* Culture and Identity
Assess the view that social class is no longer an important source of identity for most people
OUTLINE OF ANSWER | FURTHER DETAILS|
Introduction| Social class refers to:
A combination of the amount of wealth an individual owns and the type of job one does. Although there are several ways of defining and measuring class, the government today divides the population up into eight broad categories depending on the type of job and the amount of socio-economic status that derives from these job types.
This essay will look at the upper class, middle class and working class to assess whether there are any distinct boundaries between them.| The upper class| The upper class share many elements of culture. Provide a brief description of the following aspects of upper class culture: Family life Families are often extended and the very wealthy families connected by marriage.
Many members of the upper classes are educated in fee-paying public schools such as Eton and Harrow.
The ‘old school tie’This refers to the networks that are built up during mutual attendance at the above schools which are often drawn on in elite recruitment to business or politics.
These tend to be ‘high cultural’ activities such as ballet, art and opera or traditional aristocratic pursuits such as fox hunting.
Evidence for there being a distinct upper class| Westergaard and Resler argue that:There is a massive concentration of wealth in the top 5% of the population and that this 5% have privileged access to political power.
Evidence against there being a distinct upper class| Saunders argues that:It is harder to find a distinct ruling class in Britain because many of the rich elite are international and millions of people’s pensions are tied up with the same companies these rich individuals control, meaning our interests are the same.
The middle classes| Shared elements...