Is class a big issue in your society?

That is social class.

I think so.
Not sure (if it’s a social class per se), as I tend to ignore such things but I think it may be a big part of my culture.

It’s not supposed to be, but it is. But then, social class is also tied up with a bunch of other things - race, mostly, but a lot of other things too.

(American, California)

The reason why I ask is because it is definitely somewhat of an issue here in Ireland and there are several fairly clearly delineated social classes but I was watching a British comedy show, with several stand ups and every one of them had a routine that included jokes and comments about class. It might just have been a coincidence but it seems that riffing on social class has bigger currency in Britain than it would have here.

Ah well then I’ll add more data points:
I’m American, and Hindu (which has a lil’ thing called the Caste System).

As an American, I myself don’t really notice the “class” issue too much- there’s rich, poor, middle class and politics. But it’s not something that comes up in my daily life too much as a student.

Class is still a huge issue in Korea - it used to be about bloodlines, now it’s more about money, education, and career.

There’s a famous dating agency in Korea called Duo. When you sign up, they rank you based on a number of factors - looks, career, education, and your parents’ careers and education levels. (The college you graduate from is a huge deal here, much more so than in the US - there’s a very strict hierarchy.)

No, I don’t think it is, and I thought about it all day.

There are distinct classes, as in rich, poor, middle. But nothing stops the poor from rising, they are not class bound. There is no social stigma on fraternizing with people of different means than yourself. (With the possible exception of the criminal class).

People are people and judgmental by nature, so you make be looked down on if your clothing is not suitable to your surroundings, in some instances, formal affairs, etc. But surely that’s just wardrobe.

But I count as friends, and circulate regularly with, both people much wealthier than myself and persons much poorer, and never really giving it a thought. I believe most of the people I know could say the same thing.

Deeply religious, or specific ethnic communities may come closer to actual class distinctions, but those are strickly self imposed. And the ethnic communities tend to dilute after a generation.

I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone seriously slag on another group, publicly or loudly, without being widely judged an idiot by all and sundry.

So I’m sticking with, no, not an issue in my society.

(Geeze, I hope I didn’t just make the case that we’re all classless Canadians.)

I would say that in the US there is not , by any means, a strict structure and set of rules.

However, like racism-lite, many people when confronted with who to socialize with and who their children might marry become very aware of “our own kind”.

This cuts both ways, of course, some parents would prefer their child married someone like them, rather than someone not like them, even if that person would be of a higher social/economic class.

Ugh, yeah. I’m so sick of it. (American)

It’s not that big compared to UK (or the USA), but classism still exists in Australia. Less so in my city (Adelaide), compared to Sydney though…

Not in my town but where I’m from it was. In the US it is a big deal in areas that it matters. In Connecticut it was ridiculous. Where I live now you would never guess who the richest people are because they look like everyone else. They are rich because they never spend a dime the wrong way.

I live in a working class town of England, in a particularly working class area. We have some very chavvy neighbours (loud music on Friday nights, mum at home smoking pot with the kids, loud arguments during the day, car stereo left blaring whilst parked on the road) and they’ve always openly disliked us. I’ve only recently worked out why - our New Zealand accents sound ‘posh’ to them.

Perhaps they sense you’ve judged them to be ‘chavvy’? Isn’t that just a euphemism for not as good as me?

Chavvy describes a set of antisocial behaviours, not a class, as far as I understand it. We get on well with all our other neighbours, all of whom are working class.

I grew up in Fairfield County, CT, which is one of the wealthiest counties in the country. People generally don’t make overt displays of wealth. It’s a very New England, Old Money, LL Bean mindset. For example, one summer a friend and I dated these girls we met at a club we used to frequent in Westchester, NY. We had no idea their dads were wealthy executives in Fortune 500 companies because they dressed very conventionally and drove a piece of shit Buick Skylark. You only knew they were wealthy because they lived in huge houses in Wilton, CT.
What many people consider “wealthy”, I imagine people from Connecticut just consider just sort of “regular” simply because it isn’t over the top. At least not compared to people who have real money and live in giant mansions in places like Greenwich, CT.

Facebook has a You Know You Grew Up in Fairfield County When… group. Here are a couple of items from their list:

The reoccuring theme seems to be a combination of ambivalence and cluelessness about some of the subtle affectations and characteristics of communities with money along with a vague sense of elitism over other less affluent regions or communities. Local country clubs, expensive private colleges like BC, familiarity with vacation spots like Cape Cod, Martha’s Vinyard or Okemo, cars, multiple homes, schools with lacrosse and hockey programs all tend to indicate some money. Things like not taking public transportation, not comprehending adults working minimum wage jobs, and a disdain of people from the more urban Bridgeport or more rural eastern Connecticut all indicate a sort of inability to relate to working class and poor people.

Israeli society has many divisions, but class isn’t really one of them. What your parents did for a living and where you went to school is of little importance to Israelis.

What you did in the army, on the other hand…

Oh, I’ve seen plenty of ‘class’ issues in my life. I am middle class, my uncle scratched and clawed his way up to ‘upper’ class and was the biggest snob I’d ever come across. Brag, brag, brag till the day he died. He considered me a big fat failure for getting married and living the middle class life, without my getting a PhD or something. The more he bragged about his world travel, hi-falutin’ friends, etc. the more he turned me off.

Urban Bridgeport :wink:

Yep, I live in MA-and the “old money” upper class here is just as described. These people have been rich for so long, that they don’t care about the usual trappings of wealth-they drive crappy old cars, live in drafty old houses, and eat tasteless food. They prefer country estates (you DON’t want to be within walking distance of your neighbors). They also like to emulate the British upper classes (prep schools, sexual decadence, crappy food).
They get into lots of scandals, but pay to keep the news out of the papers. Their kids can be annoying little snots, but generally keep to themselves. They like careers in banking, investments, etc., although some become medical doctors. Most never serve in the armed forces (they prefer that the peasant’s kids be the ones who lose their lives), in America’s late-empire phase wars.

America is far less formal and considerably less class-conscious in general than most European countries. We pay a lot of attention to raw WEALTH but that’s not the same thing.

Mind you, I’m not saying that class does not play a major role here, but rather that a vast portion of it goes below the radar. Example: two Americans get stripped of employment and lose all their economic resources, and by coincidence lose all family and friends and former schoolmates and bosses and colleagues, etc to a freak flu epidemic. One of them has a career arc (even if it can’t be proven) consisting of a string of executive positions, the other has worked only as a day laborer. The truth is that a vast repertoire of small behaviors, including nuances of language use, will make the former executive eventually likely to make a brand new contact and get a brand new job doing something highly lucrative with a lot of job responsibility, even without a single reference. Interestingly, the other guy may be able to find A JOB first and/or hold onto it better: a different behavioral library makes this person able to blend in and be perceived as belonging and appropriate on a larger number of total jobs; it’s not just presence or absence of various social cues, it’s the contrast between different sets of them. The former executive might get yelled at and fired the first day as an unskilled carpenter’s assistant on a construction crew.
One thing I’ve noticed about OVERT attitudes and behaviors about class in America is that there is a bit of an east-west split. Here in New York, a common (and commonly known) occurrence is the disco or nightclub where the proprietors let some folks in while keeping others outside, based on who they are and who they seem to be. In many western states, this would reek of such snobbery and pretentious elitism that no one would go there. The wealthy kids from elite families are much more inclined to avoid any public behavior that makes it look like they think they are better than anyone else, if initially only because the other wealthy elite kids and their parents and etc would consider them gross and coarse if they did. Again, it’s not a true absense of class but a “subtleification” of it.