albert Steptoe. Prior to the expansion in higher education from the 1960s onwards. including and especially property. lower-paid white collar jobs are effectively working class. built for the working classes. but in recent decades showing entrepreneurial development as the stereotypical white van man. Lower middle class The British lower middle class primarily consists of white collar workers and their families living in less affluent suburbs. who is not only unaspirational himself but crushes the aspirations of his son Harold. Member of the lower middle class typically speak in local accents. engineers. Typical Mosaic types for this group include White Van Culture or Affluent Blue Collar. particularly those located in the South East of England and the West Midlands are slightly more likely to vote Conservative than the unskilled working class. particularly in the South East of England in the Medway towns of Kent and the east London border areas of suburban Essex. Votes in this area are split and minority parties will have a stronger proportion. social workers. shipping clerks. but some elements. members of this class generally did not have a university education. teachers. have sprung up in former centres of industry. managers. The comedy character Hyacinth Bucket is a satirical stereotype for this social group. although relatively mild. or self employed contractors. traditionally in the construction and manufacturing industry. Trade union membership and Labour Party support is high. They may have been educated in either state or private schools. Terraced housing in Loughborough. but there are also working class conservatives. They speak in accents which could range from received pronunciation.Some examples of Mosaic geodemographic groups for these people would be Coronation Street or Rustbelt Resilience. railway guards. They are typically employed in white-collar but relatively unskilled service industry jobs such as retail sales. instead they prefer to channel excess income into investments. architects. They are the mainstay of the trade unions and Labour Party vote. rail ticket agents. Skilled working classThis class of people would be in skilled blue collar jobs. It has been argued that with the decline in manufacturing and increase in the service sector. or civil servants. airline stewardesses and ticket agents. Displays of conspicuous consumption are considered vulgar by them. Typical jobs include accountants. business people. Typical Mosaic Geodemographic types for this group include Sprawling Subtopia or for successful British Asians Asian Enterprise. Middle class The middle class in Britain often consists of people with tertiary education. These people would speak in local accents and have craft apprenticeships rather than university education. . as exemplified by Alf Garnett. Call centres in particular. to provincial as well as Estuary English. travel agents. factory and other industrial building owners and low level civil service jobs in local and regional government.
These were predominantly founded to serve the educational needs of the upper middle class. a Marquessate. Many upper-middle-class families may have previous ancestry that often directly relates to the upper classes. called "public schools". This stratum. The majority of aristocratic families originated in the merchant class. 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. and hereditary landowners. of lack of a male heir . they may go to great lengths to get their children into good state schools. From the late 19th century. family seat of the Duke of BedfordThe British "upper class" is statistically very small and consists of the peerage. a Viscounty or a Barony – are typically members of the upper class. traditionally uses the Received Pronunciation dialect natively and was traditionally frequently associated with professionals with tertiary education. Upper class Woburn Abbey. Although such categorisations are not precise. although this group is defined more by family background than by job or income.Members of the middle class are often politically and socially engaged and might be regular churchgoers. Nick Clegg and David Cameron (politicians). it became increasingly popular for upper-class families to mimic the middleclasses. Although not necessarily of the landowning classes . gentry.many families' titles/styles have not been inherited and therefore many families' past status became dissolved. Education is greatly valued by the middle classes: they will make every effort to ensure their children get a university education. The upper middle class are traditionally educated at more prestigious private schools. perhaps. and were ennobled between the 14th and the late 19th century. Upper middle class The Public School is traditionally one of the key institutions of the upper-middle-class in Britain. Helena Bonham Carter (actress). such as moving house into the catchment area. sit on local committees and governing boards or stand for political office. whose children have always constituted the majority of their customers. Matthew Pinsent (rower and TV personality) and Nigella Lawson (television presenter). Those in possession of a hereditary peerage (but not a life peerage) – for example a Dukedom. and then schooled at home by private tutors. in England. an Earldom. in sending their children to public schools. popular contemporary examples of upper-middle-class people might include Boris Johnson. which had been predominantly . upper class children were brought up at home by a nanny for the first few years of life. although they are sometimes unable to afford private schooling.as a result. Typical Mosaic geodemographic types would include Provincial Privilege. as is Jilly Cooper's Howard Weybridge. The comedy character Margo Leadbetter is a satirical stereotype for this group. Traditionally. They typically read broadsheet newspapers rather than tabloids.
The variations between the language employed by the upper classes and nonupper classes has. Some upperclass families with large estates will run their own shoots. the BBC and other broadcasters are now much more willing to use regional accents.P. the wealthiest part of England. in part. Hunting and shooting.P. as a matter of course if they did not speak it already. when children are old enough. "The Queen's English" was once a synonym for RP. However. Accent and language and social class Received Pronunciation. Men will more often participate in polo. At one time people seeking a career in acting on broadcasting would learn R. Use of RP in by people from the 'regions' outside the South East can be indicative of a certain educational background. cricket and golf. BBC English was also a synonym for R. too. but many will know someone who keeps pheasants. although it is not unheard of for certain families to send their children to state schools. but the same can equally apply to the Royal Navy.P. both the British Army and clergy have been the institutions of choice. rugby. Sports – particularly those involving the outdoors – are often regarded as a popular pastime of the upper class. although pronunciation did not become such an indicator until the later 19th century. Equestrian activities are popular with both sexes. and may instead shoot with them. it is still commonplace for upper-class children to attend one of Britain's public schools. or BBC English. the Queen and some other older members of the aristocracy are now perceived as speaking in a way that is both more old fashioned and higher class than "general" R. it may.P. be based on the educational history of the family.founded to serve the educational needs of the middle class. Nowadays. been best documented by linguistic Professor Alan Ross's . U and non-UU Non-U Vegetables Greens Scent Perfume Graveyard Cemetery Spectacles Glasses False Teeth Dentures Napkin Serviette Sofa Settee or Couch Lavatory or Loo Toilet Lunch Dinner (for midday meal) Pudding Sweet Language and writing style have consistently been one of the most reliable indicators of class. but accent has acquired a certain prestige from being associated with the middle (and above) classes in the South East. Phoneticians call this accent "Conservative Received Pronunciation". perhaps. are favoured pastimes. also known as R. or other game. Moving into secondary education. Continuing education goes can vary from family to family. croquet. Popular sports include lawn tennis. However. such as public school or elocution lessons. In the past. they may attend a prep school or pre-preparatory school. was a term introduced as way of defining standard English.
