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Source: (consider it) Thread: Are the English obsessed by Class?
Robert Armin

All licens'd fool
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Yesterday I finished a fascinating book, Kate Fox's Watching the English. Fox is an Oxford anthropologist who, rather than observing tribes in New Guinea, decided to analyse her own culture, to see what we mean by being English. It's a good read - Fox makes serious points with a light touch - and I found myself nodding in agreement, or with new understanding, at many of the points she made.

However, there was one area that seemed to me to be completely wrong. Every topic she looked at contained a discussion of class - money, education, entertaining, church, sex, the lot! She believes, and says her research backs her up, that the English are obsessed by class, and constantly making value judgements on others based on what they say, or what they've bought.

Now, I reckon I'm pretty English, but this is not my experience at all. Not only can I never remember which is the "correct" term with napkins and serviettes (and so am incapable of assessing others by this yardstick) but I've never felt judged by anyone on such absurd criteria. (On lots of other issues, maybe, but that's life.) This preoccupation seems to me to be incredibly dated, and only crops up in modern life in the form of unbelievable caricatures, such as Hyacinth Bucket. Or am I blind to something that the rest of you see all around? Whether you're an outsider or an insider on this issue (ie English or not) do you think the English are still obsessed with class?

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Keeping fit was an obsession with Fr Moity .... He did chin ups in the vestry, calisthenics in the pulpit, and had developed a series of Tai-Chi exercises to correspond with ritual movements of the Mass. The Antipope Robert Rankin

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Gamaliel
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Yes.

My old England should teacher used to say that all English comedy (and British comedy more generally) was always based on class distinctions.

That's as true of Chaucer as it is of Dad's Army or Fawlty Towers.

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by Robert Armin:
Every topic she looked at contained a discussion of class - money, education, entertaining, church, sex, the lot! She believes, and says her research backs her up, that the English are obsessed by class, and constantly making value judgements on others based on what they say, or what they've bought.

<snip>

This preoccupation seems to me to be incredibly dated, and only crops up in modern life in the form of unbelievable caricatures, such as Hyacinth Bucket. Or am I blind to something that the rest of you see all around? Whether you're an outsider or an insider on this issue (ie English or not) do you think the English are still obsessed with class?

This is the country that voted to leave the EU in part because a bunch of immigrants don't know their proper place, right? Seems like there may be some attention still being paid to the idea of class.

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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Baptist Trainfan
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I'm with Croesos on this. Class is a major factor in why we still laugh at "Dad's Army".

Having been brought up "professional middle- to upper-middle-class", I have a far-too-sensitive classometer which means that I have to constantly fight against making snap value judgements on people I meet. When I lived in London, I used to look at the people opposite me in the Tube and work out what their accent would be like if they spoke - of course, they rarely did!

However we don't have any fish-knives, and I couldn't care less whether we use serviettes or napkins, or what we call "the smallest room" (which usage is obviously a sure-fire indicator of class).

[ 31. October 2017, 18:01: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]

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mr cheesy
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My teen and I had a laugh with this book. Some of it seems exactly on-point, quite a lot seems wildly out of date.

But then IIRC I think Fox said something about people who don't know the correct term for a serviette. I can't remember what it was now.

My observation is that new forms of class have developed for Millennials and the ways of distinguishing between people has changed. I'm not sure it is as simple as it might have once been to tell exactly which class is which.

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arse

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Marvin the Martian

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Not all class-based judgements are based on napkins, which fork to use or such.

“Chav” is a class-based insult that still gets used a lot. What someone wears is still treated as a clear marker of how they will behave and where they stand in society.

Would you expect to see someone in an expensive suit and tie knocking back a can of Tennents Super? Or someone in a hoody and leggings enjoying afternoon tea and cakes in the local tearoom? No. And that’s a class-based judgement.

For that matter, ask anyone who ships at Waitrose why they don’t shop at Aldi instead. I bet their answer will be at least slightly based on them thinking it’s “below them”.

So yes, we are still very much a class-based society. It’s just that the things that differentiate between classes have changed a bit from what you’re thinking of.

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Hail Gallaxhar

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:


For that matter, ask anyone who ships at Waitrose why they don’t shop at Aldi instead. I bet their answer will be at least slightly based on them thinking it’s “below them”.

I think quite a lot of people shop at both Waitrose and Aldi/Lidl. I'm not sure there is much of a stigma now in shopping at lower priced shops.

