Reflective Journal on Social Structures
Over the years, social classes have changed in most parts of the world. In the UK for instance, preceding definitions of social class are rather outdated because people in Europe and in particular those in the UK are categorized into seven social classes as suggested by a major survey by the BBC. Ideally, this survey notes that today, middle and upper class as well as the working class are outdated as only 39% of people are in these groups. However, there is a new model ‘precariat’, involving seven social classes that range from the privileged at the top. The precariat model has a precarious proletariat, which is different from the precariat because it includes people at the bottom. A class survey conducted in Great Britain involving 161,000 deemed that things have changed and people are living ideal lives. As opposed to the traditional mindset that class has been defined by education, occupation, and wealth, the survey revealed three dimensions of class, cultural, social, and economic.
According to Jill Kirby, modern Britain has experienced a notable transition where class is totally irrelevant. Wealth is the ultimate determinant of these classes. The elite in the society consists of the most privileged group in Britain and it has the highest levels of other groups. Through its wealth, it is different from other six classes. It is the group with the uppermost level among the three capitals. The second wealthiest class is the Established middle class that scores high on all capitals. In regard to cultural capital, this groups scores highest as it is the most gregarious group. The third group is the technical middle class, which is a distinctively small and new class group. It scores low for both communal and intellectual capital, but it is very successful. However, it is notable for its cultural apathy and social isolation. The new affluent workers is the fourth group that is culturally and socially young because of its active nature and its possession of average levels of economic capital. The fifth social group is the traditional working class whose members have relatively high house values, but score low on every form of capital. However, this group is not completely deprived. It has the oldest average age at 66. Emergent service workers is the sixth group, which is basically a young, new, and urban group with relatively poor but with high cultural and social capital. Precarious proletariat or precariat is the seventh and the last social group with most deprived and poorest people scoring very low for cultural and social capital.
Based on this research, the established middle class is composed of 25% of the population. In addition, it is the largest class group. In retrospect, the traditional working class makes up to 14% of the population. However, it appears that the emergent service workers and affluent workers are deemed as the ‘traditional working class’. This is because the group has been fragmented by mass unemployment, de-industrialization, the restructuring of urban space, and immigration. To conclude, social classes have changed they people live. In fact, social structures play a critical role in our lives today. Learning and teaching current events offers great opportunities to link social and personal change. If one is to be healthy, he or she will need a healthy environment because he or she needs to drink unpolluted water, breath fresh air, and consume healthy food that is not contaminated by harmful pesticides.