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Source: (consider it) Thread: Are the English obsessed by Class?
Russ
Old salt
# 120

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quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:
Class =/= money.

That's what makes it so fascinating. You're right - the difference between "old money" and "new money" better illustrates what class is about than any comparison of richer and poorer.

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Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

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Baptist Trainfan
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# 15128

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Yes, but the "new money" of one generation turns into "old money" in the next (or next-but-one) - especially if the children have been sent to a Public School - surely the hot-houses for instilling class consciousness.
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lilBuddha
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# 14333

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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?

It indicates the opposite. Humour takes real life and pushes or twists it.
quote:
Originally posted by balaam:

Class is not a problem to most unless you see yourself as either better than others,

This is the purpose of class.

quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
Yes, but the "new money" of one generation turns into "old money" in the next (or next-but-one) - especially if the children have been sent to a Public School - surely the hot-houses for instilling class consciousness.

Money one generation back doesn't make one posh.
quote:
Originally posted by Kwesi:
I wonder whether this thread would feature in any other culture than in England? And discussed with such relish and sophisticated analysis? India, perhaps?

Caste and class are discussed and debated in India. I do not have enough experience to make direct comparisons, though.
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:

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.

Addressing this problem takes effort. Continuous and educated effort.


We are so fucked.

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Sioni Sais
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# 5713

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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
Yes, but the "new money" of one generation turns into "old money" in the next (or next-but-one) - especially if the children have been sent to a Public School - surely the hot-houses for instilling class consciousness.

Haven't you heard of the down side of new money: "Clogs to clogs in three generations". It only takes one generation of wastrels to throw it all away.

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(Paul Sinha, BBC)

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Baptist Trainfan
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Indeed I have. (Doesn't work south of Watford Gap, of course ...).
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Sighthound
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# 15185

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Get a bunch of English people who don't know each other and they almost always immediately start a subtle enquiry to ascertain who "outranks" who. What do you do? Where do you live? Etc. Etc. Sounds innocent, but isn't.

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Leorning Cniht
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# 17564

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quote:
Originally posted by Sighthound:
Get a bunch of English people who don't know each other and they almost always immediately start a subtle enquiry to ascertain who "outranks" who. What do you do? Where do you live? Etc. Etc. Sounds innocent, but isn't.

You must, of course, speak for yourself. But to my mind, the function of these common conversational gambits is to establish some common point of interest to facilitate a conversation.

I meet some person somewhere, initial pleasantries are exchanged, and then what? Perhaps you do something I find interesting. Perhaps I do something you find interesting. Perhaps we have friends in common, or some knowledge or interest in the area in which the other person lives, or ...

You don't need those questions to determine some kind of social ranking. That comes for free from accent, word choice, bearing, and any number of other cues. What you do with that information, of course, is up to you.

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quetzalcoatl
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# 16740

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That reminds me of when I met my brother-in-law for the first time, who was a Tory MP. I have quite a strong Northern accent, and dress fairly scruffily. Hmm, a bit hard to place.

So, he had a brain-wave. 'Which school did you go to?'.

I mentioned a well-known public school, and he relaxed. I was sort in the club, although marginal, better check the silver tonight.

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the main fear that flat-earthers face is sphere itself.

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Fuzzipeg
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My father was a parish priest in darkest Norfolk when I was in my late teens. At the Point-to-Point we had seats in the grandstand in the same row as the doctor and vet....which we found amusing!

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
quote:
Originally posted by Sighthound:
Get a bunch of English people who don't know each other and they almost always immediately start a subtle enquiry to ascertain who "outranks" who. What do you do? Where do you live? Etc. Etc. Sounds innocent, but isn't.

You must, of course, speak for yourself. But to my mind, the function of these common conversational gambits is to establish some common point of interest to facilitate a conversation.
I think it is sometimes one, sometimes the other and often both. Much like the American version: ‘So, what do you do?’

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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quetzalcoatl
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So many stories. I was pally for a while with a rector in central London, ex-army officer, very posh guy, anyway, sometimes we used to go in Fortnum and Mason's to eat scrambled eggs. To quote the film, 'made it ma, top of the world'.

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the main fear that flat-earthers face is sphere itself.

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balaam

Making an ass of myself
# 4543

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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
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,
My mileage varies on this.

There are different areas of life. You could have work colleagues, friends at church, be part of an interest in something, say a sports club, art class or something. Those in those circles are not necessarily in the same social class, and they in turn have their own circle.

Some may only react only within one niche, but there is no need to if you don't want to. I don't want to and so don't.

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L'organist
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# 17338

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Are the English (or should that be British) obsessed with Class? Hmm, I'd say sort of.

Actually its the Middle Class who are obsessed with Class - the uppers and others couldn't give a damn, and on the whole get on far better with each other than they do with the Middles.

But as my old nanny used to say, One should behave the same and speak the same whether you're with a dustman or a duchess: I think thats a pretty fair attitude,

And in the UK being upper class is definitely nothing to do with money: in fact bothering about whether or not someone is rich is definitely ill-bred and vulgar.

[ 03. November 2017, 00:36: Message edited by: L'organist ]

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Robert Armin

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# 182

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Even in Austen's day, when class clearly mattered, people who worry about class distinctions were mocked, and shown to be fools of some kind.


Maybe it comes with being a vicar, but I meet all sorts of people, and get on with them - and they with me. If we have a falling out, it isn't about class, it's about opinions. Maybe I'm blind but I don't see the segregated society that some of you are talking about.

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Dafyd
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# 5549

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quote:
Originally posted by Robert Armin:
Even in Austen's day, when class clearly mattered, people who worry about class distinctions were mocked, and shown to be fools of some kind.

Up to a point. Emma is foolish not to think Robert Martin worthy of Harriet, and it's a sign that she's learnt her lessons once she would be pleased to meet him; but she'd never think of marrying him herself.

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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chris stiles
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# 12641

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quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:

Actually its the Middle Class who are obsessed with Class - the uppers and others couldn't give a damn, and on the whole get on far better with each other than they do with the Middles.

As a tired old saw has already been discussed upthread, and demolished beautiful by Doc Tor.
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quetzalcoatl
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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Armin:
Even in Austen's day, when class clearly mattered, people who worry about class distinctions were mocked, and shown to be fools of some kind.

Up to a point. Emma is foolish not to think Robert Martin worthy of Harriet, and it's a sign that she's learnt her lessons once she would be pleased to meet him; but she'd never think of marrying him herself.
I think that it's arrivistes who are mocked, such as Mrs Elton, with her airs and graces. Other people don't worry about class, because it's so entrenched. We don't expect a servant in any of her novels to become eloquent, or to flirt with one of the ladies.

It's quite striking, because Austen is justly famous for having feisty and articulate heroines, so she is changing the balance of the sexes, but class is a bridge too far.

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Jay-Emm
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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Armin:
Even in Austen's day, when class clearly mattered, people who worry about class distinctions were mocked, and shown to be fools of some kind.

Up to a point. Emma is foolish not to think Robert Martin worthy of Harriet, and it's a sign that she's learnt her lessons once she would be pleased to meet him; but she'd never think of marrying him herself.
I'm pretty sure it's more than that. Emma is the one who partially forgets class distinctions (or rather 'promotes' her friends to the Gentry), and is (as I understand it) mocked for it.
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