social class

social class
any one of the subdivisions of the population made by the Office for National Statistics based on occupation, as indicated in the ten-yearly census. Such groupings are intended to stratify the population according to standard of living and income (all married women and children up to school-leaving age are classified in accordance with the occupation of husband/father). Five classes are recognized: I professional/self-employed; II administrative; III (non-manual) clerical and (manual) skilled manual workers; IV semi-skilled; V unskilled. An alternative subdivision into socio-economic groups is believed by many sociologists to reflect employment grades more accurately, but it is more complicated and tends to be less generally applied.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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