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arse

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Anglican't
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:


For that matter, ask anyone who ships at Waitrose why they don’t shop at Aldi instead. I bet their answer will be at least slightly based on them thinking it’s “below them”.

I think quite a lot of people shop at both Waitrose and Aldi/Lidl. I'm not sure there is much of a stigma now in shopping at lower priced shops.
I agree. I'd say that people who think they're posh, or think they're being posh, sneer at Aldi, but people who are actually posh shop there.
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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
I think quite a lot of people shop at both Waitrose and Aldi/Lidl. I'm not sure there is much of a stigma now in shopping at lower priced shops.

I shop at all of them. The question perhaps should be, "Do you do all your shopping at Waitrose, or is it a bit of a treat?"
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Robert Armin

All licens'd fool
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Agreed that a lot of comedy is class based - but doesn't that indicate that we don't take class seriously any more? The people who do (Basil Fawlty, Hyacinth Bucket etc) are, by definition, ridiculous. Surely it could be argued that shows like that give the message that paying attention to class is a stupid thing to do?

(And the point about Brexit escaped me. In what way was the vote to leave the EU about class?)

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Keeping fit was an obsession with Fr Moity .... He did chin ups in the vestry, calisthenics in the pulpit, and had developed a series of Tai-Chi exercises to correspond with ritual movements of the Mass. The Antipope Robert Rankin

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Firenze

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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
For that matter, ask anyone who ships at Waitrose why they don’t shop at Aldi instead. I bet their answer will be at least slightly based on them thinking it’s “below them”.

But you know Aldi’s own brand gin bested Bombay Sapphire in blind tasting? My dear, it was in The Guardian’s drinks column!

True posh, you see, is having such discerning taste that you you can disregard the label. Same thing with possessions (remember the gibe about Heseltine having bought his own furniture?). You’ve had that Barbour for 30 years and your diamonds were your grandmother’s. It’s all about authenticity and not giving a damn what people think.

But of course the first rule of Posh Club is you do not talk about Posh Club (just smirk inwardly).

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TurquoiseTastic

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# 8978

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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
I'm with Croesos on this. Class is a major factor in why we still laugh at "Dad's Army".

Yes yes! The ever-so-slight class distinction between Wilson (upper-middle) and Mainwaring (not-quite-so-upper-middle) is milked fantastically well.

[ 31. October 2017, 21:30: Message edited by: TurquoiseTastic ]

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Callan
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For at least some voters for Brexit it was a way of giving a kicking to the people deemed to be in charge since 1979. There's a reason that all those working class constituencies which routinely returned Labour MPs decided to vote Leave. Personally, I think they were wronger than a wrong thing which is wrong, but I've never had to be a working class person in the north of England. I don't blame them for being as pissed as hell. I do blame them for thinking that Messrs Johnson, Gove, Fox and Davis had their best interests at heart. Americans will have similar sentiments, I imagine, about working class people who supported The Donald.

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How easy it would be to live in England, if only one did not love her. - G.K. Chesterton

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TurquoiseTastic

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quote:
Originally posted by Anglican't:
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:


For that matter, ask anyone who ships at Waitrose why they don’t shop at Aldi instead. I bet their answer will be at least slightly based on them thinking it’s “below them”.

I think quite a lot of people shop at both Waitrose and Aldi/Lidl. I'm not sure there is much of a stigma now in shopping at lower priced shops.
I agree. I'd say that people who think they're posh, or think they're being posh, sneer at Aldi, but people who are actually posh shop there.
Yes, but that itself is an indicator of class! The point is that if you are in a much higher class, you don't need to worry about people thinking you might be in a lower class! Same as aristocrats wearing scruffy clothes!
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Baptist Trainfan
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You've got it in a nutshell. It's self-made businessmen from a humble background who buy large Mercedes cars ... the aristocrat (who probably can't afford one anyway) has a battered 1972 Land Rover with 150,000 miles on the clock (and uses the train for his occasional visits to Town).

But, of course, there are exceptions ...

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irreverend tod
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Class distinctions are a hoot. Working class and upper class will scrub the castle lavvies out together ahead of opening for the season. The middle classes will pay an arm and a leg to get into said castle (and use lavvies), while paying someone else to scrub out theirs.
The anxiety around being seen to be one class while not quite making it beggers belief; as does the idea that Prosecco can be consumed in preference to Piper Heidsieck...

