Log in

No account? Create an account
entries friends calendar profile AT: Gate of Ivory, Gate of Horn Previous Previous Next Next
A frustrated and largely rhetorical question. - Wemyss's Appalling Hobby:
From the Party Guilty of Committing 'Gate of Ivory, Gate of Horn'
A frustrated and largely rhetorical question.
WHY do people persist in describing the Weasleys, not as skint, which they are, but as 'working class'?  WHY?

Tags: , , ,

39 comments or Leave a comment
(Deleted comment)
ellie_nor From: ellie_nor Date: May 27th, 2007 10:50 am (UTC) (Link)

To save <lj user=wemyss> the bother of answering

Class is based on occupation/social standing, not on wealth. You can be an aristocrat (upper class) and be very poor, or you can be working class and very rich.

My personal understanding of the British class system:

lumpenproletariat = unemployed or illegally employed / self-employed
working class = blue collar - manual labour, whether employed or self-employed
middle class = white collar - desk-based work, from clerical to senior management, or 'professions', like lawyer, doctor, priest, teacher, etc.
upper class = land-owning families - largely the aristocracy
ellie_nor From: ellie_nor Date: May 27th, 2007 10:51 am (UTC) (Link)

additional thoughts

But you can be middle class and unemployed - a lot has to do with the class culture in which you're raised, expectations, aspirations, etc.
(Deleted comment)
alexia75 From: alexia75 Date: May 27th, 2007 10:43 am (UTC) (Link)
Because "people" do not understand the class system but persist on using it as though they do.
ellie_nor From: ellie_nor Date: May 27th, 2007 10:52 am (UTC) (Link)
Perhaps because 'people' are largely American / otherwise non-British and assume that class relates to money, as it usually does in their own culture?
eagles_rock From: eagles_rock Date: May 27th, 2007 01:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
OK, I guess not what you're looking for but...

..because Molly's as common as muck, Fred&George are chavs, Percy's in a rebellion against his parents by being middle-class and Ron cares about money to the extent of admitting so. Bill and Charlie are the sterortypical working-class grammar-school pupils who emigrate to get away from home.

But yes, Arthur's middle-class.
eagles_rock From: eagles_rock Date: May 27th, 2007 01:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
But more than anything - Molly and Arthur don't *aspire*. Not an ounce. And I daresay Ron's very existence depended on that.

titti From: titti Date: May 27th, 2007 01:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
Priceless and so very true. *giggles*
themolesmother From: themolesmother Date: May 27th, 2007 01:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
I agree with you about Molly, she's definitely a couple of rungs down the class ladder from Arthur.

As for Fred and George - chavs is to kind a word for those two.

sollersuk From: sollersuk Date: May 27th, 2007 03:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
No, Molly is not common as muck. She is a dead ringer for the mother of friends of mine (also a large family... either five or six, I lost count) whose father was a baronet. She belonged to the class that simply didn't have to bother. Their biggest problem is that they are hard up. If Molly really had been common, she would have come up with a far better solution to the problem of Ron's dress robe. Her own problem is that she is impractical.
From: kaskait Date: May 27th, 2007 03:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
The Weaseleys are "working class", since when?

The family always struck me as a family that were prior big deals in the WW and now are just holding on by their finger nails. If they weren't then Malfoy would have been able to crush Arthur into dust in the MOM and Molly wouldn't be so concerned with isolating her children from "lesser" families.

That was my impression.
wemyss From: wemyss Date: May 28th, 2007 12:38 pm (UTC) (Link)


Well stated.
j_lunatic From: j_lunatic Date: May 27th, 2007 11:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
Do the people who assume "broke = working class" tend to be American? The average American's attitude to class issues is to 1) deny that social classes exist in the U.S.; 2) directly correlate income to class; and 3) count as middle-class everyone who is not a manual laborer.

Also, the typical American attitude to civil servants is not positive; there's an assumption (going back to Ronald Reagan if not earlier) that the people who take these jobs are parasites making a living off honest workers' taxes; are too incompetent to succeed in the private sector; and are hiding this incompetence behind union regulations and other protective measures.
wemyss From: wemyss Date: May 28th, 2007 12:37 pm (UTC) (Link)

'Yes, Sir Humphrey?' '(Sigh.) Yes, Minister.'

The Yanks are by no means alone in their views of civil servants....

As to yr real question, I believe most of these class identifications I wonder at are indeed by overseas readers.
wemyss From: wemyss Date: May 28th, 2007 12:44 pm (UTC) (Link)

It's no bother, actually.

Looking at the responses thus far above, I simply find that I am in at least partial agreement with each of you and in complete agreement with one or two of you.

For more, please refer to (and weigh in at) the follow-on, which I will answer quite soon with my own dogmatic views: http://wemyss.livejournal.com/81284.html.
39 comments or Leave a comment