Archive for the 'social classes' Category


Does social class decide which spaces or objects we use in a modern society?


“Design is a personal response to combination of function and beauty.”
” This combination makes a good design!”


The Camera Obscura is a Latin for Dark room. It is a dark box or room with a hole in one end. Pinhole photography is a lens less photography, because the tiny hole replaces the lens. Light passes through the hole and an image is formed in the camera.

“I then thought of trying again a method which I had tried many years before. This method was to take a camera obscura and to throw the image of the objects on a piece of paper in its focus – fairy pictures, creations of a moment, and destined as rapidly to fade away. It was during these thoughts that the idea occurred to me – how charming it would be if it were possible to cause these natural images to imprint themselves durably, and remain fixed upon the paper.” –William Henry Fox Talbot

The first permanent photograph was taken in 1826 by a French inventor, Nicéphore Niépce on a polished pewter plate covered with a petroleum derivative called bitumen of Judea. This first image required an eight-hour exposure in bright sunshine. The Camera Obscura was for upper class people only rich people could afford gadgets like a Camera Obscura. Royal families made photographers take portraiture of their kids. When there were many dangerous sicknesses in the world, the royalty wanted to have memories of their kids, even after they had passed away.

“Does social class decide which spaces or objects we use in a modern society?”

While investigating the space in between, I found that the most common use of the space was, that of people. There are 4 doors from the space, leading into the surrounding buildings. One of them is just to a gas cupboard but the other 3 are into the buildings. The staff from the restaurant uses the alleyway for their cigarette breaks and for the rubbish. I measured the space in between and the pinhole camera, that I made myself to experience this old invention. I decided to use my body as a tool and see how many Signý´s I could fit into the space and how many Signý´s could fit in the pinhole camera? There is a space for 220 Signý´s in the space in between and 2 shoes of Signý can fit into the pinhole camera. As I was documenting the space, a chef walked out of the restaurant on his break. I also met an Asian woman walking with bin full of water she had been cleaning Zico, the Italian café. I found few signs made for the public with messages such as; staff only! , EXIT, smokers please and warning security. Would you walk into a space, which looks like a private property? Most people stay away from alleyways specially if they look like a private property. The space in between, seems to be mend for 6 different groups of people; the staff at the restaurant and the café, the cleaning staff, the rubbish people, the person who takes the reading of the gas meter and the people who bring the goods to the workplaces.

Are those people in upper class, middle class or lower class? Scientists have uncovered evidence of a new class divide, the lower our social standing, the faster we age. The claim follows the surprise discovery of accelerated ageing among working class volunteers, leaving them biologically older than those higher up the social ladder. What has changed with the camera and the alleyway through the years? The Camera looks brighter and cleaner every year while the alleyway only gets dirtier. One of the reasons is because the camera is for the public and the market but the alleyway is mend to be out of the public’s eye. When the Camera Obscura was found the people in higher classes were the only once that could be photographers, today everyone is a photographer. The space in between has hardly changed over time it looks like it has stayed the same for years and done what it was mend for, it is a time to rebuild it. The camera has changed a lot and is always getting shinier and the technology is only gets more functional. If we think of the space and the object as humans, we would see that the space doesn’t move, this surroundings are the only thing it is going to see in its life while the camera gets to travel around see a lot of things and capture it!























Sociolinguistic issues of British English:

In Britain, “people are often able to make instant and unconscious judgements about a stranger’s class affiliation on the basis of his or her accent.” (Wells 1982a) Both the words and pronunciation of many individuals reflect that person’s social position. It is agreed that in England, the “phonetic factors assume a predominating role which they do not generally have in North America” (Wells 1982a).

Traditionally, it has been acknowledged that in England, the relation between social and regional accents can be diagrammed as follows:

Geographical variation is represented along the broad base of the pyramid while the vertical dimension exhibits social variation. It can be seen that working class accents display a good deal of regional variety, but as the pyramid narrows to its apex, up the social scale, it’s also apparent that upper class accents exhibit no regional variation. (Wells 1982a)

Thus by definition, any regional accent would not be considered upper-class and the more localizable the accent, the more it will described as a “broad” accent. Wells (1982a) purports that broad accents reflect:

  • regionally, the highest degree of local distinctiveness
  • socially, the lowest social class
  • linguistically, the maximal degree of difference from RP.