P. most of which have working class or lower middle class connotations: Scouse – The accent and dialect of Liverpool. It also has distinct variations in grammar and vocabulary. showing a tendency to supplant received pronunciation. basically a milder (closer to R. inner-city. especially strong in Merseyside's working-class population. in a publication by Debrett's called 'U and Non-U revisited'. English regional accents In England. South Asia (Indian subcontinent). The discussion was furthered in Noblesse Oblige and featured contributions from. and West Africa. Estuary English – A working class and lower middle class accent from Southeast England. distinct from both RP and the working class accent of the region. as well as remnants of traditional Cockney. "Jafaican". however. Ross also contributed to this volume. some areas have their 'own' prestige accent. colloquially called Jafaican. The debate was revisited in the mid-1970s. and is used mainly by young. phoneticians regard the infusion of Estuary features into received pronunciation among younger speakers to be a natural process. and "Non-U" representing lower middle class vocabulary. with "U" representing upper and upper middle class vocabulary of the time. Geordie – An accent and dialect of north-east England. is a dialect (and/or sociolect) of English that emerged in the late 20th century. England has a wide variety of regional accents for a small country. working-class people in inner London. Nancy Mitford. Mockney is a term used in popular media for a deliberate affectation of the workingclass London (Cockney) accent by middle-class people to gain "street credibility". among others.) form of the London accent. researchers indicate that it is not the language of white youths trying to "play cool" but rather that [it is] more likely that young people have been growing up in London exposed to a mixture of second-language English and local London English and that this new variety has emerged from that . the upper class or prestige accent is almost always a form of RP. Cockney is traditionally the working class accent of East London. It is said to contain many elements from the languages of the Caribbean (Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago). and it is remarkable to notice how little the language (amongst other factors) changed in the passing of a quarter of a century. implies that it is "fake" Jamaican.1954 article on U and non-U English usage. particularly the Newcastle/Gateshead area. Brummie – The accent and dialect of Birmingham and surrounding areas. Although the street name. The London accent is a more broadly defined working and lower middle class accent than Cockney. Multicultural London English (abbreviated MLE). However.
Delaying a heart attack or stroke from one's fifties or sixties to one's sixties or seventies would be a major clinical and personal benefit. That is good news and bad news. Meg. On that basis.LIVE FOREVER A polypill. Pat. Professor Sir Nicholas Wald. it would be a wonderful gift to those who could take advantage of it. is not good news for young employed people. when the current average expectation of life in the UK is already over 80. suggests that it could be given as a routine to everyone over the age of 50. these 11 years only delay the inevitable end result. Even so. As always. More. containing a number of drugs all in one capsule. However. focussing on their own field of special interest. who created the concept of the polypill. My wife. On the other hand. The tax burden on them is already considerable. in general for most people. We shall all die. Medical costs will be increased within these 11 years. Extending the longevity of people who are already wrinkly. there is another consideration. Living for a further 11 years. My parents both lived into their nineties. My blood pressure and cholesterol levels are low. without awareness of wider implications. resulted in blood pressure falling by 12% and harmful LDL Cholesterol falling by 39%. I appear therefore to have good cardiac genes. particularly for older people whose memories may not be as sharp as they once were. if not yet crumbly or powdery. What will it be in this gerontocracy? The recent research evidence shows that a polypill containing three tablets to lower blood pressure and one tablet to lower cholesterol. another study of a polypill containing aspirin as well as two ingredients to lower blood pressure and one to lower cholesterol resulted in a 50% reduction in the risk of a heart attack or stroke. No cost is saved. just as expensively. No lives are being saved for ever. died two years short of our golden wedding anniversary.. regardless of whether the blood pressure or cholesterol is raised.. raises a number of challenging questions: 11 years of what sort of mental and physical life? Where? With what support and by whom? At whose expense? Yet again. Taking medicines all in one go is helpful. I judge these research findings by whether I would myself follow the recommendation. eventually. these are unlikely to be financially productive years so someone else will have to pay for them. could delay death from heart attacks or strokes by 11 years. I . if what is on offer is an additional 11 years of healthy and productive life. If I were to pass that milestone with my wife. Earlier this year. taken every day for 12 weeks by people over 50. I probably wouldn't bother to take a polypill. medical researchers may have tunnel vision.All over 50s 'should be offered polypill': Four-in-one drug could extend life by 11 years and prevent thousands of strokes and heart attacks 10p 'polypill' that could halve the risk of heart attacks and strokes Furthermore.
I'm so happy every day that I think another 50 years like this would be a very good idea indeed. .would be 125.
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