How Important is Social Class in Britain Today?

4/7/2016 - Professor of Economics Gregory Clark in BBC Future.

“Class distinctions do not die; they merely learn new ways of expressing themselves,” the British sociologist Richard Hoggart once wrote. “Each decade we shiftily declare we have buried class; each decade the coffin stays empty.” A quick perusal of the foreign media would certainly paint a picture of a rigid class system, especially compared to places like the USA where ambition, talent and elbow grease are thought to be the only limits.

But how well does this stereotype really hold up? “If you want to predict someone’s outcome, you don’t just look at their parents – but also their uncles and aunts, their grandparents and great-grandparents,” says Gregory Clark at the University of California, Davis. “They are all predictive.”

Read the full story in BBC Future.