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View Poll Results: How would you assess your social class (read explanations below)

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  • Upper-class

    0 0%
  • Upper-middle class

    13 35.14%
  • Middle class

    8 21.62%
  • Working class

    5 13.51%
  • No idea !

    1 2.70%
  • Don't care

    10 27.03%
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Thread: Do you care about social classes ?

  1. #26
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CC1
    @ Maciamo...I looked at the site about home ownership, but I didn't see a good explanation as to what they considered a home...a house? A condo? A flat? I think Mal's point was that many people in the US own a house...and the land it sits on, while many people in Japan, England, etc...own their home, but it may be in the form of a condo or along those lines.
    In Japan, yes, but there are very few flats in England. English people usually dislike flats. As for the US, I don't think there are so many houses in places like Manhattan, so many people, even rich, will have to fo with a flat. But I agree in principle that land is cheaper in the States (or Canada or Australia) as there is more space. However in some isolated regions of Japan (Shimane, Akita...) land is very cheap too, and one prefecture even gives land for free to anyone who came from another prefecture and stays for at least 10 years (because of the exodus to the big cities).

    Am I way off base here? Maybe you could educate me on something: If I own a house and it is leveled by an earthquake, I still own the land. What of people owning a condo or flat? If the building is leveled do they own anything anymore? Technically their property is gone right? (I am generally asking so that I can learn)
    Not sure. Either you get nothing or the share you apartment represented in the whole building. Anyway there are no earthquake in most of Europe (almost only in Greece and Southern Italy).

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  2. #27
    JREF Resident Alien Pachipro's Avatar
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    I very much enjoyed the discussion between Mal and Maciamo, but let me touch on a few things here. I ticked "Upper Middle Class".

    Like Mal, I made a helluva lot of money in the 90's thanks to the dot com boom and lost quite a bit of it when the market tanked in 2000. Luckily I made most of it back these past 5 years and am now out of the market completely.

    Coming from what might be considered a lower middle class working family, I pride myself on climbing the socio-economic ladder, so to speak, through a college education and wise investing and saving. I practiced what some might call "delayed gratification". Today I have no debt whatsoever and own my house outright. I am wealthy enough that I could chuck my high stress white collar job and take, and enjoy, what most would consider a blue collar, lower middle class job - driving a big rig. How would I be classified or even classify myself? I don't know.

    According to statistics, my household income (from all sources) ranks among the top 15% in America, but no one who doesn't know me well doesn't know that. To them I am your average middle class working American and they, as well as people with my same household income level, would probably perceive me as just that. I live in a middle class home and drive a middle class car. Does it bother me? Not in the least. I could care less what others think.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    So what if you are rich and don't want to show it ?
    Quote Originally Posted by MAL
    If you are wealthy and don't show it then you are basically playing a game. People of your socio-economic level may act towards you in strange ways. Some may admire you if you profess to be doing it for "philisophical" reasons, and others will be somewhat beligerant since they may take your turning your back on material items as a commentary on their own avarice. It's a touchy subject. But once again, it only really matters to people who are of the same strata as you. Anyone above or below is very likely to not care at all.
    According to MAL I may be playing a game, but I beg to differ. I could go out tomorrow and buy a $500,000 house for cash and/or a couple of Lexus' for me and the wife, but I won't. Why? Because I don't desire them nor do I desire to flaunt my wealth just because I have it and can. The majority of my friends are not even close to me in wealth. I have only one friend who would probably be classified as being in the same "class" as myself as I find most wealthy people to be snobs.

    Maybe it's because I never had any to begin with and everything I have was earned through hard work and investing instead of going out and buying the 42 inch plasma TV, the SUV's and stuff I really don't need. Am I a miser? No, not at all. I have everything I desire and if I need or want something I just go out and buy it with cash. I just can't see the logic in driving a gas guzzling SUV or Mercedes/BMW or to live in a ritzy neighborhood in a house that is too big for me just to show others that I have money when a 4 cylinder Toyota Solara does the job and a 2,000 sq ft house fits me quite well.

    Mal mentioned that most Americans don't save and he is quite correct. They can't. The average American today is more interested in buying material things on credit than he/she is about saving for the future. According to the US Social Security Office, the average American today retires with only about $2,800 in assets!! And is totally dependent on the measly social security for retirement.

    The average American family also has $18,000 in credit card debt at an average interest rate of 18%.

    MAL is quite correct in that home ownership is at an all time high, and he also mentioned that the average American's debt is also at an all time high. I read somewhere that if if the economy tanked tomorrow, 70% of home owners would lose their house because of the refinancing boom these past few years. Alot of people refinanced for more than 100% of their homes value and alot of them are living "paycheck to paycheck" because of it. Personal bankruptcy is also at an all time high as well as the National debt. Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are also under investigation for false bookkeeping. But this story seems to have disappeared from the news recently.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    What's the typical return rate (in %) for a real estate investment in the US ?
    Right now America is on the verge of a housing bubble that some are predicting will collapse like the dot coms. Depending on where you live, the return can be as high as (going from memory here) 20-30%/year or more in San Francisco where Mal lives, and New York and Los Angeles, to as little as 4-10% here in the Nashville, Tennessee suburbs.

    My observation has been that alot of Americans are very materialistic and buy things they don't need, with money they don't have, just to impress people they don't like. They want to express an image that they are wealthy when if fact they are quite poor. They buy expensive SUV's, plasma TV's, and large houses that they really can't afford because credit is so easy in this country. How do I know this? Because I see it all around me. My neighbors and most of my friends and co-workers are in debt up to their eyeballs. Many husbands and wives are working two jobs just to cover their bills and debts. Many of my co-workers (drivers) are also driving on the weekends just to pay their bills! I really feel sorry for them as all they are doing is working and working and working. But they are still buying, and buying, and buying - on credit. Did you know that the majority of SUV's and higher dollar cars here in the US are leased? Americans are actually renting their gas guzzling SUV's and BMW's!

    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    It doesn't matter as money is not related to class. But this tendency of American and Japanese people to think of themselves as "middle class" reflects the fact that they don't really care about classes.
    I beg to differ here with you Maciamo. Here in the US "money" or at least the appearence of having it, is related to class. Most Americans, although they may classify themselves as middle class when in fact they aren't financially, do want to "show" others that they have more more money than they actually have. They want to at least give the appearence that they are of the upper or upper middle class when in fact they aren't. Even those in the "upper class" will spend more than they make to give the outward appearence that they "have" more than they actually do. Again, I know this from personal experience. I know a pilot for a major airline who makes more than $300,000 per year yet he's in serious debt because of his trying to live above his means.

