Original post removed by author
Well - this opened a can of worms, didn't it!!??
Of course there is a class system in France - just the same as there a class system to be found in every country in Europe that I have ever lied in, or visited come to that!!
Some people are less prepared to admit to it than others - that is certainly true - but that doesn't mean it isn't there!!
Effectively a "class" is just a label - and as pointed out in the original article there are so many different ways of tryng to identify the correct label that really it doesn't matter!! Acknowledge that we are all equally valuable human beings who have done different things with our lives - and move on to something more important!
Yes indeed Celeste, not forgetting the Vanderbilts who employed lots of Irish on the railway constructions. A story goes that when blasting to cut through rock outcrops many navies were injured, and the same unfortunates were "docked" for the time spent they in the air following the blast.
My piece on class as you'll appreciate is tongue in cheek.
3rd Baron de Rockfort.
Oh dear - this thread reminds me of the John Cleese sketch I'm afraid ........it looks as if snobbery from the UK has transcended the border control (such as it is nowadays !) I couldn't care less what 'social class' anyone is, as long as they are friendly and non judgmental
Class is a strange concept. Those who instinctively feel they are "upper class" probably are from the view point of those who feel they aren't. If you are confident that you are upper class you will be able to demonstrate this,( providing you feel the need to, which you probably won't if you are the genuine article). Money will convince nobody, nor will education. Family pedigree however will play a big role, in Europe more so that say the USA where family history seldom predates the Pilgrim Fathers, except for third generation A list movie stars. Even penniless down and outs who can show a family history extending backwards to include titles are likely to be able to argue their membership of the "upper class". Lottery winners (nouveau riche) are definitely not included. Academic are not, lottery winners are not, even second generation wealth will have problems meeting the benchmark. Your circle of friends will however help substantially providing you can pay your way.
I believe if you need to be thought of as a class then you have none. I went to boarding school in dear old Sussex from 4 and a half until 17. My father was a military adviser to the Ian Smith government in former Rhodesia and worked for the UNWCC he holds an account at Coutts and Co in london I could if i wish call upon numerous old friends and ask for favours to assist my career or that of my wife. but chose instead to leave a vacuous life and all the entails for one of simplar tastes. i currently live in sunny Nantes with my wife and wee daughter. we live in a modest flat in a nice area we above all value our friends and our own achievements we believe that we are in a class of our own it is very exclusive and only a few people ever get the chance to join it. Happiness OK you can all run for the bucket now
I think though you have to bring things into perspective before you start "Storming the Bastille".
The banker, as such, I would suggest was DRIVEN by the greed of an avaricious mob of shareholders baying for even more blood as they sat in the front row knitting their Euro --dollar --pound -- stitches together,and as the "stupidity" grew so did the bankers "bloodmoney".
The politicians,as with the old French nobility, never have -- never have had --will ever have -- control over the "peasant banking fraternity"as they are the they are the titular head of a "money thirsty" mob and as such are pracitacally untouchable, and unfortunately there is no "Scarlett Pimpernel" waiting in the wings to rescue us.
So there we are,we are are own worst enemy, we bemoaned the closing of the corner shop simply because we all chose greed, inasmuch, cheaper food etc at the supermarket. We have all bemoaned the closing of the rural train services, public transport etc etc etc, and why, we chose to buy a car instead, sod those that can't afford them. Wiith this wealth we also became greedier, wanting to covet those houses the areas the "Upper classes" lived, pushing prices up because "blood investments" were being mishandled by the banker, sod the poor peasnat who couldn't afford a house.
So before we all start "braying at the moon" demanding the heads of bankers /politicians etc, let us reflect on our greed and see if we can determine a safer way forward instead of voting in another "toothless politician".>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> "Hi Ho Silverrrrrrrrrrrrrr."
As a social science graduate this is right up my street, boring nonsense never! I have not come across a class system in France, I am sure it is one based on wealth and influence if one exists. I think the UK system is pretty unique in the world it's roots dating back to feudal times.
