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Survey on Class PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ipsos MORI   
26 Mar 2008

19 March 2008

Ipsos MORI and Ben Schott of 'Schott's Almanac' have teamed up to explore the British public's attitudes towards Class.

Topline Results

  • Ipsos MORI interviewed a representative quota sample of 1,054 adults in Great Britain aged 16+
  • Interviews were conducted by telephone between 7-9 March 2008
  • Data are weighted to match the profile of the population
  • Where percentages do not sum to 100, this may be due to computer rounding, the exclusion of "don't know" categories, or multiple answers. Throughout the volume, an asterisk (*) denotes any value of less than half a per cent
  • Unless otherwise stated, results are based on all respondents (1,054)
  • Download the data tabulations pdf, 1.1MB

 

 

 

 

Q1 Most people say they belong either to the middle class or to the working class. Which of these best describes you, middle class or working class?

 May 1981August 1991March 2008
 %%%
Working Class636152
Middle Class*283044
Don't know993
Refused--1

*In 1991 and 1981, asked as 'middle / upper class'

Q2 And which social class would you say your parents belonged to when you started primary school?

 %
Working Class67
Middle Class30
Don't know3
Refused*

Q3 Some people alter the way they behave in certain situations to make it appear as if they are in a different class. Have you ever done this?

 %
Yes — a higher class4
Yes — a lower class2
Yes — the class depends on the circumstances11
No, I have not pretended to be in a different class84
Don't know*

Q4 To what extent, if at all, do you agree or disagree that there is a class system in Britain?

 %
Agree88
Disagree10
Don't know2

Q5-Q6 And do you feel that the class system has become more or less rigid …

  • … since the 2nd World War?
  • … during the last 10 years?
 Since the 2nd World WarDuring the last 10 years
 %%
More rigid2831
Less rigid5843
Same719
Don't know86

Q7-Q9 Which political party, if any, do you feel best represents the rights of the …

  • … working classes?
  • … middle classes?
  • … upper classes?
 Working classesMiddle classesUpper classes
 %%%
Labour Party39197
Conservative Party104665
Liberal Democrats872
Other521
None2176
Don't know171919

Q10 How often, if at all, do you feel uncomfortable when dealing with people of a different class to you?

 %
All of the time2
Some of the time12
Rarely24
Never62
Don't know1

Q11 How often, if at all, do you think that other people can tell what class you are by the way you speak?

 %
All of the time27
Some of the time39
Rarely13
Never12
Don't know8

Q12 Have you ever been in a romantic relationship with someone of a different class to yourself?

 %
Yes — frequently7
Yes — seldom (at least once)27
No — never63
Don't know3

Q13 Did you find the difference in class to be …

Base: All who have ever been a relationship with someone of a different class (363)

 %
A very big problem5
A fairly big problem12
Not much of a problem40
Not at all a problem42
Don't know1

Q14-Q28 Here is a list of things that some people do. For each, would you tell me whether you think it would most likely be done by a working class person, a middle class person, or an upper class person?

 Working class personMiddle class personUpper class personCould be any classDon't know
 %%%%%
Watch Coronation Street4511*404
Have an allotment
1991728n/an/an/a
200852222205
Holiday in Spain
19913620n/an/an/a
200837164412
Eat peas with a knife356132521
Recycle9382483
Watch a nature programme
1991836n/an/an/a
20086344533
Be a vegetarian3396493
Go to a museum4468392
Eat in front of the television4891402
Take the bus629*263
Go to university34012441
Watch the news regularly8334531
Own designer clothes72530352
Go to football matches42121422
Buy organic food25219252
Go to the opera12361132
Play rugby93914372
Play cricket34119352

Q32-Q39 Here is a list of supermarkets. For each, would you tell me who is most likely to shop there, a working class person, a middle class person, or an upper class person?

 Working class personMiddle class personUpper class personCould be any classDon't know
 %%%%%
Waitrose539301511
Sainsbury's85310272
Tesco31301362
Morrisons / Safeway40261294
ASDA50181284
Iceland6312*187
Somerfield45221218
LIDL7071148

Q40-Q46 Do you agree or disagree that …

 AgreeNeither agree nor disagreeDisagreeDon't know
 %%%%
There will never be a 'classless society' in Britain
199179 14 
2008682272
This country has too many barriers based on social class
199176 18 
2008555373
You are much more likely to get to the top in this country if you've been to a private school
199169 27 
2008634321
4If you want to get ahead it is important to talk with the right accent
199159 32 
2008447472
In this country the best people get to the top whatever start they've had in life
199149 44 
2008494442
It is easy for people to move up from one social class to another
199137 55 
2008359533
I would be happier if I belonged to a different class
19919 80 
200844902

Q47 There has been debate over which is the polite word to use — lavatory or toilet. Which do you think is the more polite usage?

 %
Lavatory36
Toilet46
Neither4
Both3
It depends1
Doesn't matter8
Don't know3

Q48 And which word do you use most often?

 %
Lavatory5
Toilet79
Neither12
Both1
It depends2
Don't know1

Q49 How often, if at all, do you ever listen to BBC Radio 4?

 %
All of the time10
Some of the time20
Rarely19
Never51

Q50 Some people have criticised Radio 4 for being too middle class. To what extent do you agree or disagree that Radio 4 is too middle class?

Base: All who ever listen to Radio 4 (529)

 %
Strongly agree4
Tend to agree20
Neither agree nor disagree11
Tend to disagree33
Strongly disagree20
Don't know11
Last Updated ( 26 Mar 2008 )
 
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