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What class do you think you are?

lower working class
5% (2 votes)
mid working class
21% (8 votes)
upper working class
18% (7 votes)
lower middle class
26% (10 votes)
middle class
26% (10 votes)
upper class
5% (2 votes)
Total votes: 39

Posted By

Augusto_Sandino
Mar 22 2004 14:30

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Augusto_Sandino
Mar 22 2004 14:30

someone else posted a thread similar to this, but im curious none-the-less. You have to admit that were all a little "more working class than thou", so honestly, what class do you think you are?

My dad is an electrical engineer (skilled job), my mum is a primary school teacher's assistant, we have an small but self owned house (still paying mortgage) i have a saturday job and go to state school, we have one car. Thus i judge myself to be an upper-working class person.

Now you do it....

Steve
Mar 22 2004 14:44

I'm working class. I haven't done the poll because I don't think you should distinguish beteween lower/middle/upper working class. Often the circumstances of working class people change from being desperatly skint to doing all right. Still working class though. I've fluctuated from one end to the other throughout my life.

Augusto_Sandino
Mar 22 2004 15:00

Yeah, ideally i would have put "proletarian" or "bourgoise" but i doubt that would make for an interesting poll!

I split it up, in the hope that alot of people would decide they were upper working class. These people (myself), sometimes get branded "middle class", espescially by the government, which in my opinion is doing a damn good job of ruining class identity and class solidarity. Its also a good excuse to screw them over, those "middle class" folks need to pay more tax etc.

pingtiao
Mar 22 2004 15:05

Define the options, then i'll vote!

red n black star

DayDreamer
Mar 22 2004 15:08

My god how many threads on class do we need! Seems to be turning into an obbsession.

Augusto_Sandino
Mar 22 2004 15:08

Aaaah, thats the problem. Theyre so hard to define. Define them for yourself.....

Augusto_Sandino
Mar 22 2004 15:10

And yeah, it is pretty obsessive. This one is different becuase its all about what you think you are, not what people tell you. Wrong or right, doesent matter.

Jacques Roux
Mar 22 2004 15:36
DayDreamer wrote:
Seems to be turning into an obbsession.

Never! grin grin

Anonymous
Mar 22 2004 15:39

there should be an option:

"no class - I don't recognise externally applied categories for my own identity; if anything I see myself as a human"

pingtiao
Mar 22 2004 15:45

Is that a translation of "Student"?

Steve
Mar 22 2004 16:00
DayDreamer wrote:
My god how many threads on class do we need! Seems to be turning into an obbsession.

When they do all the options thingies, race, gender, sexuallity, disablity etc. class gets left off. It's the only one the ruling class want us to forget about.

Steve: White, male, hetro, fully-abled WORKING CLASS red n black star

Norwicher
Mar 22 2004 16:01

Mmmm, so no 'untouchables' then? Anarchism on these islands IS in a mess... wink

Personally Julie Watersons' (down boys) 'council estate scum' comment suits me fine. circle A

Anonymous
Mar 22 2004 16:02
pingtiao wrote:
Is that a translation of "Student"?

we're all students (or dead)

JoeBlack
Mar 22 2004 16:02

I'm curious as to what 'lower middle class' means as it can have a few meanings, all of which involve 'not that well paid' +

1. I don't get my hands dirty (ie white collar)

2. My work involves some management of others.

3. I can hire and fire people (as opposed to the more limited management above).

4. I'm self-employed/work for my family (my preferred definition of the term).

Personally I think the problem is not that we talk about class but that we often do so in a way that is not at all easly understood by others. People far too easly seem to use sterotypes based around sport/accent/clothes rather then power or relationship with the means of production. This lends to 'class' simply being a term of abuse used against others 'the SWP are all middle class', etc.

woundedhobo
Mar 22 2004 17:04

I would guess most of us are muts. When you first meet a person, you might think "lower-middle class" , "skilled working class", etcetera, but when you look at the persons family, upbringing, the picture becomes a lot more mixed, at least in the states. Here's mine:

working class sympathies, especially with the worst paid/treated

financially upper-middle class parent, was a librarian (l.m.c) for the first 12 years of my life.

