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Social class and attitudes to class

background

noun

the type of family, social position, or culture that someone comes from

beginnings

noun

someone’s background, for example the social class that they originally came from, or their first job

beneath

adverb, preposition

if a particular action or activity is beneath you, you think that you are of a higher social class than people who do this

birth

noun

your status or position in society according to your family or the place where you were born

bourgeois

adjective

belonging to the class of people who are educated and own property, according to Marxist ideas

the bourgeoisie

noun

the class of people who are educated and own property, according to Marxist ideas: can be followed by a singular or plural verb

class

noun

one of the groups into which people in a society are divided according to their family background, education, job, or income

class

noun

the existence of differences that cause people to be divided into different social groups

class-conscious

adjective

influenced by a strong feeling of belonging to a particular social class and noticing differences between the classes

classism

noun

unfair treatment of people because of their social class

classless

adjective

not divided into social classes

classless

adjective

not belonging to a particular social class

class struggle

noun

according to marxism, a situation in which rich and powerful people and working-class people compete for political and economic power

egalitarian

adjective

supporting a social system in which everyone has equal status and the same money and opportunities

genteel

adjective

lived in by rich polite people and not very lively, exciting, or modern

hierarchical

adjective

a hierarchical society or organization is one in which differences in status are considered to be very important

hierarchy

noun

a system for organizing people according to their status in a society, organization, or other group

inverted snobbery

noun

the idea that everything typical of the higher social classes is bad and everything typical of the working class is good

meritocracy

noun

a system or society in which people have influence or status according to their abilities and achievements rather than because of the social class to which they belong

noblesse oblige

noun

the idea that rich people from a high social class should help people who have fewer advantages

non-U

adjective

not typical of the upper class

populist

adjective

representing the interests and opinions of ordinary people

snob

noun

someone who thinks they are better than other people, usually because of their social class. This word shows that you do not like people like this.

socially

adverb

relating to someone’s social class

society

noun

relating to the parties, weddings, performances etc that rich and fashionable people go to

stratification

noun

the division of a society into different groups

stratified

adjective

divided into groups in society based on status

trickle-down

adjective

relating to the belief that people at the lowest level of society or an organization always benefit from the money or advantages that people at the highest level have

class-consciousness

noun

classist

adjective

classlessness

noun

elitist

noun

meritocratic

adjective

above your station

higher than is suitable for your position or rank

the common touch

the ability of someone important or powerful to talk to ordinary people and to understand what they are thinking

hostile architecture

the design of buildings or public spaces in a way which discourages people from touching, climbing or sitting on them …

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boots on the ground

a situation in which a country's armed forces are physically present in an area of conflict …

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