Societal constructs

meleeka

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It's a weird way to react outwardly, but you can't blame people for thinking it.

Ultimately, you do need some level of extra income in order to have much to do with horses, unless you're very lucky. That is way out of reach for a big chunk of society. There are lots of people living paycheck-to-paycheck, and traditionally being middle class was about having a level of comfort financially (along with other things).
l have a few acquaintances who manage to keep multiple horses on benefits. I’ve no idea how they do it but I guess it’s about priorities. The horses live in fields so not livery yards.
 

ArklePig

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I always think of class as being inherent as opposed to your current circumstances if that makes sense.

For example, that quiz has me as established middle class, yet I was born to two parents who worked in factories, and my grandad worked in a mill all his life. I feel kind of class homeless, too working class for some but too middle class for others. My families circumstances got better for a period, but my sister always says being the poorest kid at pony club gave her her drive.
I admit I see myself as more working class. A lot of my friends are in the same situation though, our mobility as it were, a result of us being one of the last cohorts to have more financially accessible university education in Ireland, which sadly has been more commercialised over the past 10 years.

Anyway like others upthread I agree it's an outdated concept. Horses cost a lot and anyone who has access to them is lucky , but calling someone middle class as a put down is pathetic.
 

paddy555

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According to the Test I am traditional working class, really? We are farmers, and I went to a Private School.
I suppose our income and the fact that we don't own the house might have something to do with it. We don't really socialise apart from other "farm workers."!!!
I am "elite" goodness knows why as I only went to a state Grammar. . When it got to the socialise bit I only put farm workers.
 

palo1

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Wrt horses - in these parts, horses are not so much a class thing as they are very commonly kept - the kind of horse you have however is more of a statement. Hill ponies and point to pointers seem to go together almost as commonly as pedigree sheep and proudly bred Welsh cobs! Middle class newcomers seem to have showjumpers or dressage horses - both considered very arriviste pursuits lol. The scruffiest ponies/horses almost inevitably belong to the wealthiest/most established landowners. Social constructs are hugely flexible and always highly contextualised...
 

Gloi

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I have no contributions to make to discourse on the British class system, I just can't believe the amount of people who do their own shopping. I've had a weekly delivery since I moved to Belfast in 2016. Life is too short.
I like supermarket shopping 😜 I vary where I go to nosey round, but buy most of my stuff in Booths.
 

GSD Woman

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Interesting ideas on class. By raising and education I guess I'm middle class. I also own my house, with a mortgage, in a working class neighborhood. I buy most of my staples at Walmart. A friend called it the "ghetto Walmart." I buy my meat and fish at Lidl or a more expensive store, Kroger. And that stuff is either marked down or on sale.
When I had my horse I lived with my parents and cut my expenses to the bare minimum. I drove a car with no air conditioning. May not sound like much but where I live the summers can be brutal.
 

Peglo

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Interesting thread. I don’t think there is much of a class system up here. (That I see 🤷🏼‍♀️) Everyone was farmers or fishermen. There likely was a class system at some point but it died a while ago. Because of that I don’t think it makes you look like a snob to have horses because it was usually farmers kids that had land that had horses. My grandparents were farmers and so had land so I could get a pony. I couldn’t have even one horse if I had to pay livery. I’m most certainly on a working class wage but I love my job. My OH went to university and has a good job so we live comfortably. (Even with my 3 horses 😂)

Of course we have massive snobs and folk that think they are upper class but they are everywhere.

As for Lidl’s….. you will not get me in that shambles of a shop!! To then have to go to tescos anyway because you can’t get everything you need. Nope nope nope!! Crap shop. Can never find anything. And it smells weird. That’s my (possibly snobby) rant over. And yes I feel better 😂😂
 

ycbm

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It's not class that stops me shopping in Waitrose, Booths and M&S, it's the price.

I had a cleaner when I used to work. She used her Christmas bonus to buy a Boden toilet brush holder when mine come from a pound shop.

Does anyone whose opinion matters really care about what class people are any more?
 

Deltofe2493

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It's not class that stops me shopping in Waitrose, Booths and M&S, it's the price.

I had a cleaner when I used to work. She used her Christmas bonus to buy a Boden toilet brush holder when mine come from a pound shop.

Does anyone whose opinion matters really care about what class people are any more?
Meaning money/price doesn't always equate class. And someone said earlier some of the richest people are the cheapest people. Which is how the rich stay rich LOL.

My sister came out as Elite on that survey, she earns under 50k and doesn't own her own home and didn't go to uni. So in today's society I do think your friends / hobbies / taste might impact what 'class' you are.

I came out as Emergency Services - probably because I put down I socialise with farmers LOL.

My dissertation was written on 'Brand Personality & the Self-Concept' where I argued the point people shop where they feel aligned to. i.e I buy into fast fashion (controversial I know) as I like to keep my wardrobe up to date, and is affordable. And I love a standard pub. My sister on the other hand, will shop in Selfridge's and is more a classic type, so will have subtle but expensive gear. She will also go to nice restaurants on a regular basis, like Nobu, Gaucho's etc whereas I would save this for an occassion. I don't see myself as very fancy, so I keep within my budget when it comes to this stuff whereas she is a bit vibier than me.

