Citizens, Society and the State
Social Class distinctions
Protestant/ Catholic split in Ireland
United Kingdom: England, Wales, Scotland
and Northern Ireland.
Great Britain: England, Wales and
Social Class Distinctions
Distinctions between the rich and poor
have always been important in Britain,
with the biggest distinction today being
between the middle and working class.
They are not always divided by income,
but psychologically and subjectively.
Social Class continued…
– “Public Schools” were originally used to train
boys for “public life” in the military, civil
service or politics.
– They were very expensive and not “public” at
– The elite boarding schools and the middle
class attends “private” grammar schools
where students wear uniforms, but do not live
Social Class continued…
Oxford and Cambridge Universities:
– Most important portal to the elite classes is
through Oxford and Cambridge.
– Nearly half of all Conservative members of
Parliament went to Oxford.
Indian – 23%
Pakistani – 16%
Afro-Caribbean – 12.2%
Black African – 10.5%
According to the 2001 census, only about
7.1% of the British population is of non-
European origin with most coming from
countries that were formerly British
Political Beliefs and Values
Civic culture (political culture) in Britain
was characterized by trust, deference to
authority and competence, pragmatism
British citizens reflect good qualities for
– High percentage of people voting in elections
– Acceptance of authority, accept rules of game
– Tolerance for different points of view
Political Values and Beliefs
Social and economic changes during the
1970s (oil prices) altered these
characteristics so that today British
citizens are less supportive of the
collective consensus and more inclined to
values associated with a free market
Manifestations of changing political
beliefs and values…
Decreasing support for labor unions (strife
between the Conservative Party
(Thatcherism) and unions, unions being
considered “bullies” to the government
and general population)
Increased violence regarding Northern
Ireland (Bloody Sunday-British troops
killed thirteen Catholics in January 1972)
Bloody Sunday Continued…
Derry, Northern Ireland (1-30-72) in which
26 civil rights protesters were shot by
members of the 1st Battalion of the British
Parachute Regiment during a Northern
Ireland Civil Rights Association march on
the Bogside area of the city.
13 people, 7 of whom were teenagers,
Two protesters were injured when they
were run down by army vehicles.
Many witnesses testify that all those who
were shot were unarmed.
Five of those wounded were shot in the
You Tube video – U2 “Sunday Bloody
Thatcherism (the Conservative Party
controlled British parliament from ’79-’97;
plan was later modified by John Major,
Margaret Thatcher set forth a Revolution
towards a free market economy.
She rejected collectivism and its emphasis
on the redistribution of resources from
rich to poor and government responsibility
for full employment.
Continued…Last slide, I promise
Tony Blair led the Labour Party as Prime
Minister from 1997-2007.
Loosened the ties on Labor Unions
Thatcherism on the far right, Liberals
(Labour) on the far left, Tony Blair
brought about a Third Way, which was in