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The Snobbery Thread


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Thought I'd start a thread about snobbery, something that I've found increasingly interesting in the last couple of years.  There's an image of Scotland that we are more equal and less stratified that other countries, specifically England, but I'm not sure it particuarly holds up.   

The pandemic has brought out a lot of snobbery and class prejudice in people - I've had numerous work colleagues, family members, friends say things like increasing cases/deaths etc are the fault of "scum who aren't behaving".  We've seen people on here bring up class prejudice when discussing high case rates in certain areas.

Aside from the pandemic, I've noticied a lot of snobbery from people in everyday life.  Living in Edinburgh one thing to be thankful of is the fantastic bus service we have, it's excellent especially in the centre of town.  Despite this, I've met significant numbers of people who absolutely refuse to use buses or any public transport.  I know people who set aside £100 on a night out to pay for taxis because they won't get the train or bus from their home town or village into Edinburgh.  People who rage about the new plans for pedestrianising George Street in Edinburgh because it reduces parking and they might have to catch a bus into town.  It's one of the most common forms of snobbery I've seen.

I used to live in a poorer part of town than I do now and when I told people where I lived some could be a bit shifty and almost seemed unsure of me because of it.  I live near Wester Hailes and have had people tell me how wary they'd be of living near there and being shocked when I said I went out running there regularly and never had a single iota of bother in any way.  I take my son to the pool at Wester Hailes and a family member asked if it was clean enough, as if a swimming pool in a council estate would somehow be dirty and contaminated.

What are P&Bers own experiences of snobbery and prejudice?  

 

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I work on a lot of farms and the level of snobbery and sneer is hilarious from that lot. 

If they look down their nose at us while/before we carry out the work they've brought us in to do we just turn capital dance up as loud as it'll go and annoy the life out of them any way possible. 

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I think that Atlantic article you posted about WFH is an interesting one in this context. It pointed out how people increasingly live in bubbles of people who are just like them and it leads to social division. Easy to call someone scum when you have no frame of reference whatsoever to how they live or the struggles they face.

I made a thread about attitudes to work and I suppose its a similar vein really. Everyone on the dole is lazy scum, MAKE THEM PICK UP THE LITTER FOR THEIR MONEY!!!! and such....

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It’s not as much a thing here as it is back home, partly due to far fewer people living in relative poverty and far fewer areas being allowed to end up run down. Tends to be more old fashioned racism and xenophobia instead. I know someone who is fairly senior in one of the local social work departments and they openly admitted to me that they wouldn’t buy a house in areas that have a lot of foreigners because they don’t want their kids going to school and being in a Swiss minority. Not sure if he forgot I was one of those pesky foreigners, or if I don’t count because my boys mother is Swiss.

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It's nothing to do with class or money.

Snobbery and jealousy stem from a lack of personal fulfillment and it's present in every social circle, class and environment.

Sort out your own personal fulfillment and the problem goes away.

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12 minutes ago, Ross. said:

It’s not as much a thing here as it is back home, partly due to far fewer people living in relative poverty and far fewer areas being allowed to end up run down. Tends to be more old fashioned racism and xenophobia instead. I know someone who is fairly senior in one of the local social work departments and they openly admitted to me that they wouldn’t buy a house in areas that have a lot of foreigners because they don’t want their kids going to school and being in a Swiss minority. Not sure if he forgot I was one of those pesky foreigners, or if I don’t count because my boys mother is Swiss.

I suspect it's also because you're the "right kind of foreigner".

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4 minutes ago, Gordon EF said:

I suspect it's also because you're the "right kind of foreigner".

There is also a bit of that. Been told it several times in several different contexts and it’s never sat easy with me.

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3 minutes ago, Gordon EF said:

I suspect it's also because you're the "right kind of foreigner".

That's definitely the case where I am.  Our next-door neighbour is Chinese (with a Filipina wife) so a bad guy whilst me, a white Brit, is obviously a good guy.  To be fair, he does take a photo of his electricity meter every day without fail but apart from that seems a good enough guy.  He probably heard there was a Scottish guy next door who would be stealing his leccy!  

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7 minutes ago, oaksoft said:

It's nothing to do with class or money.

Snobbery and jealousy stem from a lack of personal fulfillment and it's present in every social circle, class and environment.

Sort out your own personal fulfillment and the problem goes away.

I kind of agree with you but kind of don't. 

Members of broad socio economic groups will tend to prefer other people like them and there will be an insider/outsider dynamic. 

That applies equally to working class society as to upper middle class society. 

And i think you're right that the people who care most about being insiders and hating outsiders do that from a position of low self esteem. 

Where proper snobbery differs from standard insider/outsider dynamics is power. Snobbery is a special case where outsiders are rejected because they have less money or are lower class (probably status is more accurate nowadays). This makes it harder for lower income/status people to acheive wealth or status and preserves the inequalities we have. 