    Although they don't speak of it openly, nor will most of them admit it, here in the US, I have observed that most people are very concious of class. It is VERY important to most of them what cars they drive, where they live, what schools their kids go to, and what "name brand" clothes they wear. Much like the Japanese. The only difference is that a large majority of Japanese save 10% or more of their take home pay while a majority of Americans save nothing. If this were not the case people here in the US would not be in so much debt trying to impress others or living above their means.

    This may have not made any sense, but I feel that I had to input my observations after living here in the US these past 16 years.
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  3. #28
    As the Rush Comes Duo's Avatar
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    Ummmmm, i'd like to think that i don't care about social class status, i treat everyone the same, but I guess we all find ourselves more comfortable with our own social group. Wealth wise i would say i come from a middle class family, however, intellectually and education wise i would say my family is on the upper elite part. At least my father and grandparents, i'm trying to get there . But seriously, i have found that I feel more comfortable with people similar to my status, who think like me, etc etc, and here in Belgium, being part of the international population I'd say that I get along much better with people who are in the same situation as me, expatriates living here. So, although we all like to think we treat everyone the same no matter the social status, i would say that there is a difference in the way we act, we all probably feel more comfortable and at ease and more compatible with people who are in the same educational and intellectual level as us, most importantly friends. I could see how we could have a significant other from a different class because the main interest would lie somewhere else, but with friends it's a bit different in my view, we need more than just sympathy, we need some kind of common ground to keep the friendship going. But back to the main question, i'd say that i don't really care about social status, but I have found that I get along easier with individuals with a similar backround such as mine.

  4. #29
    Comfortably Ignorant Faustianideals's Avatar
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  5. #30
    Okama XD Kama's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thor
    I hate having so many labels for everything.
    Homosapiens
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    There is my label of everybody here.
    Don't you think that some people may be offended with this male/female labels too? There are some people who doesn't feel either man or woman, so why should you label them depending on their biological sex? XD

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  6. #31
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  7. #32
    Cat lover Apollo's Avatar
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    OOps! I forgot to answer the question if I cared about social classes.

    Answer:

    No, I have noticed what I care about is their personality. I have among my circle of friends people from very different backgrounds; from working class to top upper class. One of my best friend is a nurse (working class) and her parents are both unemployed, and with no education. Why I keep her as a friend is the fact that she has a wonderful personality and she has struggled with her studies to become a nurse. She works in the biggest hospital in Denmark taking care of cancer patients.

    Except from her, all of my friends are educated at universities across the globe.

    What I look at is if we have something in common, or talk about. I do not go for a guy who has nothing to offer e.g. subjects to converse about. I like people with brains, no matter their background.

  8. #33
    DON'T PANIC! Tsuyoiko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miss_apollo7
    One of my best friend is a nurse (working class) and her parents are both unemployed, and with no education.
    I would consider a nurse to be middle class, as they have to go to college for three years, and it is a very respected occupation.

    The general conclusion I have come to over this whole discussion is that class is very, very subjective and it has no basis in reality. How would you classify me? My grandad was a miner, my dad a CAD engineer at Rolls Royce and my mum ran a school printroom. I went to university. My husband worked in a factory when I met him and now works in a call centre. By that, my family used to be working class, then middle class. I am upper-middle class, but my husband is working class.

    BTW, I chose 'I don't care'. If people in the same family can have different classes, and if classes change in less than a generation then they might as well not exist.
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  9. #34
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tsuyoiko
    I would consider a nurse to be middle class, as they have to go to college for three years, and it is a very respected occupation.
    I agree with that.

    The general conclusion I have come to over this whole discussion is that class is very, very subjective and it has no basis in reality. How would you classify me? My grandad was a miner, my dad a CAD engineer at Rolls Royce and my mum ran a school printroom. I went to university. My husband worked in a factory when I met him and now works in a call centre. By that, my family used to be working class, then middle class. I am upper-middle class, but my husband is working class.

    BTW, I chose 'I don't care'. If people in the same family can have different classes, and if classes change in less than a generation then they might as well not exist.
    Yes, classes may change in a single generation, and there can also be different classes within the same generation of siblings, depending on their respective education and way of thinking. As I said before, classes are something that defines personality more than money. Usually once someone reached teenagehood, their class is already determined, well before they finish their studies and start making a living. In fact, I could easily tell the social classes of my classmates ever since primary school. When I met them later once they had grown up, they hadn't changed and would still fit exactly in the social class I attributed them then.

    Psychologists say that personality and intelligence are shaped within the first 3 to 5 years of childhood. I think that social classes are also determined during that period. At least it has been true for all the people I have known since their childhood. I also think that parents determine the children's future in these first 5 years. If a child is raised as upper-middle class, their interests and orientation in life will be upper-middle class (i.e. usually university educated professional, cadre, etc.). If the family background is lower class, then the children will grow with lower class values and mindset. Of course parents are not the only factor. The toys or games one plays with, the kindergarten or school one goes to, the attention and care one receives, the clothes one uses to wear in childhood, etc. all influence the development of one's personality - and therefore social class.

  10. #35
    DON'T PANIC! Tsuyoiko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    Psychologists say that personality and intelligence are shaped within the first 3 to 5 years of childhood.
    I would generally agree with that, particularly regarding intelligence. I certainly believe (to pick one example) that children who are exposed to books at an early age are more likely to grow into intelligent children and adults.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    I think that social classes are also determined during that period.
    I disagree here. It is hard to imagine an intelligent child growing into an unintelligent adult. But a working class child can grow into an upper-middle class adult. My husband's family are a good example. His parents are undeniably working class. His dad worked in a factory until last year and now works in a warehouse. His mum is a cleaner. His brother works in a shop. My husband was expected to go into the same factory as his dad when he left school, but he determined to go to college instead. After college, he ended up in the factory anyway. He now works in a call centre, but the fact that he went to college and is well read, takes an interest in politics etc, would probably make him middle class. His sister went straight into the factory after school and had her first child at 19 - very working class. BUT, she has now passed college and started at university to become a teacher, at the end of which she could arguably be considered upper-middle class. So the class of my husband and sister-in-law certainly weren't fixed at an early age, and there are many families around here that have a similar situation. It is very common now for people to go to university in their 30s and 40s, so their class will change at a mature age. My Dad went to university at the age of 39.

    Quote Originally Posted by maciamo
    If a child is raised as upper-middle class, their interests and orientation in life will be upper-middle class (i.e. usually university educated professional, cadre, etc.). If the family background is lower class, then the children will grow with lower class values and mindset.
    Again, I disagree. My husband's family are again a good example. He has totally different values to the rest of his family, because of interests he has developed on his own, and probably since he met me.

