Social scientists at the Australian National University have found a shift in the age-old “working class” vs “middle class” perception of identities, moving instead towards six classifications.
By analysing defining features based on age, cultural, and economic influences, the study explores social influencers like whether we go to the opera or the gym, and the types of people we spend time with, to determine where we fit in to.
Jill Sheppard and Nicholas Biddle came up with the categorisations using sample data from a July 2015 survey of random Australians, News Corp reports.
Interestingly, the study found the middle class accounts for one quarter of the adult population, while the emergent affluent class has the youngest mean age.
Surprisingly, the academics say the population is aware of their class identity, so scroll down to find out where you fit in among the six classes.
The Precariat is characterised by high numbers of retired pensioners, and tends to live week to week, often with little in their bank account.
Those still working are most likely to be labourers rather than managers.
Ageing workers are obviously the oldest Australians, make up 14 per cent of the Australian population.
Similar to the precariat, this category includes many pensioners with little funds, but slightly more to keep them from the bottom group. They typically come from more advantaged backgrounds than the precariat group.
New Workers are naturally younger than the ageing workers. Predomintely labourers and white collared workers, this group is financially better off, despite being of slightly lower class.
They also have the lowest rate of unemployment.
The Established Middle class has the highest rate of unemployment, but also incudes a higher number of self-funded retirees, as well as more working in the community services sector.
The youngest group is the Emerging Affluent, encompassing the most full time workers as well as the most part time workers of the six groups.
- Feeling blue may colour pic choices: study
- Young people want to afford homes: study
- Aussie teenagers still pick gendered jobs
Its demographic is highly educated and measures the highest in prestige, presumably having a majority of double income households.
Established Affluent comprises the highest level of occupational prestige, made up almost entirely of managers and professionals.
They are also most likely to attend cultural and musical events like the theatre, live music and going to the gym.