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Baptist Trainfan
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Oi! Don't diss Prosecco. Aldi's is particularly good (and I have the support of "Good Housekeeping" in saying that!)
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irreverend tod
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I've heard Aldi's is good, but our local social climbers would have their gel nails pulled out before admitting it - I find it too sweet.

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simontoad
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quote:
Originally posted by Robert Armin:
Agreed that a lot of comedy is class based - but doesn't that indicate that we don't take class seriously any more? The people who do (Basil Fawlty, Hyacinth Bucket etc) are, by definition, ridiculous. Surely it could be argued that shows like that give the message that paying attention to class is a stupid thing to do?

(And the point about Brexit escaped me. In what way was the vote to leave the EU about class?)

I think good comedy can take an attribute of people in society and exaggerate it to make it funny. For me, that shows that class was still highly relevant in Britain when these shows were made. There's lots of other things going on in Fawlty Towers of course. I wonder, to bring things into the current century, whether Ali G was class-based comedy.

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Human

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Anglican_Brat
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When I visited London, I was warned that British people were cold and stuffy, so when I went to a small theatre show, I was surprised that the staff addressed each other using the phrase "Luv", which I thought was rather intimate.

I asked a friend when I got back, and she told me that that was a matter of class, that you could say affectionate, close terms to people if you were in the same class, but you would never address that to your superiors.

Before we North Americans can be too smug about our "classless society", the classic objection to North America is that we pretend that class doesn't exist, even though it does.

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Palimpsest
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Are British Class sensitive? Does a fish know it's wet?
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Ohher
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I'm American, not English, British, or even European (though largely descended from that sceptered isle), so I can't say.

I am, however, now firmly convinced that the English clearly believe all Americans to be savages incapable of occupying even the lowest rung of any conceivable social order. I base this on the appalling PSA Jim Carter (Carson of Downton Abbey) has recorded for Public Television's BritWit Club, which uses such outdated and OTT stereotypical "Britishisms" that it's downright offensive.

I'm sure it's not poor Jim Carter's fault. No doubt some damn ad agency fool who has never set foot outside of Ealing wrote it for him.

I certainly wouldn't join this group on the basis of the PSA. They must force members to take their leave of meetings with cries of "Cheerio" and "Pip pip."
[Projectile]

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From the Land of the Native American Brave and the Home of the Buy-One-Get-One-Free

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Golden Key
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From cross the Pond:

FWIW, I've watched a lot of British TV (Britcoms, mysteries, drama, travel, educational) throughout my life. Mostly on PBS. AIUI, here (the SF Bay Area) is the most devoted and largest group of viewers for those shows.

Anyway, the shows almost always emphasize social/financial class. Between that, and the royals and nobles, we tend to think you folks are pretty class conscious.

As to the US: we're very class conscious. Just handled somewhat differently.

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Golden Key
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Ohher--

quote:
Originally posted by Ohher:
I'm American, not English, British, or even European (though largely descended from that sceptered isle), so I can't say.

I am, however, now firmly convinced that the English clearly believe all Americans to be savages incapable of occupying even the lowest rung of any conceivable social order. I base this on the appalling PSA Jim Carter (Carson of Downton Abbey) has recorded for Public Television's BritWit Club, which uses such outdated and OTT stereotypical "Britishisms" that it's downright offensive.

I'm sure it's not poor Jim Carter's fault. No doubt some damn ad agency fool who has never set foot outside of Ealing wrote it for him.

I certainly wouldn't join this group on the basis of the PSA. They must force members to take their leave of meetings with cries of "Cheerio" and "Pip pip."
[Projectile]

Ummm. I'm a fan of Downton, and have enjoyed the various extras for American fans that have been broadcast on PBS. (They've specifically mentioned us.) I don't know anything about the BritWit club you mentioned.

But was he maybe just using terms used in Downton? Many Americans love that sort of language, and thus love Downton; and love Downton, and thus love the language. It creates a mood.

And also reminds fans they have this because of PBS, and that maybe they should renew/begin their membership next time around.

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?"--Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon"
--"I'm not giving up--and neither should you." --SNL

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M.
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In Dad's Army, Captain Mainwaring was very much lower middle class, not upper middle. Sergeant Wilson was much higher in the social scale, becoming an Honourable and being on close terms with Lady Something or other when she lent her Roller to the platoon for the duration.

Sorry, just slightly outraged that upthread, someone said Captain Mainwaring was upper middle class - his father was a draper!

No, the British aren't obsessed by class.....

M.

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ExclamationMark
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quote:
Originally posted by Robert Armin:
Agreed that a lot of comedy is class based - but doesn't that indicate that we don't take class seriously any more?