I said right at the beginning as well, I opt for Shires stuff because I trust the brand, and know it's reliable and within my budget. I bought an almost new medium turn out rug for £30 on Facebook market place, and I got a set of stable bandages on there for a fiver!! Whereas some people, as we have discussed, will spend their money on the latest Le Mieux or Kentucky or Ariat or whatever because that's the stuff they align to, whether it is a 'sensible' purchase or not.
 

Deltofe2493

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Interesting ideas on class. By raising and education I guess I'm middle class. I also own my house, with a mortgage, in a working class neighborhood. I buy most of my staples at Walmart. A friend called it the "ghetto Walmart." I buy my meat and fish at Lidl or a more expensive store, Kroger. And that stuff is either marked down or on sale.
When I had my horse I lived with my parents and cut my expenses to the bare minimum. I drove a car with no air conditioning. May not sound like much but where I live the summers can be brutal.
I can relate on the car front. If all else fails at least I have a horse as a method of transportation :cool: thinking smarter not harder
 

Deltofe2493

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Wrt horses - in these parts, horses are not so much a class thing as they are very commonly kept - the kind of horse you have however is more of a statement. Hill ponies and point to pointers seem to go together almost as commonly as pedigree sheep and proudly bred Welsh cobs! Middle class newcomers seem to have showjumpers or dressage horses - both considered very arriviste pursuits lol. The scruffiest ponies/horses almost inevitably belong to the wealthiest/most established landowners. Social constructs are hugely flexible and always highly contextualised...
Not me reading your comment whilst in the process of training my ex racer to dressage & show jump :eek:;) so you have a very valid point lol
 

Annagain

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it says you are partly middle class in Waitrose and clearly working class in Lidl. I wouldn't be so rude to comment on your Asda and Morrison remark although I suppose "snob" could come to mind. :D

I shop with Asda simply because it is the only on line supermarket I could get a weekly recurring delivery slot when covid started. Very occasionally Asda fail to turn up so I am left to use click and collect and I am totally embarrassed to say this is at Morrisons. I chose Morrisons because I could avoid the most people in lockdown.

I am looking for a stone to crawl under based on your final line. I must be the lowest of lows of working class by my supermarket choices. So so ashamed, not sure I should even be amongst the working class on here. :p
You've misunderstood me - I don't mean the clientele are rough (and I didn't say that the other shoppers were rough to be fair), I mean the actual shops. Really old and dingy and unpleasant places to shop. I also find the veg in Asda goes off almost before you get it out of the door - or it did last time I went there years ago.
 

paddy555

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You've misunderstood me - I don't mean the clientele are rough (and I didn't say that the other shoppers were rough to be fair), I mean the actual shops. Really old and dingy and unpleasant places to shop. I also find the veg in Asda goes off almost before you get it out of the door - or it did last time I went there years ago.

I was joking. I just thought the whole supermarket thing and class very amusing. I thought it had always been a national joke. I didn't mean to offend you.. Sorry.
 

Tarragon

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This is an interesting discussion. So open to personal opinions! I just know that I know the sort of people I am most comfortable with, and it is the attitude they have to life that I relate to, not the amount of money they have or how they spend it.
Keeping two field-kept and proudly native Exmoor ponies, I am very much at the cheapest end of the horsey world, and my background is firmly to the middleclass to old-money end of the class spectrum and I tend to clash with people are frivolous in their attitude to spending or place a lot of importance into material things and how they present themselves, whether they inherited their money or earned it themselves.
 

YorkshireLady

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what this thread highlights really is how people generally dislike being thought of as middle class - when really that is generally where a large proportion of the population will fall!

I think there are many, as thread shows, that are born working class but then are now living middle class...and struggle sometimes to not define themselves as WC still. I can recall at Uni sometime trying to call me middle class as a slur.....and I was like...yes I admit I was born middle class, dad was a teacher.. Mum textile designer, not at all v well off but yes middle class. She had a mum for a teacher and dad was an airline steward and was strongly identifying as working class.

I have no issue what someone wishes to place themself as - but stop thinking middle class is bad!
 

Sealine

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According to the BBC survey I'm established middle class which I find hilarious as someone who left school at 15 and lives in a 3 bed semi ex council house on the outskirts of the worst town in the UK. I think this result is based on my income, the value of my home (which is owned outright) and the value of my pension and savings.

As a child I asked my Dad if we were middle or working class. He very firmly replied that we were working class and anyone who needs to work is working class regardless of what work they do.

I've seen many of my friends struggle financially over the years despite working hard all their lives. I feel very lucky to be in the position I'm in when I compare myself to many people in this country.