culturally lower-middle class (felt most similar to them, at least in the recent past), felt very uncomfortable at a middle-upper middle class party I was dragged to recently, noticed that I'm much more at ease around most homeless people.

lumpenproletariat/underclass relation to capitalist labor (don't work, partially disabled, cared for by others)

upper class relation to capitalism (most of my parent's money derived from capital-stocks,bonds, rent,etcetera)

BlackEconomyBooks
Mar 22 2004 19:54
Steve wrote:
I'm working class. I haven't done the poll because I don't think you should distinguish beteween lower/middle/upper working class. Often the circumstances of working class people change from being desperatly skint to doing all right. Still working class though. I've fluctuated from one end to the other throughout my life.

Hit the nail on its fuckin head their mate.

WORKING CLASS.

celtic67
Mar 23 2004 01:36

I agree with the above....I think the distinctions between upper middle and lower working class are kinda meaningless in the real world....Here's an example: I used to work in a greengrocers. There would be 3 people working at any one time, and we all earned minimum wage, the boss owned a few shops and he would drop in from time to time. At this point while working minimum wage and 12 hour shifts I suppose I would be lower working class. Then the boss gives me an extra 20p an hour in return for which Its my job to cash up and deal with orders. I suppose that maybe launched me up to middle working because I was training people and opening the shop. Then the boss decides he wants to do even less so I get another 20p an hour and now I have to fire people when the boss says someone has to be fired. Does that make me upper working class? Im hiring and firing but Im still making 5 quid an hour for 12 hour shifts. Then the boss sacks me and Im back down to lower as an unemployed guy on the dole.

During that period of 1 year I seem to have travelled through 3 different classes and back down but it sure didn't feel like I was going anywhere. In fact I think I was getting more screwed when I was 'upper' working class because I was doing a lot more work for not a lot more money.

WORKING CLASS.

Legend79
Mar 23 2004 12:10

Hmm, never heard of all these working class labels before, for me it's always been you're either working class or you're not. I reckon all those who ticked upper working class are middle class and would like to be working class. The fact that you've all got computers and can access them frequently would suggest you are not that working class. All the working class people i know could only uuse a computer at the library (if they were let in) and wouldn't bother going on one to come into a forum and discuss this stuff. In fact we never gave a crap about class distinction, those who were true working class heroes were just trying to survive the system. not that I'm dissing you guys or anything, just saying it as I've seen it.

Peace eek

little_grrl_lost
Mar 23 2004 12:48

i dont really know what class i am.... My mum came to this country as a refugee about 30 years ago... my dad couldnt return to his own country cos of political problems (they are both from Uganda). they both came from fairly well off backgrounds but when they were here they were fucked and had no money at all... my mum lived on a disused air base for a bit untill her and my dad got married... they got married and had theyre wedding reception on the airbase... my dad had alsorts of job before i was born.. park keeper, post man, shop worker... they he got a loan which was garanteed by the head of their relgious coumunity and bought a shop with a flat on top... they bought loads more shops and were doin pretty good for a bit... my mums health problems (she is disabled) my dad sold up... that was 10 years ago... now my dads retired hes on state pension... my parents dont own their own house and we havent got any money so i dunno...

sorry if this is long

embarrassed

JoeBlack
Mar 23 2004 13:34
Legend79 wrote:
The fact that you've all got computers and can access them frequently would suggest you are not that working class.

This is the sort of thing I was referring to earlier. From what I can make out those who can 'access [computers] frequently' can do so for one of two reasons.

1. They are a student

2. They are working in a job that involves computers (like me).

Now are computer workers working class because they sell their labour or middle class because they work at a desk? A lot of anarchists and the left often seem to talk as if the working class only consisted of those whose work involves getting dirty. Which leaves them addressing a shrinking audience (in the west). If you figure that anarchism has to have the support of a majority then this is a big problem.

[For those not familar with the computer industry - its a myth that everyone is making lots of money. Some of the shittest low paid jobs are either in help desks or packing. Skilled workers (programers etc) earn more but really only at at rate comparable with skilled manual workers like miners, car assembly workers etc. And like these workers high earnings are dependant on loads and loads of overtime.