Of course we do - it affects more lives than most people imagine in the sense of opening doors or, alternatively, banging them firmly shut. How many Bishops in the CofE are from "humble" origins? What % of heir time do they spend in state schools vs independents, posh parishes vs working class?

The evidence is in two books- Pickett and Wilkinson's "The Spirit Level" and Owen Jones's "Chavs". The latter is especially painful to read

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Barnabas62
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Probably my theme for the week! It's all about our pecking order instincts, honed by millenia of social animal behaviour. Power got you the best food and the best mating opportunities. Social animals developed pecking order instincts about relative power and relative communal value. Result, in the fullness of time, various hierarchical social structures. Which morphed in various ways through different cultures and memes. The UK version has made for good period piece dramas, but I think the toffee-nosed snobbery extreme is on its way out here.

But instinctive intuitive assessments of relative power and status will continue, largely because such observational instincts are built in.

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betjemaniac
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quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
I think the toffee-nosed snobbery extreme is on its way out here.


the interesting thing about that is that IMO that in itself is a feature of the insecure middle more than anything else, and a projection *from* the revolutionaries *onto* the upper.

In reality, the upper and lowest have usually got the most in common in terms of taste and mores, and differ only in the funds they've got available to indulge themselves.

It's yer actual petit borgeoisie that go in for "toffee nosed snobbery extreme" - the Buckets/Lynda Snells of this world.

Can't remember who made the observation about rugby league (Brian Redhead?) - the terraces at a rugby league club are/were filled with the workers and the old Etonian sons of the mill/mine owners. It was the doctors, dentists and solicitors who were/are missing. They were off defining themselves as "not the workers" at the rugby union club.

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And is it true? For if it is....

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betjemaniac
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Which is sort of the point of the central struggle of Dad's Army - Arthur Lowe is the grammar school boy made good, son of a draper and mildly ashamed that hes's *only* in the Rotary Club rather than the golf club. He was an officer in the first war, but only in 1919, and so "missed" the chance to fight.

Wilson is the urbane, charming, ex public school Hon, who *was* a frontline officer in WW1, has a chestful of medals which (unlike Jones) he never wears, and is nevertheless happy to be Mainwaring's sgt and put up with his boss' snobberies because they don't mean anything to him.

IME the interaction between Wilson as top, and the working class private soldiers of the platoon is entirely typical of what actually happens. The tension is mostly between middle and lower (people "getting above themselves" vs being terrified of falling back down the ladder).

It's all nonsense really.

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And is it true? For if it is....

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:
Which is sort of the point of the central struggle of Dad's Army - Arthur Lowe is the grammar school boy made good, son of a draper and mildly ashamed that hes's *only* in the Rotary Club rather than the golf club. He was an officer in the first war, but only in 1919, and so "missed" the chance to fight.

You seem to be muddling up the actor with the character here. Arthur Lowe was only born in 1915 so cannot have been an officer.

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arse

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balaam

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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
Would you expect to see <snip> someone in a hoody and leggings enjoying afternoon tea and cakes in the local tearoom?

If you would count jeans and trainers instead of leggings, yes, me.

Class is not a problem to most unless you see yourself as either better than others, such as users of chav, or redneck as social descriptors, or see onesself as belonging to what you see as better people, such as the wonderfully observed Captain Mainwaring and Basil Fawlty.

Most just get on with being people and meeting people.

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betjemaniac
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:
Which is sort of the point of the central struggle of Dad's Army - Arthur Lowe is the grammar school boy made good, son of a draper and mildly ashamed that hes's *only* in the Rotary Club rather than the golf club. He was an officer in the first war, but only in 1919, and so "missed" the chance to fight.

You seem to be muddling up the actor with the character here. Arthur Lowe was only born in 1915 so cannot have been an officer.
Hmm, if you swap the word is after Lowe for plays.... That whole para is about his character.

Although the other part of the casting genius is that moving the dates along (because obviously neither was in WW1) Lowe/Mainwaring and Wilson/Le Mesurier were basically playing themselves. Originally Lowe was going to be the sgt and Le Mesurier the officer, until Perry and Croft realised it would be funnier to swap them.

The 2 WW1 veterans in the cast who *could* have been in the WW2 home guard were John Laurie and Arnold Ridley. Arnold Ridley's life in particular is fascinating....

anyway, I digress....