    I think what you are calling 'social class' I would call 'personality'. You can use 'class' terms to describe the way someone acts, thinks etc, but I don't think these classes represent any real structures in society. Ultimately, any attempt to classify the human race is going to fail, as we are a bunch of differently shaped pegs and all the holes are round.
    Last edited by Tsuyoiko; Aug 5, 2005 at 23:18. Reason: Epiphany

  11. #36
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tsuyoiko
    I disagree here. It is hard to imagine an intelligent child growing into an unintelligent adult. But a working class child can grow into an upper-middle class adult. My husband's family are a good example. His parents are undeniably working class. His dad worked in a factory until last year and now works in a warehouse. His mum is a cleaner. His brother works in a shop.
    I think you misunderstood me. I said that intelligence, personality and social class were all determined in the first 5 years of childhood. However, I never said that working class or non-intellectual parents forcedly bred working class and non-intellectual children. If the child has access to books, "good toys", and is made to become curious because of his environment (it is extrenely difficult to say what exactly give such results), then the child will become curious and intelligent and probably become a higher class intellectual, despite his working class background. Likewise, an upper-class child that is not taken care of and has little intellectual stimuli in his early years will grow less curious and intelligent, and may not fit in the upper class model his/her parents would hope for.

    It is very common now for people to go to university in their 30s and 40s, so their class will change at a mature age. My Dad went to university at the age of 39.
    I don't think so. Going to university is not the only factor determining social classes. In fact, I'd say that some people who don't go to university for some reason may be more upper-class than others who go, because of their personality. Intelligence is also not the only factor for classes. Personally I consider that all the "technical" subjects (mostly applied sciences) can never be upper-class. To be upper-class requires a literary and philosophic background, i.e. a good general knowledge and culture, as well as developed manners. A chemical engineer may earn more than a historian or a BA in classical literature or classical languages, but the image of the former will always be more associated with the lower or middle classes.

    I think what you are calling 'social class' I would call 'personality'. You can use 'class' terms to describe the way someone acts, thinks etc, but I don't think these classes represent any real structures in society. Ultimately, any attempt to classify the human race is going to fail, as we are a bunch of differently shaped pegs and all the holes are round.
    Social classes are more than personality, it's a way of living. It's the way you dress, talk, entertain yourself, your topic of discussion, your hobbies and tastes. Whatever you say, someone who dresses in suits or wool jumper, plays tennis or golf, listen to classical music, plays whist/bridge/chess, go to the theatre, speaks formally and politely, and is well cultivated, will always appear more upper class than someone who wears hooded sweatshirts and trainers, play football or skateboard, listen to hard rock or hip hop, plays pachinko, go to the pub, speaks very familiarily and swears.

  12. #37
    DON'T PANIC! Tsuyoiko's Avatar
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    I don't mean to be rude, but I really have trouble accepting that these are your true views as they seem so antiquated and parochial. I know sometimes people take a stance in a debate for the sake of argument, rather than to put forward their real opinions. Is that what you are doing?

    If these are your true beliefs, it troubles me that you would pass such sweeping judgments on people, all based on your own bias.

    Quote Originally Posted by maciamo
    Whatever you say, someone who dresses in suits or wool jumper, plays tennis or golf, listen to classical music, plays whist/bridge/chess, go to the theatre, speaks formally and politely, and is well cultivated, will always appear more upper class than someone who wears hooded sweatshirts and trainers, play football or skateboard, listen to hard rock or hip hop, plays pachinko, go to the pub, speaks very familiarily and swears.
    The key word here is 'appear'. You are making assumptions based on appearance that in many cases would prove to be wrong.

    Above all, what is the point of making these distinctions anyway? Why not just 'judge' people on the basis of "yes, I would like to get to know you better" or "I don't think we would get along", rather than trying to pigeonhole people in this artificial manner? What do your judgments of class help you to do?
    Last edited by Tsuyoiko; Aug 6, 2005 at 02:24.

  13. #38
    JREF Resident Alien Pachipro's Avatar
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    Sorry. I must reply here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    Social classes are more than personality, it's a way of living. It's the way you dress, talk, entertain yourself, your topic of discussion, your hobbies and tastes. Whatever you say, someone who dresses in suits or wool jumper, plays tennis or golf, listen to classical music, plays whist/bridge/chess, go to the theatre, speaks formally and politely, and is well cultivated, will always appear more upper class than someone who wears hooded sweatshirts and trainers, play football or skateboard, listen to hard rock or hip hop, plays pachinko, go to the pub, speaks very familiarily and swears.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tsuyoiko
    The key word here is 'appear'. You are making assumptions based on appearance that in many cases would prove to be wrong.
    I think Tsuyoiko is quite correct in her assessment in that the key word here is "appear". I feel that social classes are more than a way of living. They are just a way to repress the masses by compartmentalizing them based on outward appearences, birth, etc.

    To me it's more about character and personality. Just because one is born into the upper class does not make one a better person just because he/she dresses a particular way, or attends the theater or plays bridge, etc. Ever hear of the phrase, "Before you pass judgement on another person, walk a mile in his shoes first."

    As I climbed up the socio-economic ladder from lower middle-class I have dressed in suits or wool jumpers, I 've played tennis and play golf, I very much enjoy classical music. I can play chess and bridge. I still often go to the theater, enjoy classical concerts at the symphony halls and I speak formally when required to in a social situation. And I read at least 3 books a month. No one would ever know my background unless they did a formal investigation and I fit in quite well.

    On the other hand, I very much enjoy wearing trainers at home, I enjoy hard rock as much as classical, I love to play pachinko, go to the pubs and I swear and smoke where appropriate.

    I am perfectly comfortable in both social situations, but the biggest thing I have learned throughout the years is that the people who were born and raised in the upper echelons of society are nothing but snobs for the most part and look down and pass judgement on people of the lower classes without even getting to know them as Tsuyoiko said. This goes for American, Japanese, and European. And it is not aimed at you Maciamo. It is just a personal assessment based on experience.

    I have been at many formal dining situations and gatherings with those of the "upper crust", so to speak, both in Japan and the US, and there basically is no difference. I was a member of a prestigious golf club, lived in the most expensive area, drove an expensive car, wore the finest name brand clothes, etc. and I was just appalled at the amount of gossip, phoniness, back stabbing, spousal cheating, and ***-kissing that goes on that it sickened me to the point where I couldn't take it anymore.