For the record I shop in Aldi :D
 

j1ffy

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Sorry for starting the supermarket thing - it seems to have taken off in all sorts of directions 🤣. I had no idea that some people felt so strongly about it (not people on the thread, but the stories of some relatives are eye-opening!).

The idea of class seems anachronistic in this day and age, yet it pervades our society still. I wonder why that is? It's certainly not the case in most other cultures (although there are other dividing lines just as strong in most - be it race, religion, money, status) and it completely confuses most immigrants or visitors that I know.
 

Deltofe2493

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what this thread highlights really is how people generally dislike being thought of as middle class - when really that is generally where a large proportion of the population will fall!

I think there are many, as thread shows, that are born working class but then are now living middle class...and struggle sometimes to not define themselves as WC still. I can recall at Uni sometime trying to call me middle class as a slur.....and I was like...yes I admit I was born middle class, dad was a teacher.. Mum textile designer, not at all v well off but yes middle class. She had a mum for a teacher and dad was an airline steward and was strongly identifying as working class.

I have no issue what someone wishes to place themself as - but stop thinking middle class is bad!
Middle class isn't bad at all, it's something a lot of people strive for. I am currently working towards owning my own home, which is considered a very middle class thing to do. But traditionally, class is associated with money which I never seemed to have much of either growing up, or when mum moved away my salary went on rent & commuting costs and saving wasn't ever in question because I never had the money to do so! I think children from middle class families are taught to save and the value of home owning. I was never taught to save, I saw my mum living pay check to pay check, don't get me wrong we had a nice life, mum prioritised experiences and clubs for us (Brownies / swimming / riding lessons) and Christmas was always magical, but rent may have been late or other bills not paid. I remember in 2008 when there was a recession and I thought to my self well it doesn't matter if prices go up because I'll always be poor anyway. I was 16!! And had that mindset!!

But then I guess we enjoyed these hobbies and went to a CofE primary school in the first place and were mixing with others who were middle class means we could be considered middle class whether my mum had the money to afford these hobbies or not.

When someone pigeon holes me to a category I would never consider myself, I'm a bit like, with all factors in mind i.e. able to save for a house (I would have never dreamt of this pre-pandemic), owning my own horse, good job etc I think how the bloody hell have I ended up here?? Bit of imposter syndrome I think and lack of confidence to be like wow I am doing well and finally getting my life together etc.

What I didn't like was someone calling me middle class just because they saw a pic of the horse and made assumptions and I was a bit taken aback because I know my background, and the person who said it doesn't.
 
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Cowpony

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I would have said I was solidly middle class, but I've just done the test and came out as elite :eek: The only derogatory comment I've ever had about class was when I mentioned our au pair and somebody said "Oh yes, I'd forgotten how very middle class you are." Up until then I had no idea it was an insult! Think I'd better crawl back under my rock now.....:D
 

Olly's crew

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So according to the quiz on the bbc site (above) I am established middle class haha... try this one.... this says I am 'posh'https://www.countryliving.com/uk/news/news/a2593/english-vocabulary-upper-class-etiquette/
I grew up in a council estate in one of the more deprived areas of the West Midlands, parents manual/ carer work, had no car, didn't travel further than Barmouth for caravan holiday once a year. Attended local primary and then Comprehensive. I was the first in our family to gain a professional qualification. Never managed to have my own pony until I was 47 haha. Husband worked his way up from factory work to recovery services.
Interestingly when I was in my teens I was called posh by local kids because I learned to play the flute (free lessons at school) then took piano lessons!
 

YorkshireLady

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Middle class isn't bad at all, it's something a lot of people strive for. I am currently working towards owning my own home, which is considered a very middle class thing to do. But traditionally, class is associated with money which I never seemed to have much of either growing up, or when mum moved away my salary went on rent & commuting costs and saving wasn't ever in question because I never had the money to do so! I think children from middle class families are taught to save and the value of home owning. I was never taught to save, I saw my mum living pay check to pay check, don't get me wrong we had a nice life, mum prioritised experiences and clubs for us (Brownies / swimming / riding lessons) and Christmas was always magical, but rent may have been late or other bills not paid. I remember in 2008 when there was a recession and I thought to my self well it doesn't matter if prices go up because I'll always be poor anyway. I was 16!! And had that mindset!!

But then I guess we enjoyed these hobbies and went to a CofE primary school in the first place and were mixing with others who were middle class means we could be considered middle class whether my mum had the money to afford these hobbies or not.

When someone pigeon holes me to a category I would never consider myself, I'm a bit like, with all factors in mind i.e. able to save for a house (I would have never dreamt of this pre-pandemic), owning my own horse, good job etc I think how the bloody hell have I ended up here?? Bit of imposter syndrome I think and lack of confidence to be like wow I am doing well and finally getting my life together etc.

What I didn't like was someone calling me middle class just because they saw a pic of the horse and made assumptions and I was a bit taken aback because I know my background, and the person who said it doesn't.

I didnt think you were saying it was bad - but I do think people will shy away from middle class as a label in a way they don't for working class
 
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