[ 01. November 2017, 09:06: Message edited by: betjemaniac ]

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by balaam:


Most just get on with being people and meeting people.

I think the opposite is actually true: we all inhabit particular niches in our society and rarely interact with anyone who isn't in that niche, even when their reality is superimposed onto the geography we are familiar with.

Some of us live in places where almost everyone is in more-or-less the same niche, and therefore can confidently say that we don't understand what everyone else is going on about.

I'd suggest the majority live in complicated societies where we are only comfortable with the people we are comfortable with and where there exist a whole load of people who might have superficially similar lives (for example we might interact with them briefly in Tescos) but whom we have very little understanding of them or what they do.

I don't think this is quite about class exactly, but it is a feature of a stratified society where the "ideal" seems to be everyone keeping to themselves.

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:
In reality, the upper and lowest have usually got the most in common in terms of taste and mores, and differ only in the funds they've got available to indulge themselves.

I think this is a conceit, and if it were ever true is far less true these days.
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Doc Tor
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I grew up in a village, which (at the time*) was still a place where people from all different classes lived and worked.

So when I was young I mixed with the children of agricultural labourers, farmers, office workers and engineers at the nearby atom plants. The middle/upper classes tended to send their kids to minor public schools, but their parents, who I met at the parish church, included titled peers, the Lord Lieutenant of the county, a high court judge, inheritors of a 'family' firm (now a global concern), very senior retired military men. And the class distinctions were absolutely there. To say they weren't is laughable.

This is not to say that the 'old money' upper class weren't genuinely decent people - most of them were: kind, generous, honest, reliable. But that could also be said for most of the adults I came into contact with. It was just that I became increasingly aware of the extent of the gulf in terms of monetary wealth and influence between the classes, and just who you needed 'onside' in local disputes.

It was one thing to have popular opinion behind you, but a couple of phone calls from Lord Whatsisface and His Worship would have whateveritwas sorted before the sun went down. And you were left with no doubt as to who had the power, and who didn't. You were cast into the role of supplicant, whether you wanted to or not.

Things have changed since then. Dramatically. The 'new money' is often more wealthy that the 'old money', with none of the noblesse oblige to temper their excesses. If anything, the social stratification has got worse - the working, lower-middle and middle-middle classes have been cleansed from the village due to rising house prices, so that the train deposits the cleaners, teachers, admin staff, and the care workers at the station as it picks up the managers and CEOs to take them the other way.

I don't know about obsessed, but it's there, and with the crushing of the middle classes, the gulf is simply wider between the haves and the have-nots. We ignore that at our peril.


*A fairly modest house in my mum's road has just gone on sale for £840,000

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betjemaniac
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quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:
In reality, the upper and lowest have usually got the most in common in terms of taste and mores, and differ only in the funds they've got available to indulge themselves.

I think this is a conceit, and if it were ever true is far less true these days.
Well of course, your MMV. I have to say I happen to believe on the basis of experience that it's true rather than a conceit. I'm not sure about your counter conceit because, as I say, YMMV.

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:
Well of course, your MMV. I have to say I happen to believe on the basis of experience that it's true rather than a conceit. I'm not sure about your counter conceit because, as I say, YMMV.

So what taste and mores are shared by the upper-classes and the lowest ?
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betjemaniac
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quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:
Well of course, your MMV. I have to say I happen to believe on the basis of experience that it's true rather than a conceit. I'm not sure about your counter conceit because, as I say, YMMV.

So what taste and mores are shared by the upper-classes and the lowest ?
In my experience, it's more about what they share not having - primarily hang ups and snobberies about class - in favour of getting on with their lives.

Class hang ups and snobberies usually come from the middle (ie, as someone who if they had to grade themselves would be somewhere between lower middle and middle middle, me) and are focused both upwards and downwards. No one else cares.

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Doc Tor
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quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:
In my experience, it's more about what they share not having - primarily hang ups and snobberies about class - in favour of getting on with their lives.

Oh, come now. Not having food? Not having adequate housing? Not having choice?

You'll be having us singing the forbidden 3rd verse of All Things Bright and Beautiful next.

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Sioni Sais
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quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:
Well of course, your MMV. I have to say I happen to believe on the basis of experience that it's true rather than a conceit. I'm not sure about your counter conceit because, as I say, YMMV.

