The lower working class were distinguished from the upper by having less education, no pretensions to gentility, fewer resources or opportunities and, in some cases, simply less luck.Unlike many other towns, Hastings had no large industry except fishing, a male occupation.While 'upper' working class women rented shops, the 'lower' hawked on the streets and beaches.They sold flowers, toffee apples, ice cream, cold drinks, shrimps, oysters and whelks, and offered donkey and goat rides and even fortune-telling, sometimes by budgerigar.For some late nineteenth-century photographs click here. Photo: George Woods For recreation they crowded into taverns, the women joining in the noisy revelry. For examples see the Hastings' newspaper reports from the 1850s.One of the problems in Hastings was the seasonal nature of women's work in the town: in the winter months many who made a living from selling goods and services to visitors had no income.Some women prepared and sold fish, or made and repaired nets, but most lower-working class women were engaged in servicing the wealthy residents and visitors in one way or another.Roughly half of all employed women in Hastings were in domestic service. In 1860 there were strikes by some of the town's washerwomen.
Social class is an important source of beliefs, values, and behaviors. (1987), “Social Class and Consumer Behavior: The Relevance of Class and Status,” in Wallendorf, M. Members of the lower classes tend to view it as less valuable than do members of the middle class.
The survey also finds that the gap between rich and poor goes far beyond income.
Adults who self-identify as being in the upper or upper-middle class are generally happier, healthier and more satisfied with their jobs than are those in the middle or lower classes.
In spite of these views, overwhelming majorities of self-described middle- and lower-class Americans say they admire people who get rich by working hard (92% and 84%, respectively).
The new survey, which was conducted July 16-26, 2012, among 2,508 adults nationwide, finds that a majority of the public (65%) thinks the nation’s income gap between rich and poor has grown in the past decade—and most say that’s a bad thing for the country.
Has anyone else out there mixed it up with someone from a different social class and what insights do you have to offer.