The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #80050   Message #1455621
Posted By: PoppaGator
08-Apr-05 - 05:29 PM
Thread Name: BS: Can we discuss the Class system in UK?
Subject: RE: BS: Can we discuss the CLass system in UK?
Things have come to a pretty pass when the title of a thread asks permission to address a given topic!

Just kidding ~ sort of...

Back to the topic:

I'm an American whose brother has lived in England for two recent stertches of several years each, so I learn his take on various "Britishisms" that strike him as suprising, unusual, etc.

One insight that he found surprising, as did I: to have been a "scholarship boy" at a British university does not have exclusively positive connotations. The implication is that the student in question never "really" belonged among his upper- and upper-middle class peers, simply because his family couldn't afford to pay his way.

I'm sure that this kind of thinking is on the way out ~ slowly ~ and I also know quite well that the same kind of snobbery exists in the US. However, in the US, the words "scholarship student" carry an exclusively positive connotation, and Paul and I were both astonished to learn that any perjorative meaning could ever have been attached to this phrase, anywhere at any time. I think this is just one piece of evidence that class-consciousness in the UK, while perhaps finally fading into history, has a stronger residual presence and a more recent history than in the US.