So what taste and mores are shared by the upper-classes and the lowest ?
If nothing else they don't care. The lower-middles are obsessed by appearances and I believe this thread demonstrates that [Biased]

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betjemaniac
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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
]Oh, come now. Not having food? Not having adequate housing? Not having choice?


last time I checked those weren't tastes or mores, which this conversation is about. It would be lunacy to say they were the same people living the same lives, for precisely the reasons you bring up.

Again, in a thread about snobbery and class, I was pointing out that IME the top and bottom are the ones who care least about it.

If you want to have a conversation about socio economic determinants, purchasing power, or life opportunities then it might be a short one because we'd be in violent agreement. Class =/= money.

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Enoch
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quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:
... Class hang ups and snobberies usually come from the middle (ie, as someone who if they had to grade themselves would be somewhere between lower middle and middle middle, me) and are focused both upwards and downwards. No one else cares.

This is a fashionable view, and one I've heard repeated many times, but it isn't true. The upper classes have a very strong sense of rank. It's just that from where they are, the rest of us all look the same.


On Dad's Army, there's an extra ingredient which people haven't mentioned. Yes, Captain Mainwaring is full of pretension. Was his name was originally just spelt Mannering? He's managed to climb the ladder, but being a bank manager in the branch in Walmington-on-Sea isn't really very far. But Sergeant Wilson has come down in the world. A man with his start in life should not just be an assistant in a nondescript branch of a bank. How has he washed up there?

There's also a bit of a mystery about why. Is he just a nice chap but without much go in him? Or is it that there's the sort of matrimonial history that in those days largely excluded a person from the golf club? Did his wife run off or did he run off with Mrs Pike? Is he really just her lodger? Is Private Pike actually his son? Mrs Pike is clearly NOCD. Pike's age would mean that if he is Wilson's son, the scandal would have been sometime in the early-mid-twenties. If he'd once had a promising career in the bank, that sort of scandal might have been OK in some parts of inter-war society, but it would have prevented him ever doing well in the bank.

[ 01. November 2017, 11:21: Message edited by: Enoch ]

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betjemaniac
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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
Or is it that there's the sort of matrimonial history that in those days largely excluded a person from the golf club?

Although of course, in a nod to the middle class craving for differentiation and acceptability further up the pole, in the episode where he becomes an Hon he is immediately made a member of the golf club.....

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Doc Tor
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quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:
Again, in a thread about snobbery and class, I was pointing out that IME the top and bottom are the ones who care least about it.

Essentially, you're suggesting that the upper classes are happy holding the chains, and the lower classes are happy wearing them.

I'd agree with the former. The latter have merely become habituated to them.

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Moo

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quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas 62
Power got you the best food and the best mating opportunities.

It wasn't quite that simple. Many people have sex where they want to, regardless of the social structure. Usually they manage to conceal what they're doing.

I have heard of an interesting comparison in the animal kingdom. I saw a TV program about elk and the rutting season. The conventional wisdom was that the most powerful males fought, and the victor had sex with all the females. The researchers discovered that while the fighting was going on, many of the females mated with lower-status males and presumably had their offspring.

Moo

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:
In my experience, it's more about what they share not having - primarily hang ups and snobberies about class - in favour of getting on with their lives.

Which is nothing to do with tastes and mores, and more about 'accepting your place in life' - what Doc Tor said basically, complete with a stanza of "All Things Bright and Beautiful".
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betjemaniac
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quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:
In my experience, it's more about what they share not having - primarily hang ups and snobberies about class - in favour of getting on with their lives.

Which is nothing to do with tastes and mores, and more about 'accepting your place in life' - what Doc Tor said basically, complete with a stanza of "All Things Bright and Beautiful".
If you want to have a discussion about the Young Hegelians and the emergence of Marxist labour theory then we can....although as with Doc Tor I suspect it won't go anywhere because we'll be on the same page.

I was making a point about who it is that cares about class signifiers in terms of language and behaviour, because that's the way the thread had gone when I joined it. And I'll maintain that it's generally not the top or the bottom.

In terms of singing, I prefer John Ball.

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Kwesi
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I wonder whether this thread would feature in any other culture than in England? And discussed with such relish and sophisticated analysis? India, perhaps?
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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
On Dad's Army, there's an extra ingredient which people haven't mentioned.

I'm sure there's a PhD thesis in there somewhere ...

The second paragraph of this article may be of interest.

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:
I was making a point about who it is that cares about class signifiers in terms of language and behaviour

But again; not caring about tastes and mores as class signifiers is different from sharing common tastes and mores.

[ 01. November 2017, 12:36: Message edited by: chris stiles ]

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