Sunday, July 09, 2006

Classes and Equality

"Status influences what people buy. Individuals want to fit in with people they think are similar, or they aspire to be like.
In particular, consumption can be a means to improve your class position – hence the appeal of celebrity-based advertising.
Consumers can imagine that they are moving up the social ladder by becoming more like their favourite celebrity. By making celebrities out of ordinary people, reality TV reinforces the message, 'Anyone can be a celeb.'
Consumption disguises class by allowing individuals to focus on specific friendship groups and other networks they identify with. They can avoid the dissonance of not being in as high a class as they want by adopting lifestyles that fit in with their peers and pretending that class no longer matters – 'I'm just an ordinary bloke.' 'We're all middle class now.'
As individuals compete to show that they have the coolest lifestyle, new media technologies will quickly become 'cool barometers', continuing a well-established trend. Mobile phone sales, for example, are now driven by style more than functionality. "

We all talk-and talk a great deal- of upper, middle, and working classes.
We also talk of upper-middle, lower-middle classes and more recently they have started mentioning a top-workingclass- just to fit in between the middle-working class and the lower-middleclass.
This, of course, makes us all fully conscious of how pityfully inadequate our language is to describe the other 120 clearly defined castes and the 413 sub-castes of our society.
What about the lower-middle-upper layer of the lower -upper-middle-class?
While all this goes on, we all remain staunch believers in equlity.
Equality means that you are just as good as the next man, but the next man is not half as good as you are