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Social Class System in Britain

Britain was once a class-ridden society. Class was a staple part of the British way of life. 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.

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

  • the Upper Class,
  • the Middle Class, and the
  • Lower or Working Classs

This is known as the Class system

The Different Class Systems

There are three main class divisions.

The Upper Classes tends to consist of people with inherited wealth, and includes some of the oldest families, with many of them being titled aristocrats. The upper classes are not only defined by their title, but also by their education, and their pastimes which includes the traditional sporting life involving hunting, shooting and fishing, as well as a great deal of horse riding for both leisure and as a competitive pursuit.

The Middle Classes are the majority of the population of Britain today. They include industrialists, professionals, businesspeople and shop owners.

Working class people are mostly agricultural, mine and factory workers.


You can tell which class people belong to by the way they speak (accent), their clothes, their interests, the way that they educate their children, or even the type of food they eat.


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© Copyright Mandy Barrow 2013

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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 Consulatant. 
She now teaches computers at The Granville School and St. John's Primary School in Sevenoaks Kent.