By SARAH LYALL
Using an online questionnaire filled out by over 161,000 people, the BBC has concluded that in today's complicated world, there are seven social classes, not three.
The Great British class calculator
Mike Savage from the London School of Economics and Fiona Devine from the University of Manchester describe their findings from The Great British Class Survey. Their results identify a new model of class with seven classes ranging from the Elite at the top to a 'Precariat' at the bottom.In January 2011, with the help of BBC Lab UK, we asked the BBC audience to complete a unique questionnaire on different dimensions of class.
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We devised a new way of measuring class, which doesn't define class just by the job that you do, but by the different kinds of economic, cultural and social resources or 'capitals' that people possess.We asked people about their income, the value of their home and savings, which together is known as 'economic capital', their cultural interests and activities, known as 'cultural capital' and the number and status of people they know, which is called 'social capital'.
Amazingly, more than 160,000 of you completed the survey. We now have one of the largest ever studies of class in Great Britain.
The results to dateOur new model includes seven classes.
What class are you?
Other unique findings
What did we measure?People tend to think they belong to a particular class on the basis of their job and income. These are aspects of economic capital. Sociologists think that your class is indicated by your cultural capital and social capital. Our analysis looked at the relationship between economic, cultural and social capital.
The findings have been published in the journal Sociology and were presented at a conference of the British Sociological Association.
Who took part?A total of 161,458 people from around the UK completed the survey. The majority (86%) lived in England while 8% lived in Scotland, 3% in Wales and 1% in Northern Ireland.
Of that total, 91,458 men (56%) and 69,902 women (43%) completed the survey. They had an average age of 35 and 145,521 participants (90%) described themselves as 'white'.
This very large sample allowed us to analyse the connections between the different capitals using a technique called 'latent class analysis'.
This produced a lot of very detailed information which took a long time to examine. There's still plenty of exciting work still to be done!
The data from the Great British Class Survey was analysed by a team including Niall Cunningham, Yaojun Li and Andrew Miles from the University of Manchester, Mark Taylor from the University of York, Sam Friedman from City University, Johs Hjellbrekke from the University of Bergen, Norway and Brigette Le Roux of Universite Paris Descartes, France.