    "So and so didn't donate much this year to the charity so they must be on hard times." "I heard that so and so is getting divorced. Did you know they were having problems? I heard her husband had a mistress." "I was really disappointed that we didn't get a mention in the paper (on the social page) when we were at such and such restaurant last week." Granted, they do do some good charity work and volunteering, but I discovered that nothing is done in the upper social class unless it is benificial and self-serving to the party or parties involved. To my surprise, quite a few, although they have money, are actually living on the balls of their *** and are as much in debt as those below them. Just on a higher scale. This I found most surprising as they had to "keep up appearences" and they did a pretty good job of it.

    After several years of this so-called upper-class lifestyle we chucked it, sold the house and cars, cancelled the club memberships and moved to an upper middle class neighborhood where we are quite happy and satisfied. We drive 'normal' cars and do not flaunt our wealth. Don't get me wrong here, people here also try and live above their means, but they are more real and down to earth than the people we encountered in the upper class. They work hard and are more honest in their dealings with their neighbor. When a neighbor here helps you out he doesn't expect anything in return or accolades, whereas in the upper class you "owed them one" so to speak, and they often collected or they talked about you. Heck, I think they talked about you anyway just to have something to do in their boring lives.

    I consider myself fortunate in that I have experienced the full spectrum from the lower to the upper class. Not the elite mind you, but high enough where most of my aquaintances (I wouldn't call them 'friends' by any means) had high six to seven-figure incomes. And I am more satisfied where I am now. I even chucked my high paying executive job to drive a truck as it is more enjoyable and satisfying! The people here may not be as "cultured" as some like to say, but, for the most part, they are real people who mean what they say and say what they mean.

    I may have not been born into the upper class, but at least I experienced it. And if I was born there, I'm sure I would also have been taught to pass judgement on those below me and have sterotypes of people based on the way they dressed, the music they listened to, the pubs they attend, or what their educational background is without getting to know them first. I would have been taught that if they weren't born into "our class" they are definetly below us, no matter what, and I would have made irrational judgements.

    For this I am grateful as I feel I have more class in my pinky than any of them will ever have as, to paraphrase Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I don't judge people on their dress, race or educational background, or the music they listen to. I judge them on the basis of their character as, to use a worn out phrase, I have been there, done that. Thanks, but no thanks. For the most part you (the upper class) are too judgemental and haven't a clue as to how the other side lives or how they think. To them I say unless you've experienced what I have experienced don't judge a book by it's cover, as I may just be able to go toe to toe with you on any level. Plus I may just have more money and culture than you. I just don't flaunt it.

  14. #39
    DON'T PANIC! Tsuyoiko's Avatar
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    Thanks Pachipro. Your experiences show that Maciamo is mistaken when he says:
    Quote Originally Posted by maciamo
    intelligence, personality and social class were all determined in the first 5 years of childhood.
    By saying this, Maciamo, are you implying that if I am working class at the age of 5, I might as well not bother trying to improve my lot?

  15. #40
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tsuyoiko
    If these are your true beliefs, it troubles me that you would pass such sweeping judgments on people, all based on your own bias.
    Not really. This is based only on my own experience and observations, but all the people I have known since childhood have turned up exactly the way I (or my family, friends, teachers or whatever) had predicted when I was a child.

    The key word here is 'appear'. You are making assumptions based on appearance that in many cases would prove to be wrong.
    Again, not really, as social classes is almost only about appearance (and of course the personality that create this appearance).

    Above all, what is the point of making these distinctions anyway? Why not just 'judge' people on the basis of "yes, I would like to get to know you better" or "I don't think we would get along", rather than trying to pigeonhole people in this artificial manner? What do your judgments of class help you to do?
    What's the point ? It's a way of classifying people like any other. People seek other people with similar hobbies, interests, values, ideals, etc. Social classes are just a very rough division of society according to how cultivated, sophisticated or intellectual one happens to be. That is why members of a same family can very well belong to very different classes (especially nowadays, in the era of freedom, universla education, easy access to information and globalisation). Such classes have always existed since civilisations, knowledge and education exist, even in societies where people are not well aware about them. Denying the existence of social classes would be like denying that people can be different. For example the Japanese aspire to as much homogeneity as possible, and thus claim they do not have social classes. After a few years in Japan, I can tell you for sure that social classes do exist in Japan - it's just that people don't talk about it the same way as they would in the UK.

  16. #41
    born in the USSR Void's Avatar
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    i think you are now talking about two different ways of classification of social
    classes and this is causing the confusion. One based on income and another based on social roles.
    But, i think in any case i am not determined from the early childhood what i am going to be. Maybe it is not true for some countries, but for those which tend to call themselves 'civilized world' it is so.

    I can be born in a family with very low income, but due to the compulsory education i get my 1st chance to learn much more about this world. The second chance is the upbrinning - if my parents are not of narrow intellect and parochial attitudes the can explain that many things in my life depend on me, and my world is not limited to theirs and, certainly, i have more opportunities than them. Reaching afe of consent i can make a decision to stay where i am or to struggle and jump to a new state.

    But for sure in many cases the amount of one`s bills cant be a measure to judge intelligence, cultural level and such. Some of blue collars have higher income than some teachers, and yet, some brutal looking truck-driver can beat a teacher in any of those fields (well, it is not a tendency, of cource, but still...) How to define the upper class then?

    Social classes are more than personality, it's a way of living. It's the way you dress, talk, entertain yourself, your topic of discussion, your hobbies and tastes. Whatever you say, someone who dresses in suits or wool jumper, plays tennis or golf, listen to classical music, plays whist/bridge/chess, go to the theatre, speaks formally and politely, and is well cultivated, will always appear more upper class than someone who wears hooded sweatshirts and trainers, play football or skateboard, listen to hard rock or hip hop, plays pachinko, go to the pub, speaks very familiarily and swears.
    Very often it is a personality. Even at my town i could take lessons of riding, but just because i love horses and not because i care much about nice jackets, boots or cap. Nowday it is nothing more than a stereotype that chess or tennis is for upper class (well, one can say chess is for intellectual upper class, though ) - many parents now try to take their kids to tennis school. When i was young my parents couldn`t afford it, but to be honest my "goat weight" and muscles are much better for table tennis. In late years i bought the racket and asked some people to teach me, well... tennis racket collects the dust behind the sofa and we use balls to warm up before fencing. And i rather spend money on CDs (sometimes classical, btw) than on tennis lessons.
    I will not spend a fortune of money on a suit with Valentino`s (or smth) label, i just can`t afford it, but i can buy decent looking staff fot lower money and i
    am comfortable in sweatshirts and wool jumpers as well and have both - to go to job and outdoors

    without spreading the thought any further. My way of living determined today by two things - my own personality and my income. If latter rises some other hobbies and interests can appear, even the way of dressing, and vice versa. So, according to my income i am middle class, according my social role - hell knows

    and social stratification by roles, probably, got to have another name, or nowdays new classifactory criteria should be developed to continue using concept of "social classes"
    Last edited by Void; Aug 7, 2005 at 22:00.
    ... and i always will...