The wealthy as elsewhere are those own own the companies. At the start of the industry this allowed for some workers to leap into the ruling class because they were part paid in shares that in some cases ended up worth shotloads. But these are a tiny, tiny percentage of the overall computer industry workforce. For most IT workers share schemes were a con which meant as soon as the downturn hit they took not only large pay cuts automatically but 'lost' money they thought they had saved.]

AlexA
Mar 23 2004 13:51

I really don't understand people's obsession with how well off/intellectual we all think we are. What has that got to do with anything?

Augusto you even said yourself that if you did the poll with the options "proletarian or bourgeois" you know what answers you'd get. So yeah why does it matter?

(Anyhoo Legend79 I've gone to a library on several occasions to check the forums!)

Steve
Mar 23 2004 13:58

You can get computers for next to nothing or even free these days. I know local groups who give them away. W/C people have mobile phones, DVDs, Sky etc and why not? Having a computer with an internet connection ain't a big deal.

wheresmyshoes
Mar 23 2004 15:40

yeah i totally agree with steve,pretty much all working class people i know have computers just as much most of the middle class kids i know have them too.

Lazlo_Woodbine
Mar 23 2004 16:01

Class exists in our relationshiops with each other -- we aren't static 'members' of one class or another. I think Celtic made the best reply so far.

LeighGionaire
Mar 23 2004 17:49

Same dead end job since leaving school in 1985, married man with four kids living in a terraced house and able to claim 'tax credit' cos my wage is low.

Do I qualify as working clas? smile

LBN
Mar 23 2004 18:23
Legend79 wrote:
The fact that you've all got computers and can access them frequently would suggest you are not that working class. All the working class people i know could only uuse a computer at the library (if they were let in) and wouldn't bother going on one to come into a forum and discuss this stuff. In fact we never gave a crap about class distinction, those who were true working class heroes were just trying to survive the system. not that I'm dissing you guys or anything, just saying it as I've seen it.

Peace eek

What utter patronising bollocks! My sister is a single mother on a council estate with three kids by different fathers, and even she has a computer roll eyes

'if they were let in' the library, LOL

LBN
Mar 23 2004 18:26

PS. I voted 'middle' working class, on the basis that I'm not unemployed or living in a council house, I have my own house but I earn less than the average wage and I don't have a lot of spare cash for luxuries.

captainmission
Mar 23 2004 18:34
JoeBlack wrote:
People far too easly seem to use sterotypes based around sport/accent/clothes rather then power or relationship with the means of production.

Ok, but i don't think just dismiss the 'cultural' elements of class in favour its suposed 'reality'. Culture plays a massive role in reproducing class society. The cultural capital I have, coming from a lower-middle class background, will give me advantages that other won't have. The fact I can speak with an RP accent, have knowledge of beuarcratic systems or even understanding certain cultural refeneces can all help achive postion in class heirarchy. These cultural 'sterotypes' operate can as a power in themselves. The fact that people focus on these things ain't neccesarily bad- we feel oppression as much culturally as we do materially- just a question of how we radicalise that understanding.

Think alot of the confusion of when we talk about class comes from trying combine a whole series of diffent levels of analysis into one. We've got a structural analysis of capitalism (where we stand in relation to the means of production), a cultural understanding, plus a moral critique. So one of the effects of capitalism on a structural level is to debasement of human agency and any sense with who responsability lies- its one of the features of markets and beauracaries. But it then very difficult when we try to apply a moral criticism of capitalism- which relies on locating agency and responsability. We can indentify two opposing camps. But theirs an awful lot of flux in the middle, espically with the increased development of surviellence as a managerial technology- when we become increasingly 'responsable' for managing our own work lifes.

Augusto_Sandino
Mar 23 2004 20:18

So despite alot of peoples middle class bashing ( the SWP are all middle class, etc.), you all admit that the defenition between different kinds of working class and between working class and lower middle class is meaningless! wink

RadikalProfit
Mar 23 2004 23:26

Well, i guess i am the only one here who is not working class. My mum is working class from london, but my dad is not. i started as a middle class child, but by 15 was closer the upper class by many standards i assume. a student now, but reap the financial benefits of where i come from. no regrets, no fears, no worries. class is like colour, little can be done about it. certainly dont think i will remain up there; working my way down as it is now. but not ashamed of where i come from, its who i am.