The Registrar General's scale
- Used from 1911-2000
- ranked thousands of jobs into six classes based on occupational skill of the head of household
- has underpinned any studies (education and life expectancy)
- Class I: Professional
- Class II: lower managerial, professional and technical
- Class IIINM: skilled non-manual
- Class IIIM: skilled manual
- Class IV: semi-skilled manual
- Class V: Unskilled manual
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Issues with the Registrar Generals scale
- assessment of jobs was made by own staff who tended to see non-manual occupations as higher status.
- marxists- call centres are the new factories.
- unemployed missed out (classed by previous job)- much bigger group now.
- women were classes the same as husbands or fathers.
- workers allocated to the same class often varied widely in pay and conditions.
- no distinction between employed and self employed
- 'black economy'
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The Hope-Goldthorpe scale
- conducted in 1972, published in 1980
- recognised the growth of middle-class occupations, especially the self employed
- based his classification on market position (income but also economic life changes such as promotion prospects, sick pay and control of hours worked, employment relations such as authority over others)
- acknowleged that manual and non-manual workers may share similar experiences of work- created an intermediate class
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Issues with the Hope-Goldthorpe scale
- was still based on male ead of household which overlooked the significance of dual-career households.
- ignores higher paid female partners and single women of every description (who were classed according to their ex-partners or fathers occupation)
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The Surrey Occupational Class Scheme
- women are classified by own occupations.
- the gendered nature of work in the contemporary UK is accounted for
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Issues with the Surrey Occupational Class Scheme
- women tend to be more varied and change more often (part time, career breaks for children)
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- a variation on the Hope-Goldthorpe scale
- replaced the Registrar Generals scale. Based on:
- employment relations (employers, self-employed or employed)
- Market conditions (salary scale, promotion, sick pay, control over working hours etc)
- some catagories contain both manual and non manual workers
- there is a class for the long term unemployed (underclass)
- women are also recognised
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Issues with NS-SEC
- still based on occupation not perception of social class
- those with great wealth who dont work arent included
- still obscures differences in status and earning power
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Subjective measurements of social class
- people dont always identify themselves as being in the same class as these scales (many teachers say they are working class)
- those who identify themselves within the traditional three tier class system tend to have strong ideas about the characteristics of each class
- these may not relate to the official scales which are based on occupation
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Issues with Subjective measurements of social clas
- Reay states we should abondon large-scale quantitative analysis and use small-scale ethnographic studies of how class is 'lived' and experienced alongside gender and ethnicity.
- Marshall found that 53% of their sample saw themselves as 'working class'.
- Bradley says this is because people want to seem 'ordinary'
- Savage: many identify themselves as middle class because its the 'loaded' of the options offered.
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