  17. #42
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Void
    The second chance is the upbrinning - if my parents are not of narrow intellect and parochial attitudes the can explain that many things in my life depend on me, and my world is not limited to theirs and, certainly, i have more opportunities than them.
    Exactly ! That is why I said that 1) class was not based on money, and 2) even born in a lower class and not very well educated family, if the parents can give their children a liking for learning or be curious of the world, then the child will become more educated then his/her parents. Nowadays, in the age of information (the Internet) and free universal education (at least in Europe), education does not depend on one's family's wealth, but on the willingness to learn. It's all in the attitude and personality. Someone from a rich family sent to a "good school" may not learn much if they don't care about learning, whereas a child from a lower class background with an unsatiable curiosity could become a great intellectual. It could be than classes are still a bit more based on money in the United States, as education is not always 100% state-funded like in most of Europe.

    But for sure in many cases the amount of one`s bills cant be a measure to judge intelligence, cultural level and such. Some of blue collars have higher income than some teachers, and yet, some brutal looking truck-driver can beat a teacher in any of those fields (well, it is not a tendency, of cource, but still...) How to deibe the upper class then?
    That is exactly why I said that classes are not based on money. Nowadays a plumber can make more money than a university professor. Likewise, drug-dealers, gangsters, etc. can become dirtily rich, but not even know the capital of their own country (some famous mafia boss couldn't even read and write). Then come all the nouveaux riches, like the pop stars, actors and atheletes. Most of them are from lower class background but have become richer than many true upper-class people. Some of them try to pretend to have become upper-class because they live in a several million dollar mansion, are driven in limousines, wear designer clothes and eat at top-class restaurants. What they don't understand (often because they are in fact not very well educated) is that money does not define class as much as one's topic of conversation, tastes, refinement, education and manners. For example, David Beckham will never be upper-class even living in a castle, firstly because he is a footballer (i.e. the very image of the lower classes), and the way he speaks and dresses influences mostly the lower class youth (known as "chavs" in the UK).


    (well, one can say chess is for intellectual upper class, though )
    Personally, I cannot consider someone with no intellectual hobbies (whatever their actual intelligence) as upper-class. But not all intelligent people are upper-class, as it's not the intelligence but the intellectualism (i.e. liking for intellectual activities) that defines class.

  18. #43
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pachipro
    To me it's more about character and personality. Just because one is born into the upper class does not make one a better person just because he/she dresses a particular way, or attends the theater or plays bridge, etc.
    I see you have been raised in a society where the word "upper" necessarily means "better". However, I cannot see any link between social class and how good a person is as a human being. I have always been told since my childhood that there are good and bad people in every level of society. So I have never implied once that upper-class people were better people or the reverse. It's completely unrelated.

    As I climbed up the socio-economic ladder from lower middle-class I have dressed in suits or wool jumpers, I 've played tennis and play golf, I very much enjoy classical music. I can play chess and bridge. I still often go to the theater, enjoy classical concerts at the symphony halls and I speak formally when required to in a social situation. And I read at least 3 books a month. No one would ever know my background unless they did a formal investigation and I fit in quite well.

    On the other hand, I very much enjoy wearing trainers at home, I enjoy hard rock as much as classical, I love to play pachinko, go to the pubs and I swear and smoke where appropriate.
    Thats interesting that you are so versatile in your attitude to life. Not many people are like that, I think. In my case, I used to like hard rock (and classical) as a child, but for some reasons, I stopped liking it as I matured (it just sounded like annoying noise afterwards).

    I am perfectly comfortable in both social situations, but the biggest thing I have learned throughout the years is that the people who were born and raised in the upper echelons of society are nothing but snobs for the most part and look down and pass judgement on people of the lower classes without even getting to know them as Tsuyoiko said. This goes for American, Japanese, and European.
    ...
    ...
    After several years of this so-called upper-class lifestyle we chucked it, sold the house and cars, cancelled the club memberships and moved to an upper middle class neighborhood where we are quite happy and satisfied. We drive 'normal' cars and do not flaunt our wealth. Don't get me wrong here, people here also try and live above their means, but they are more real and down to earth than the people we encountered in the upper class. They work hard and are more honest in their dealings with their neighbor. When a neighbor here helps you out he doesn't expect anything in return or accolades, whereas in the upper class you "owed them one" so to speak, and they often collected or they talked about you. Heck, I think they talked about you anyway just to have something to do in their boring lives.
    I know what you are talking about. I was born in an upper middle class family (although I do have upper class relatives), but went to a school where a sizeable portion of the people were really upper-class, and I learned to know how hypocritical and snobbish some of them can be. But I'd say there are two kinds of upper-classes:

    1) those who try to live above their means and pretend to like things they don't care for (e.g. classical music). These are the people you described. These are mostly social unfit, who were born upper-class but whose personality does not fit in the upper-class values. They are only pretending. These are the people who go to classical music concerts, but cannot tell Brahms from Schumann apart (I chose two contemporary composers on purpose). These are people who talk about philosophy but don't have any ideas of their own, and in fact don't understand a thing about philosophy. Just pretending, but actually making a fool of themselves when meeting people from the second group...

    2) These are people who are genuinely upper-class by nature. These people usually don't care much about 'show-off' social gathering. Usually they are real intellectuals, who care about their job or have a deep passion for some academic subjects. It also includes some landed lords who have nothing to prove, do not need to work, but have a genuine passion for learning (people like Winston Churchill).