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To be fair if you are dismissing a whole social demographic or group as "scum" then the problem is more likely to be with you.

I agree that the idea that Scotland is more "equal" than down south is a comforting lie we tell about ourselves. There's always the same clauqes running things at local level; the wee fat mayor with his gold chain, the local Chief Super with his newly minted epaulettes, "entrepreneurs" with local business connections (Probus clubs, Rotary clubs et al),  the minister, self-appointed "community leaders" never out the local paper, etc etc. All linked together by funny handshakes, nods and winks, all with a thoroughoing contempt for the 18% of the electorate that vote for them once every four years. That's a type of snobbery / set of social relations that's survived de-industrialisation in small town Scotland.

When I was growing up in the seventies it tended to be areas such as Bearsden, Newton Mearns, Giffnock, Morningside, et al, where you'd like to find the old fashioned pre-internet snobbery; quiet Tories, kirk-goers, privately educating children, plus hissing-soft voiced disapproval of people "not like them", and a determination to stay separate from them.

On the class inequality contempt thing, of course. It's the natural outcome of forty-fifty years of social inequality getting worse and worse under successively more deranged right wing governments, plus being encouraged to think, quite wrongly, that class doesn't matter anymore. Social class may no longer be as easy to determine, but it is more pernicious and walls between the classes higher than they've ever been in my lifetime.

That things are slightly better for the poorest north of the border than they are for the same group down south is hardly a cause for huge celebration.

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There's clearly a massive amount of snobbery here. I watched Darren McGarvey's Class War on iPlayer a while ago and it did a pretty good job of examining snobbery in modern Scottish society.

You'll find the class system or versions of it everywhere and get the same kinds of stereotypes cropping up but it's still probably much tougher to get rid of in all parts of the UK.

I think a big part of why we sometimes feel Scotland is a bit different to England in this regard isn't necessarily that we're that much more 'equal' or don't see things through the lens of class that much but I think there's almost this kind of thing where we seem to tie Scottish identity to working class identity in a way that England still doesn't. When someone imagines a Scottish person, they probably imagine someone working class, when they imagine an English person, they probably imagine someone upper-middle class. I think it's just mostly perception shaping the way people think about these things without it baring too much in reality.

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1 hour ago, coprolite said:

I was once speaking to an acquaintance and occasional employer while he was sorting a pile of job applications by binning all of them with Tillydrone or Torry addresses. 

And?

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2 hours ago, ICTChris said:

Thought I'd start a thread about snobbery, something that I've found increasingly interesting in the last couple of years.  There's an image of Scotland that we are more equal and less stratified that other countries, specifically England, but I'm not sure it particuarly holds up.   

The pandemic has brought out a lot of snobbery and class prejudice in people - I've had numerous work colleagues, family members, friends say things like increasing cases/deaths etc are the fault of "scum who aren't behaving".  We've seen people on here bring up class prejudice when discussing high case rates in certain areas.

Aside from the pandemic, I've noticied a lot of snobbery from people in everyday life.  Living in Edinburgh one thing to be thankful of is the fantastic bus service we have, it's excellent especially in the centre of town.  Despite this, I've met significant numbers of people who absolutely refuse to use buses or any public transport.  I know people who set aside £100 on a night out to pay for taxis because they won't get the train or bus from their home town or village into Edinburgh.  People who rage about the new plans for pedestrianising George Street in Edinburgh because it reduces parking and they might have to catch a bus into town.  It's one of the most common forms of snobbery I've seen.

I used to live in a poorer part of town than I do now and when I told people where I lived some could be a bit shifty and almost seemed unsure of me because of it.  I live near Wester Hailes and have had people tell me how wary they'd be of living near there and being shocked when I said I went out running there regularly and never had a single iota of bother in any way.  I take my son to the pool at Wester Hailes and a family member asked if it was clean enough, as if a swimming pool in a council estate would somehow be dirty and contaminated.

What are P&Bers own experiences of snobbery and prejudice?  

 

 

I guess with you, having moved from Inverness to Edinburgh, will be much more aware of snobbery than the rest of us.

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The favourite round this way right now are the residents of the clutch of social housing properties that planners insist are built as part of any new build estate. This generally stems from the god awful way the builders shoehorn in say 20 flats or 1 bed terraces amongst a development of 4/5/6 bed detached villas.

Every single issue is blamed squarely on the "scum" in the social housing. Some of the Facebook posts are up there with the worst racism you would see. And woe betide any single mother who has the "fortune" to be allocated one of these properties. That ramps it up another 100%.

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20 minutes ago, Jacksgranda said:

And?

And they didn't get the job. 

If you're asking whether i pulled him up on it, no i didn't. There was a a conversation, and i said i'd worked with people from Tilly before and they were fine. But i never said "that's wrong". Probably should have, and would have if it had been a friend or a work colleague., but didn't. 

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