Thursday, 4 April 2013

Officially even commoner than a pleb

I took the BBC's 'how posh are you?' test and have discovered that I belong to a class of people which is so plebbish that I never knew it existed. Even chavs decline to leave their cards at my home! Apparently I belong to something known as the 'Precariat' because I have a low income and do not own my home (the only options according to the BBC are to own or rent, so I selected rent; in fact, I am a tenant); I also know, like, and frequently associate with a lot of people the BBC presumably considers very common plebs.



Who drew up this thing? I've no problem with being a member of this Precariat (apparently representing the absolute dregs of society), but somehow I feel that it doesn't quite identify a lot of other characteristics which might be important. Yes, I know and associate with cleaners, manual workers and others, but I also would count some posh people among my friends.

Sometimes I think that the perceived class-ridden nature of UK society is a nonsense. At other times I'm not so sure. I'm especially intrigued that the (supposedly egalitarian) BBC seem to think it needs highlighting.

12 comments:

Eccles said...

I tried the same test on behalf of a certain elderly (76) person in Rome, guessing where necessary. He was also "Precariat."

Pastor in Valle said...

My: that is falling low!

William said...

Me too. Us dregs of society must stick together! (I would have said "we dregs", but I didn't want anyone to think that I had ambitions above my status. Nobody likes an uppity prole.)

Neil Jopson said...

I'm down in the Precariat too. (Is it me, or does that name they've given it sound a bit 1984?) But I don't mind, since it seems all the best people are here!

pelerin said...

I didn't make the Precariat Class but came out as 'Traditional Working Class'. (I do like the 'Traditional' bit!) Strangely it did say that the average age of this section was 66 which was only a few years out!

I then decided to do it again answering by ticking the highest savings section followed by interests such as football, video games, watching sport etc (as opposed to theatre, ballet, museums etc) and this came out as 'Elite.'

It is a pity people are still obsessed with class in this country but it was good to see that wonderful sketch again from TWTWTW with the Two Ronnies and John Cleese. 'I know my place' said Ronnie Corbett. - a Classic TV sketch.

Genty said...

Traditional working claass, me, but I'm a bit miffed I wasn't among the elite Precariat.
I'm pretty sure we lower echelons are looking up at the stars, though.

IanW said...

Actually, if you like theatre, opera and classical music in general you have a chance of moving up. More so if you're old enough to have payed off a mortgage, are still in work and have a defined contribution pension (which, unlike the superior defined benefit schemes enjoyed by academic sociologists and BBC employees, count as savings). Interestingly, the questions about the arts are about consumption, not participation. I'd hazard all that says more about those who made and publicised the research than it does about class in th UK.

William said...

Even for those of us who do "like theatre, opera and classical music", all of that seems to be outweighed by the simple fact of not being a homeowner.

No matter how posh I claim my friends are, and no matter how highbrow my cultural preferences, as soon as the program knows that I'm a tenant, the very highest I can possibly aspire is "emergent service worker". And that's only if I lie blatantly about everything else!

Rubricarius said...

Typical output of the current BBC.

I always thought the definition of being middle class was someone who had to buy their own silver.

Anonymous said...

@Rubricarius

I seem to recall a David Frost show which suggested that being middle class meant being able to listen to the William Tell Overture without thinking of 'The Lone Ranger'

pelerin said...

Anonymous - in that case I am definitely not middle class as the Lone Ranger (and of course Tonto) always come to mind if I hear the William Tell Overture!

gemoftheocean said...

Ditto. I was quite obvious that they paid next to no attention to the other alleged categories. The only one they paid attention to was "money." You'll notice they had no factors for educational attainment, or attitudes to mores, etc.