    Quote Originally Posted by Pachipro
    I consider myself fortunate in that I have experienced the full spectrum from the lower to the upper class. Not the elite mind you, but high enough where most of my aquaintances (I wouldn't call them 'friends' by any means) had high six to seven-figure incomes. And I am more satisfied where I am now. I even chucked my high paying executive job to drive a truck as it is more enjoyable and satisfying! The people here may not be as "cultured" as some like to say, but, for the most part, they are real people who mean what they say and say what they mean.
    I totally understand you. As you may have noticed, I chose "upper middle class" in the poll, although I feel much closer in character to the true upper class than people in my family. But it's justly because there are so many pretending upper-class and they have such a bad image of snobbery and hypocrisy, that I don't want to be associated with them. Everyone on this forum knows how outspoken I can be, and this character of mine make me hate lies and hypocrisy with a vengeance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pachipro
    For this I am grateful as I feel I have more class in my pinky than any of them will ever have as, to paraphrase Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I don't judge people on their dress, race or educational background, or the music they listen to. I judge them on the basis of their character as, to use a worn out phrase, I have been there, done that. Thanks, but no thanks. For the most part you (the upper class) are too judgemental and haven't a clue as to how the other side lives or how they think. To them I say unless you've experienced what I have experienced don't judge a book by it's cover, as I may just be able to go toe to toe with you on any level. Plus I may just have more money and culture than you. I just don't flaunt it.
    Personally, I do just the opposite. I observe people's character, personality, actions and behaviour, then judge which social class in more suitable for them. In fact, there is no need to even meet people to determine their class, I can usually tell just from what people write on a forum like this one.

  19. #44
    DON'T PANIC! Tsuyoiko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    even born in a lower class and not very well educated family, if the parents can give their children a liking for learning or be curious of the world, then the child will become more educated then his/her parents. Nowadays, in the age of information (the Internet) and free universal education (at least in Europe), education does not depend on one's family's wealth, but on the willingness to learn. It's all in the attitude and personality. Someone from a rich family sent to a "good school" may not learn much if they don't care about learning, whereas a child from a lower class background with an unsatiable curiosity could become a great intellectual. It could be than classes are still a bit more based on money in the United States, as education is not always 100% state-funded like in most of Europe.
    This seems to contradict your statement that class is decided by the age of 5.

    Basically, what you call 'class' I would call 'intellectualism'. There will be some differences though, like style of dress and some choices of activity. These depend partly on wealth, so I think your definition of class has to depend partly on wealth too. No matter how intellectual I am, if I have a low income I cannot afford to wear expensive clothes and go to the opera. I would probably pare it right down, and say the differences lie in love of expanding the mind, so what you call 'upper class', I call 'high intellectual' and define as putting the expansion of the mind before virtually anything else - on that definition many of us here probably are 'upper class', or as I prefer 'high intellectual'. And your very subjective judgments about what fits into each class wouldn't work for me. I love to learn above anything, but I also like rock music and hooded tops, I swear and speak in a broad regional accent - and I don't like to see men in suits, I suck at chess and classical music bores me!

  20. #45
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tsuyoiko
    This seems to contradict your statement that class is decided by the age of 5.
    Not at all. The personality and character, i.e. curiosity, willingness to learn, sensitivity to arts, etc., are mostly (not completely) decided by the age of 5. After that, it's just a matter of actually learning stuff. Until the early or mid 20th century it was harder for people with the right character and sensitivity to "become" upper-class, because they did not have as easy an access to information or education as nowadays. This mean that although they had the right predispositions, they couldn't fulfill their craving for knowledge, couldn't get the job that goes with it, couldn't get the money from that job, and ultimately were forced to stay in a lower class than their abilities or character would have wanted. But nowadays most people in developed countries have enough access to education and information to change class easily. That is why I said that classes (nowadays and in developed countries) are determined in early childhood.

  21. #46
    JREF Resident Alien Pachipro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    I see you have been raised in a society where the word "upper" necessarily means "better". However, I cannot see any link between social class and how good a person is as a human being. I have always been told since my childhood that there are good and bad people in every level of society. So I have never implied once that upper-class people were better people or the reverse. It's completely unrelated.
    To be truthful, yes, I was born into a lower-middle class working family and was always told that "upper=better lifestyle" and that's what we should strive for as, "This is America! Anyone can become a member of the upper classes if they work hard enough for it. It's there for the taking if you want it." Therefore, I was the first one of all our combined generations to actually do something, attend a university (paid for by myself, no help), graduate, and move to an "upper class" so to speak. It set an example for my siblings and their children have followed suit and I am proud of that. My sisters and brother never attended a university, but their children did and I am glad they are not relegated to menial labor jobs as the previous generations were.

    True, there are good and bad people on all levels of society, but your comment on on how one dresses and how they talk and what pubs they attend, etc. led me, and I'm sure Tsuyoiko, to believe that you were implying that dress, etc. = social class. I agree in that it is completely unrelated.

    Thats interesting that you are so versatile in your attitude to life. Not many people are like that, I think. In my case, I used to like hard rock (and classical) as a child, but for some reasons, I stopped liking it as I matured (it just sounded like annoying noise afterwards).
    I find it interesting as well in that I am comfortable in any setting. Why, at 50 yrs old, I still like head banging hard rock and todays rock is beyond me. But I also listen to the classics, jazz, contemporary, etc. If the music appeals to me I buy it or download it. My 20 something nephews love us as they think we are so cool and "with it" so to speak. The truth is I really enjoy the music. I am comfortable in a country western bar, a karaoke bar in Japan, or an upscale bar or restaurant. When I go out it is usually "sharp casual" and it seems to fit in almost anywhere.

    I know what you are talking about. I was born in an upper middle class family (although I do have upper class relatives), but went to a school where a sizeable portion of the people were really upper-class, and I learned to know how hypocritical and snobbish some of them can be. But I'd say there are two kinds of upper-classes:

    1) those who try to live above their means and pretend to like things they don't care for (e.g. classical music). These are the people you described. These are mostly social unfit, who were born upper-class but whose personality does not fit in the upper-class values. They are only pretending. These are the people who go to classical music concerts, but cannot tell Brahms from Schumann apart (I chose two contemporary composers on purpose). These are people who talk about philosophy but don't have any ideas of their own, and in fact don't understand a thing about philosophy. Just pretending, but actually making a fool of themselves when meeting people from the second group...

    2) These are people who are genuinely upper-class by nature. These people usually don't care much about 'show-off' social gathering. Usually they are real intellectuals, who care about their job or have a deep passion for some academic subjects. It also includes some landed lords who have nothing to prove, do not need to work, but have a genuine passion for learning (people like Winston Churchill).
    I completely agree with both these points that you have made and my experience shows that it is true. The people I have met in situation no.2 I really enjoyed. I just wish I could meet more of them. The people in situation no 1 seem to do these things because it is what is "expected" of them. Even if they were not born into this class, they feel that because they are now a member of it that they must go to the concert or opera, etc. but do not take any measures to actually learn about it. These people completely turned me off, but were whom I seemed to meet the most.

