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Tuesday, 20 August, 2002, 15:26 GMT 16:26 UK
Renaissance for the UK's working class
Doctors are among those feeling more working class
Middle class professionals have working class feelings
Two-thirds of British adults feel proud to be among the ranks of the working class, according to a new poll.

The "remarkable renaissance" in working class solidarity - up from 52% in 1999 - comes despite a drop in the actual size of the social group.

The Social Value poll by Mori also found half of those in the middle classes nursed "working class feelings".

Of the 1,875 adults interviewed, 68% agreed that, "at the end of the day, I'm working class and proud of it".

In 1999, just 52% shared their sentiment, with 58% in 1997 and 51% in 1994.

Family connections

Mori commentator Dr Roger Mortimore described the results as a "remarkable renaissance" in solidarity, which has grown during the Labour government's two terms in office.

But he stressed many people do not correctly identify the group they belong to, classified in terms of their occupation.

Cherie Blair
Is Cherie Blair working class?

Former Labour MP for Sheffield Hallam Joe Ashton named Cherie Blair as the epitome of the working class woman.

"It doesn't matter how much you earn. It's about family and how you keep your family connections close to you," he told the BBC's Today programme.

He claimed the Prime Minister's wife and QC maintained the connection through her working class mother.

"There's nowt too good for the working class," he said.

'Us and them' culture

Sociologist Professor Richard Scase put the increase down to a rise in job insecurity and pressure in traditionally middle class professions such as technology, engineering, medicine and teaching.

An "us and them" culture had grown in those areas, he said

"They don't have safe secure jobs, they don't have safe secure futures, and as a result they are under increasing anxieties, insecurities and pressures to perform. In that sense, they feel they're working class," he told the BBC.

And, he added, it is fashionable to be anti-establishment and speak with an accent "even if you're very rich".

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 ON THIS STORY
Joe Ashton and Professor Richard Scase on class

See also:

16 Aug 02 | Education
09 Jul 02 | World at One
11 Dec 01 | Politics
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