As a socialist I have always considered myself working class even after I became a manager and got my degree, my late wife always considered herself working class even having spent all her working career in local government management. I always favored the Marxist view the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, a middle of class shopkeepers somewhere in the middle and a underclass down at the bottom, simple.
Agreed. If I turned up to meet a new client in my normal attire (jeans complete with bleach stains, old sweatshirt and trailing hay) I wouldn't get any work. Esp. here in France where you are generally judged far more on appearances than in the UK - although that is quite another discussion.....)
I'm not saying that is right or wrong. Just the way it is.
Yes things seem to be goeing off the rails a little! I have never tried to say that the class system is a good thing or that you should try to be a different class - I started out by simply answering James' question! then it all went pear shaped talking about the sort of image you portray and the fact that everyone unconsciously "judges" everybody else etc.
I think we've all had a good go at this one and perhaps we should move on now but thank you for your support ;-)
Welsh miners used horses to hunt with!
In France the white van is ubiquitous.
James and Andrew, Jeanette has had a go at me as well, but some time ago I decided that she was too obscure to follow.
Class system??? Boring nonsense. Everyone I know is an individual and I hope that is the way I am regarded.
Slight stretch there, actually made liveryman of the City of London but it didn't last long.
But rather like sayings such as 'invalid' and 'handicap' these sayings do have meaning
invalid = not (in) + valid
handicap = cap in hand (disabled people used to have to beg for alms)
Wow, you went up to upper class, and then back down, so did you get a peerage and then give it back?
I am looking forward to being working class if I can find a job!
Whats below working class? Non working class?
But in the old days the horse would have made a huge difference in class! The upper class ride for pleasure, the middle classes use them as work horses - farmers used them to plough, merchants to transport their goods etc and the working classes couldn't afford them.
Does the same thing apply today with cars but with sightly different implications perhaps? Can you class people with their modes of transport?
PS - Jean, the pearls give you away :-) No hiding anything on SFN!
I'm just an ordinary bloke but when I was at school (no uni for me) I was taught that peers of the realm and titled people were upper class, professional people, (salaried) were middle class and wage earners (blue collared) were working class. but I suppose that's too simplistic nowadays. Based on this premise I went from working class to middle class to upper class and back down again. I'm now a pensioner which I suppose takes me out of the class system all together, at least according to our present government.
There is a class system here but if you don't speak the language too well its difficult to pick up, and then there are all the social nuances and little things that tell us Brits (when in our own country that is) where to place people.
I lived here for a while thinking there was no class system and how nice it was. then one day a rather nice gentlemen who happened to be riding by, saw my horses and came in to call on me and to ask me if I would ride out with him sometimes to which I readily agreed. To cut a long story short he turned out to be a retired Air France pilot who was also a Comte with a Comtesse (don't know if I spelled that right) and he grew up in a most magnificent chateau though was now installed in a modern - albeit 8 bedrooms and rather grand - house with a few acres and some horses and a flat in Paris with 4 bedrooms and overlooking the Seine (I know because he lent the flat to me once). Anyway, after we rode (around the grounds of another magnificent chateau belonging to a friend of his) we always had tea on the terrace and Earl Grey at that, served in delicate cups and always with cakes and biscuits. We were sitting there one day and his housekeeper had just served the tea and retreated back to the house when he informed me that her son had gained a place at University and was doing really well, and then he shocked me by saying - and this is almost word for word - 'I think its wonderful that the peasants can now find ways to better themselves.' I have to admit I was lost for words and kept thinking he didn't actually mean what he said, but after meeting others from his family I realised that he did mean it and they did think that 'peasants' still abounded in this land. But as my husband said when I relayed this story ' well what on earth is he doing with us?' as we were in the process of doing up a barn, lived in a caravan and looked like gypsies much of the time, though I did have beautiful horses and used to event when I was in the UK which I'd told him. We concluded that because of the horses and my background re competitions etc, and the fact that my husband didn't work that we must be rich but eccentric english and as such worth knowing. Or perhaps as someone else commented, they just didn't know how to categorise us, which always throws people I've found.
And as Sarah Hague says, how wonderfully liberating not to categorised other than when you meet the other Brits that is!