    In my own case, I took the time to learn and read about these things not because I thought I was supposed to, but because I was genuinly interested in them. Once I had learned what was truely behind the music and operas and plays I became more interested. Once I learned the intricacies of chess for example, I became an avid player, not because it was expected of me, but because it was fascinating and utilized my brain. I will admit that I played tennis because I thought that's what people here do and it was "expected." But I soon gave it up because it didn't interest me. This surprised my so-called friends. "What? You're not playing tennis this weekend?" "No. It doesn't interest me."

    But it's justly because there are so many pretending upper-class and they have such a bad image of snobbery and hypocrisy, that I don't want to be associated with them. Everyone on this forum knows how outspoken I can be, and this character of mine make me hate lies and hypocrisy with a vengeance.
    Here! Here! I totally agree with you as I feel the same way. That's why I moved away from it. However, I appreciate your honesty and outspokenness next to Mike Cashs'. But sometimes your outspoken ways need to be clarified as it can give the wrong impression.

    Personally, I do just the opposite. I observe people's character, personality, actions and behaviour, then judge which social class in more suitable for them. In fact, there is no need to even meet people to determine their class, I can usually tell just from what people write on a forum like this one.
    Really? Interesting. How would you judge me if you happened to see me coming out of a pachinko parlor dressed in a leather jacket, jeans, and sunglasses with a cigarette in my mouth? How would you judge me if you entered a karaoke bar and I was up there, a little drunk, singing? Or if I met you and your wife in line for the opera dressed in "black tie" for example and didn't smoke or use foul language? Would my dress in either of these situations determine my social class? Does my writing reveal my social class?

  22. #47
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pachipro
    To be truthful, yes, I was born into a lower-middle class working family and was always told that "upper=better lifestyle" and that's what we should strive for as, "This is America! Anyone can become a member of the upper classes if they work hard enough for it. It's there for the taking if you want it."
    Funny. Everytime I heard of the "American Dream" in Europe, it was about anyone being able to rise from poverty and become millionaire if they worked hard enough for it. NEVER have I heard someone explain it in terms of class - probably because the meaning of class in Europe is generally understood as the one I described. So one cannot change class by getting money (not more than one can buy love with money, if I can compare it this way).

    Quote Originally Posted by Pachipro
    True, there are good and bad people on all levels of society, but your comment on on how one dresses and how they talk and what pubs they attend, etc. led me, and I'm sure Tsuyoiko, to believe that you were implying that dress, etc. = social class. I agree in that it is completely unrelated.
    It is not "comlpetely" unrelated, as there is a certain taste/style associated with each class (whatever the price of the clothes themselves). But it's good to keep in mind that a lot of real upper-class people (not pretenders) in the UK can dress quite badly. I was once told that in Britain there are two kinds of people who do not care enough about what people think of them to be able to go in pyjama and slippers buy their newspaper in the street : the very lower and upper class. Likewise, pretending upper-class as well as most upper-middle class tend to care more about "speaking well" than the real upper-class, who do not mind speaking in their own original accent. One of the best example of real upper-class person fitting this description is [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Thynn,_7th_Marquess_of_Bath]Alexander Thynn[\url], Marquess or Bath and resident of Longleat

    Quote Originally Posted by Pachipro
    Really? Interesting. How would you judge me if you happened to see me coming out of a pachinko parlor dressed in a leather jacket, jeans, and sunglasses with a cigarette in my mouth? How would you judge me if you entered a karaoke bar and I was up there, a little drunk, singing? Or if I met you and your wife in line for the opera dressed in "black tie" for example and didn't smoke or use foul language? Would my dress in either of these situations determine my social class? Does my writing reveal my social class?
    The point is that it takes some time to know someone well enough to determine their exact class. In some cases it's pretty straightfrward though. When I meet someone who speaks with a sloppy accent, dresses like a punk and tells me that his only amusement in life is to drink beer and eat pizza, the image is immediately that of a lower class. But that is not just based on appearance but on what the person tells me about him/herself, such as his/her values and interests.

    In your case, based on what the content of your posts, my image of you is middle to upper-middle class. As for the situation you described above, let us not forget that the class we belong to are as much what we want them to be as what other people think of us. So if you change your behaviour, you can also change your class. Most people can't change their behaviour in an extreme manner (i.e. lower to upper class or vice-versa), but some with a versatile personality, gift for acting or who just happened to grow up in different milieux, could very well simulate different social classes. Their most natural and most common behaviour will determine their "real" class, I suppose (if such a thing exists anyway).

  23. #48
    Johansson Revenant's Avatar
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    I was adopted into an upper-middle class family at age five. I did see and experience the luxuries of this class, having a father who had a very successful dental practice, and a mother who worked part-time as a speech therapist. My siblings and I grew up with a condominium in Victoria, a motorhome at one point, a cabin at the lake, and a larger than average house. We also took a lot of trips, and had been to places that most of my classmates could only dream of.

    My current place? I'd say I make an average salary for someone my age in Japan, but that is at a whole lot less hours than someone of my age would be working. We are always just at the edge of not making our financial bills, in part cause we make trips back to Canada as often as we can (son's exposure to English important before he starts elementary school).

    Anyways, at first, I didn't like not being able to buy things that I wanted, but after a while, I began to just not care. An mp3 player will quickly become obselete, but as long as it serves it's purpose, is still okay by me now. I couldn't go out on the town like I used to, but as I get older, that matters less to me now.

    Sure, some money would solve some problems now, but life is always full of minor problems, and I refuse to get all stressed about them. We'll be alright, and eventually, we'll be finacially more stable (I'm sure of that). As long as we've got decent food, shelter, and a few luxuries (such as a couple beers everyday), I'm quite content where I am. Perhaps I lack ambition, but I am content.

  24. #49
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revenant
    I was adopted into an upper-middle class family at age five. I did see and experience the luxuries of this class, having a father who had a very successful dental practice, and a mother who worked part-time as a speech therapist. My siblings and I grew up with a condominium in Victoria, a motorhome at one point, a cabin at the lake, and a larger than average house. We also took a lot of trips, and had been to places that most of my classmates could only dream of.

    My current place? I'd say I make an average salary for someone my age in Japan, but that is at a whole lot less hours than someone of my age would be working. We are always just at the edge of not making our financial bills, in part cause we make trips back to Canada as often as we can (son's exposure to English important before he starts elementary school).
    Sounds similar to me, except that I wasn't adopted (well, sometimes I wonder).

