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Лингво страноведенье / Q- 05 classes of people

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Question 5. Britain as a class-conscious society. The basic principles of classifying the people. ( Гасилова Катя)

Britain is a class society as any other one. British sociologists think that there are 7 basic classes in Britain.

Class 1 includes large property owners, managers in large establishments, higher-grade administrators in government and large enterprises; and higher-grade professionals such as lawyers, most doctors, university lecturers, senior architects, etc.

Class 2 includes lower-grade administrators and officials, managers in small businesses and industrial establishments; lower grade professionals(school teachers, junior doctors, journalists, social workers) and higher technicians.

This 2 classes represent the “service” class of modern capitalist society. Their jobs involve significant exercise of authority, or considerable freedom to chose how to do the work.

Class 3 incl. routine non-manual employees, that is, clerks and other office workers, salesmen, people who work in shops and in similar services. They are a kind of “white collar labor force”.

Class 4 incl. small businessmen including farmers, self-employ skilled workers (plumbers, carpenters, decorators, etc working for themselves), and those in similar occupations who employ a few workers,

Class 5. These are the supervises of manual labor, and lower-grade technicians; people who have some degree of authority , but who made a jump from ‘manual’ responsibilities to management responsibilities.

Classes 3,4,5, are grouped together as ‘intermediate’ between the ‘service class’ and ‘working class’.

Class 6. Skilled manual workers in all branches of industry including who have had some training before starting work, and those who have acquired special skills during the course of their work.

Class 7 incl. unskilled and semi-skilled workers install branches of industry, and agricultural workers.

Classes 6 & 7 together comprise the working class.

What are the implications of belonging to one of this classes?

  1. Incomes. This is more than just a simple payment for work:

some jobs have pensions and some jobs have allowances for housing, travel and another expenses. People in such jobs , which are typically in cl.1 & 2, end up with much more money than those in cl.6&7who are paid simple wages. A wage is normally paid week, for labor. A salary is normally paid monthly , and is perhaps considered rather differently – as payment for a whole job involving complicated commitments on both sides.

  1. Conditions of work. These are most pleasant in cl. 1 & 2becouse this people make decisions about what the work conditions will be. In the other classes, it is much less clear-cut.

  2. Authority over others is another attraction of job. Most people in cl. 1,2 & 5 have authority over others employees.

  3. Responsibility also is a very important part of evaluation of a job.- and taking responsibility is likely to increase income, status opportunities for promotion

  4. The job security . Very few jobs in Br. Are totally secure. Employees, whether in private company or working for the state can almost always be ‘sacked’ (the popular word for being sent out of a job). And that is why nowadays there are almost 3 millions of official unemployed . Many sociologists believe that these people are forming a new kind of class, an “under class” which suffers a real poverty.

There is no ‘intelligentsia’ in Br as we understand this term in Russia, no group of clearly recognizable ‘intellectuals’. Its people whose work depends on specialist ‘intellectual skills such as lawyers, doctors, teachers, architects and so on, professionals.

Also there is an upper class in Br, which is much smaller than any group in the classification. It consists of families possessing great wealth, land, and access to the powerful positions major organizations. Much of the wealth and power is inherited.

Hierarchy system of employment and classes is constantly shifting under new conditions of life. Class system in Britain exists, but every day it becomes less easy to define who is who.

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