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British Class System

Learn about the British Class System

jeudi 6 mai, Il y a 27 mois
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It seems that the UK is obsessed with class: can you talk to us about the traditional classes?
It's very much been part of the character of British society as it emerged out of being an agricultural or rural and feudal society into, of course, one of the first industrial nations, and that's where we saw the emergence of what we now refer to as our traditional British class system. Which we tended to see in terms of three classes. So we had an upper class, which tended to be a bit of the remnants of an agricultural society of these aristocratic families, who own huge amounts of land. Then we had the middle class, for example, at the turn of the 20th century, was quite small, and consisted primarily of white-collar workers, high level managers, to some extent a small number of professionals. And then we talked about a working class, which was the vast majority of people say, for example, at the turn of the 20th century, who were manual workers, working in industry, particularly men working in coal mining, the steel industry, large scale factories and so on. And also a very important part of their traditional British class system, was that there was very little social mobility between the middle class and the working class, so, it was very hard to go across that manual/non-manual divide.

Difficult words

to emerge: to come out of something
feudal: relating to the social system of western Europe in the Middle Ages (système féodal)
to tend: to be likely to happen or to have a particular characteristic or effect
remnant: piece left over (reste, vestige)
amount: quantity
white-collar workers: people who work in offices, doing work that needs mental rather than physical effort
to some extent: partly
coal: charbon

steel: acier

large scale: involving many people or things

factory: usine

Sources: Vocable.fr "Lieux et formes de pouvoir"

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