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Do you feel like you fall into a class ... or a class of your own? (XX)
Do you feel like you fall into a class ... or a class of your own? (XX)
Do you feel like you fall into a class … or a class of your own? (UCD)

Here’s your chance to take a quiz to see if you have any class. That would be class as in which class you belong to in the economic and social strata, as in highfaluting or downtrodden.

One of the major differences between the U.S. and the U.K. has always been that, here in America, we don’t have a formal class system. In the land of the free, even the income inequality gap grows ever greater, most Americans self-identify as middle-class. This is true whether we make $20,000 a year or $1 million.

In the U.K., people are far more comfortable labeling themselves as working-class or even aristo.

The BBC has decided that the traditional system of identifying folks as either working-, middle- or upper-class needs to be refined to better fit the 21st century. Aided by a group of sociologists from leading universities, BBC surveyed 161,000 members of its audience regarding their finances and cultural and social interests.

The results, newly released as The Great British Class Survey, present a revised class system broadened to include seven categories. They are (from highest to lowest): Elite, Established Middle Class, Technical Middle Class, New Affluent Workers, Emergent Service Workers, Traditional Working Class, and Precariat (as in leading a precarious existence).

The big conclusion about why this new classification system is more appropriate to how Brits live today: “People tend to think they belong to a particular class on the basis of their job and income. These are aspects of economic capital. Sociologists think that your class is indicated by your cultural capital and social capital. Our analysis looked at the relationship between economic, cultural and social capital.”

Here’s the really cool part: you can take a quiz to find out to which of new groups you belong. Just click here to take the test. (Keep in mind when converting your U.S. dollar salary, property holdings and savings to British pounds for the test that the current conversion rate is 1 dollar to .66 pounds.)

To read the BBC’s story on the survey, click here.  To read the actual scholarly article–warning, it’s heavy going–in Sociology, an academic journal, click here.

If you took the test, were you surprised at your class designation?

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Filed Under: Class Status, Quiz, Survey
By Leah Rozen