    Anyways, at first, I didn't like not being able to buy things that I wanted, but after a while, I began to just not care. An mp3 player will quickly become obselete, but as long as it serves it's purpose, is still okay by me now. I couldn't go out on the town like I used to, but as I get older, that matters less to me now.
    It's a long time I stopped caring about material goods (maybe since my trip to India ?). I am happy with the cheapest PC I find as long as it serves my needs. I hardly buy anything, so my money goes mostly into food and travel. Eventhough, I try for it not to be wasted and usually write online guides about the place I have visited or post pictures online (e.g. on wa-pedia.com and eupedia.com), so that it can serve for other people too (very unselfish and even altruistic use of money, I think). I am glad to have the Internet, and especially Wikipedia, so I can buy less books (imported books are quite expensive in Japan). I don't watch much TV, almost never listen to music anymore, dislike shopping and hate waste of money that can be avoided (esp. buying stuff we never use). That is because of all this that I say that money hardly matters for social class. I dress conservatively like an upper-middle class, think or have interests and hobbies of upper classes, but financially I am now more middle class, because I don't try harder to have more as I would not enjoy the free time I have now to cultivate and instruct myself. And material goods are so much less important ! Indeed, iPods and other electronic goods are quickly outdated, clothes wear off or fall out of fashion, etc. But ideas and knowledge stay.

  25. #50
    Regular Member Tokis-Phoenix's Avatar
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    Hmm....An interesting thread, but difficult for me.

    I know what it is like to be dirt poor and what it is like to be wealthy. I was raised in a wealthy family, i had a good education and all...
    I have had to deal with many family difficultys throughout life, from my father being murdered 3weeks before my 6yr old birthday, my mum suffering manic depression and a compulsive cleaning most of her life, serious family fighting and issues between the 2 halfs throughout my life, my brother being a pyro maniac when he was little and suffering from ADHD/ADD and having to look after my mum and brother and the house from a very young age, i had to grow up very fast as a young child- too many issues in my family and near death experiences throughout my life i am uncomfortable i speak of currently.
    When i was 14yrs old i had thoroughly decided i wanted to move out of home ASAP and made it my mission to do so, my mother used to pit me and my brother against each other by lying to us alot for her own enjoyment and using me to get at other family members and people she didn't like.
    I used to get bullied alot at school because i was one of the first in my year to get spots(although they wern't bad at all when i look back at it now) and because i wasn't able to flaunt money around like all the other rich kids at school(i was sent to a posh/rich kid school) because although my mum was wealthy i never once got pocket money, i had to do hard work for any money and my mum was always cheating me out of my pay. I felt so bad once when a friend was complaining one day that her mum only gave her ’30's pocket money a week and didn't buy her the dress she wanted last week, i realised i wouldn't even get that sort of money if i worked solidly for my mum on the farm for months- my mum giving my gifts such as dresses was completely out of the question.
    So although i went to a posh school, came from a rich family with a big home, and should have been upper class, i lived a very poor life being bullied all the time, my mum never let me have friends around and because of her depression, she found enjoyment in making me suffer in many ways and i was never accepted by other upper class kids at school and neither by the middle clss ones.

    When i moved out of home i left with no money at all, i lived with a boyfriend for a while who gave me ’10's a week to live off. Some months later i was going seriously anorexic because i could barely afford to feed myself and my boyfriend, who was schitzophrenic(sp?) amoungst other things, constantly ground down myself confidence so i barely had to the will to get a job- it would have been pretty imposible to get a job too with the amount of subjects i was doing at college in an effort to please my mum.
    The relationship ended some time later with him after he tried to disembowl me with a knife after he started seeing things, he continued to stalk me for months after that. I had been into drugs by then for many years, i had little will to live. My clothes were falling to peices and i often got drunk to escape my reality, even though i was only 16 at the time.
    I had many bad relationships back then...But one day i met my current fiance at college. He is not the best looking guy in the world at all, but he showed me much kindness back then and we shared alot of feelings and things in common.
    We started going out with each other after a very short amount of time and 3months later we rented out some shared accomodation and lived together.
    The people at my first appartment were all lower class, my landlord and lady were an alchoholic couple that drank and smoked so much they were going senile and had vicious fights with each other every night- all the other people living in the appartment also had issues and the place was falling to peices literally- one of the beds fell through the ceiling once.
    I guess at that stage in my life i was lower class although i was much better off than before, i had a job working at a scotch egg factory with loads of immigrant workers, my boyfriend worked at a hotel and we had enough money to always pay the rent and put food on the table and buy clothes and things.

    We moved out some time later after the landlord tried to abuse me and other peoples social relations became unbearable to live with- one of the guys at the appartment got into trouble with a local gang after trying to sleep with one of the guys girlfriends while drunk, the gang then targetted our place and started throwing stones through our window for months even tho we had nothing to do with it etc- there are also too many similar events to list. A freind almost bled to death in my bedroom once after he broke in while high on pills and cut his arms to peices after smashing a window with his bare hands, don't ask me why he did it.

    I quit my job when i moved to a new town with my boyfriend and we got our own appartment to rent in a secure location and he also got a new and better paid job. I concentrated on enjoying life more after some near death experiences, i decided to start spending time again doing one of my favorite hobbys- art.
    I became a tattoo artist and illustrater for various things like books and artist in general, i would say i am very good at art because i have made alot of money from it, i now have my own house which i will move into soon once the decorating is finished.
    I also hope to breed rare tropical fish as part of a living because i have been doing it for some time now although have only recently considered doing it seriously for money. I also get along with my brother well now days, although i have only recently started speaking to my mum- i hope to go into buisness with my brother and make a partnership with him soon.
    I no longer do drugs or drink, although i admit i still smoke alot, and somtimes the superior herb although i havn't done that for some time now(can't be bothered)- but i am not concerned about that considering all that i have been through.
    I would say i am now upper class because of my interests in life and how i behave. I would say i have good manners, my hobbys/interested include studying ancient culture and history of europe and asia, paleontology, archaeology, politics, writing and art, chillout music, and debating etc etc.
    Although i came from an upper class family it did nothing to help me, i rose from being lower class and dirt skint to being who i am now.

    One thing though- i would say it is very difficult for some people to admit they come from upper class backgrounds, that vast majority of people in england are lower class(like chavs and council estate people) and middle class people, i would say lower class people are far more predujiced against upper class than vice versa.
    If you say you have money, everyone thinks you have had it easy in your life and you don't deserve it, or they just make you feel like an outcast for whatever reasons. If you say you are not wealthy, everyone imediatly accepts you and feels they have somthing in common with you. I know that some of the people i knew in the past would have never spoken or be-freinded me if they knew my roots, even though i was in no better situation than them at the time.
    Ah welll "sigh"...

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