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New Internationalist Issue281


1 WORK: the most important single indicator of your class status is whether you derive your income (if you have one) as an employee or an owner.

a) 0; b) 30; c) 20; d) 10; e) 5; f) 45; g) 30; h) 40; i) 25; j) 25; k) 5 or 30 (if 'white-collar); l) 25 m) 30; n) 45 o) 0.

2 EXPECTATIONS: ambition counts for a lot, but there's a difference between what you'd ideally want and what you really expect ­p; give yourself marks only for what you're sure is realistic.

a) 30; b) 25; c) 20; d) 15; e) 10; f) 5; g) 0.

3 CREDIT: Your credit rating is a benchmark of your financial status: it's how the system decides where you fit, and it depends in good measure on the 'assets' you possess. Very few people have ever launched themselves up the class hierarchy, or managed to avoid falling back, without ready access to credit.

a) 50; b) 40; c) 30; d) 25; e) 20; f) 15; g) 10; h) 0.

4 INHERITANCE: whatever you may think to the contrary, the 'owning' or ruling class almost always relies on inherited privilege in hard cash for its status, and without it your chances of making headway in the class struggle are very much reduced.

a) 50; b) 40; c) 30; d) 25; e) 20; f) 15; g) 10; h) 0.

5 LIVING STANDARDS: well, even if you're not doing so well, at least if you're better off than your parents you can feel superior to someone and tell yourself you've made it yourself; if you're sliding backwards you'll have to deduct points.

a) 20; b) 10; c) 0; d) -10; e) -20.

6 EDUCATION: 'qualifications' do matter, but little more than the exclusiveness of the education you received and your 'contacts' ­p; the first lesson in class distinction.

1 a) 25; b) 20; c) 5; d) 10; e) 15; f) 10. 2 a) 0; b) 5; c) 10; d) 15; e) 5.

7 POSSESSIONS: ­p; as they say ­p; are nine-tenths of the law. Even at the
bottom of the class pile you probably possess something, but the nearer you get to the top the more important it becomes that what you possess is patently extravagant.

a) 15; b) 10; c) 20; d) 10; e) 25; f) 25; g) 25; h) 10; i) 30; j) 15; k) 25; l) 0.

8 SPARE TIME: having the resources to spend money on 'spare time' or 'entertainment' is pretty important to your status because the company you keep and the tastes you share may decide whether the class you aspire to is willing to accept you as a member.

a) 15; b) 5; c) 15; d) 20; e) 10; f) 15; g) 15; h) 30; i) 25; j) 30; k) 5; l) 10; m) 35; n) 20; o) 20; p) 20; q) 5; r) 15; s) 15; t) 5; u) 10; v) 10; w) 15; x) 5; y) 5; z) 10.

9 DRINKING: hard drinkers may not be too bothered how it comes, but our taste in drinks reflects very closely the class associations they have. Mark yourself only for what you most commonly drink during an ordinary week.

a) 5; b) 5; c) 15; d) 15; e) 20; f) 10; g) 15; h) 5; i) 5; j) 15; k) 10; l) 15; m) 20; n) 10; o) 20; p) 5.

10 HOW FAR ARE YOU PREPARED TO GO?: You can pick up a lot of points here, for trying. Award yourself 10 points for each one.

11 EARNINGS: in the end, there's no getting away from it - the amount of hard cash you pocket on a regular basis is more important than anything else in determining the 'capital' you are able to accumulate, or otherwise, and thus your class position.

a) 80; b) 60; c) 50; d) 40; e) 30; f) 20; g) 10; h) 0.

12 AUTHORITY: deduct 5 for every one you tick, except a), and deduct 10 if you ticked g).

Now add up your points:

MY SCORE......................

This test is just a bit of fun and not 'scientific' at all. But marketing executives around the world spend a great deal of time and money thinking about class: about who to 'target' and how to appeal to different 'segments' of the market: and it works! They routinely use the following classifications:

Points score needed to belong to:
A: Aristocracy/ruling - 501+
B: Upper middle - 301 to 500
C1: Middle - 151 to 300
C2: Working/lower - 51 to 150
D/E: Underclass - less than 50

Acknowledgement: Greg Hadfield and Mark Skipworth, Class: Where do you stand? Bloomsbury, London, 1994.

©Copyright: New Internationalist 1996 [image, unknown] Issue 281 Contents