A 1972 survey carried out by National Opinion Polls in England, provides an example of how significantly speech differences are associated with social class differences. (Wells 1982a) The following question was asked:
Which of the these [eleven specified factors] would you say are most important in being able to tell which class a person is?” Respondents were randomly chosen from the British public. The factor that scored the highest was “the way they speak” followed by “where they live.” At the bottom of the list was “the amount of money they have.” All this is evidence that then, and to some degree even now, “speech is regarded as more indicative of social class than occupation, education and income.”
(Giles & Sassoon, 1983) also cite consistent findings of listeners evaluating anonymous speakers with standard accents more favorably for such status traits as intelligence, success, confidence. In Britain the middle class is associated with having not only a standard accent, but with also speaking in a more “formal and abstract style than working class.”
Accents are often characterized by British speakers themselves as either “posh” or “common” accents. Most speakers of British English would recognize these labels and create a fairly accurate image of the sound of these far ends of the spectrum. Conservative or U-“Received Pronunciation” representing the “posh” end and a less broad version of Cockney representing the “common” accent.

The significance of accents and their cultural and social associations is well represented in films and on television in Britain. The critically acclaimed 1964 file My Fair Lady based on George Bernard Shaw’s 1912 play, Pygmalion is often referenced in linguistic discussions as a wonderful example of how social class and accent were, and are still, inextricably linked in Britain. Over the past years, numerous television series have also provided viewers with a glimpse of the lives and accents of the Cockney population of London. The Cockney English section talks more about the current, very popular long running television series EastEnders.


social classes

Decorative Initial C lass is a complex term, in use since the late eighteenth century, and employed in many different ways. In our context classes are the more or less distinct social groupings which at any given historical period, taken as a whole, constituted British Society. Different social classes can be (and were by the classes themselves) distinguished by inequalities in such areas as power, authority, wealth, working and living conditions, life-styles, life-span, education, religion, and culture.

Early in the nineteenth century the labels “working classes” and “middle classes” were already coming into common usage. The old hereditary aristocracy, reinforced by the new gentry who owed their success to commerce, industry, and the professions, evolved into an “upper class” (its consciousness formed in large part by the Public Schools and Universities) which tenaciously maintained control over the political system, depriving not only the working classes but the middle classes of a voice in the political process. The increasingly powerful (and class conscious) middle classes, however, undertook organized agitation to remedy this situation: the passage of the Reform Act of 1832 and the abolition of the Corn Laws in 1846 were intimations of the extent to which they would ultimately be successful.

The working classes, however, remained shut out from the political process, and became increasingly hostile not only to the aristocracy but to the middle classes as well. As the Industrial Revolution progressed there was further social stratification. Capitalists, for example, employed industrial workers who were one component of the working classes (each class included a wide range of occupations of varying status and income; there was a large gap, for example, between skilled and unskilled labor), but beneath the industrial workers was a submerged “under class” — contemporaries referred to them as the “sunken people” — — which lived in poverty. In mid-century skilled workers had acquired enough power to enable them to establish Trade Unions (Socialism became an increasingly important political force) which they used to further improve their status, while unskilled workers and the underclass beneath them remained much more susceptible to exploitation, and were therefore exploited.


Photographs of the space at night time








Social Class in Britain

brit.pngWhat is Class?
Sociologists define social class as the grouping of people by occupations. Doctors and lawyers and university teachers are given more status than unskilled labourers. The different positions represent different levels of power, influence and money.


The British society is often considered to be divided into three main groups of
classes – the Upper Class, the Middle Class, and the Lower or Working Class. This is known as the Class system


The Different Class Systems
There are three main class divisions.


The Upper Classes tends to consist of people with inherited wealth, and includes some of the oldest families, with many of them being titled aristocrats. The upper classes are defined by their title, but also by their education, and their pastimes which includes the traditional sporting life involving hunting, shooting and fishing, as well as a great deal of horse riding for both leisure and as a competitive pursuit.


The Middle Classes are the majority of the population of Britain today. They include industrialists, professionals, businesspeople and shop owners.


Working class people are mostly agricultural, mine and factory workers.


You can tell which class people belong to by the way they speak (accent), their clothes, their interests, the way that they educate their children, or even the type of food they eat.


Royal family

A royal family  is the extended family of a monarch. Generally, the head of a royal family is a king or queen regnant. The term “imperial family” more appropriately describes the extended family of an emperor or empress regnant, while the terms “ducal family”, “grand ducal family” or “princely family” are more appropriate in reference to the relatives of a reigning duke, grand duke, or prince. Finally, it is considered proper in some circles to refer to the extended relations of a deposed monarch and his or her descendants as a royal family.