New social classes

BBC is talking about social classes today. I took the test and I am really disappointed. For a survey presented to 160 thousand people, it is poorly constructed, for example:

Survey: How often do you eat out?

Me: Never

Survey: How much do you usually spend?

Me: Nothing. No n/a option so will just leave it blank.

Survey: Please choose one answer.

Me: Less than a fiver then.

Another example: what do you do. No option for people like me – used to work but cannot now and it might be that I never will. It’s either your most recent job or “never worked”.

Anyway, they say that there are now seven social classes depending on one’s economic, social and cultural capital. They never said what class I belong to. My scores were not surprising though:

  • low economic capital (low income, no savings, renting my flat)
  • low social (no money so do not socialise – connections break off once you are on the dole and all you have to offer is a cup of value tea) and
  • medium cultural (low income – no money for entertainment; I think my library habit saved me; or my education).

All in all, I think I am a member of the precariat (an ugly portmanteau for precarious proletariat):

This is the most deprived class of all with low levels of economic, cultural and social capital. The everyday lives of members of this class are precarious.

Apparently, 15% of society belong to precariat which is really sad when you think about it. That’s a very large group whose basic human needs are not met. We have very little chance to improve our lot and currently our opportunities are being limited even further by the welfare reform. It makes you wonder how the Tories manage to stay in power when so many people are at the bottom of society.

I am waiting anxiously to hear IDS say that precariat is obviously where all the skivers are – if we only made some effort, we could rejoice with him in the upper echelons of the strivers’ elite class.