Project BritainProject Britain

British Life and Culture

by Mandy Barrow

What's happening this month? | Jan | Feb | Mar | Aprl | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sept| Oct | Nov | Dec
Follow me on Twitter
British life and culture - England, Scotland and Wales
Social Class System in Britain

Britain was once a class-ridden society. Today, multiculturalism and a changing economy are gradually eroding the British class system, but some features of the system still remain.

What is Class?

Sociologists define social class as the grouping of people by occupations. Doctors and lawyers and university teachers are given more status than unskilled labourers. The different positions represent different levels of power, influence and money. In days gone by your class would affect your chances of getting an education, a job, etc. and it would also affect the people who you could socialise with and marry. Today this type of thing is all-but-gone with the high-profile exception of the Royal family.

The British Social Class System

The British society has often been considered to be divided into three main groups of classes:

  • the Upper Class
    Often people with inherited wealth. Includes some of the oldest families, with many of them being titled aristocrats.
  • the Middle Class
    The majority of the population of Britain. They include industrialists, professionals, business people and shop owners.
  • Lower or Working Class
    People who are agricultural, mine and factory workers.

The British Class System today

Although some people in the UK still refer to themselves as "working-class", "lower-middle" or "upper-middle" (and of course there are those who think of themselves as the "elite" class), to the majority of the British the meanings don't seem to matter much these days.


back to the top

email© Copyright - please read
All the materials on these pages are free for homework and classroom use only. You may not redistribute, sell or place the content of this page on any other website or blog without written permission from the Mandy Barrow.

© Copyright Mandy Barrow 2014

Mandy is the creator of the Woodlands Resources section of the Woodlands Junior website. 
The two websites and are the new homes for the Woodlands Resources.

Mandy left Woodlands in 2003 to work in Kent schools as an ICT Consultant.
She now teaches computers at The Granville School and St. John's Primary School in Sevenoaks Kent.

Follow Mandy on Twitter

Woodlands Junior Homework Help new website