Typically British

The stereotypes of the British vary a lot, from the well-behaved nobleman to the angry Scotsman. However, there are some features that are general for nearly all British people:

Class consciousness

Class consciousness is knowing which social class you belong to. The British society has a long history of being divided into classes, and which class you are born into influences which school you go to, how you talk, how you behave and what career you most likely make. This makes it important to the British to be aware of which class they belong to if they want to understand their own society better, try to climb the social ladder or simply be loyal to their own class. There is also some tension between the classes, for example between rich children at public schools and normal children at state schools.

The history of the class system in Britain, and how it influences Britain today
The Normans, lead by William the Conqueror, introduced the feudal system after they invaded Britain in 1066. The feudal system was a class system which looked like a pyramid, with the king on top, noblemen and lords underneath and the common on the bottom. It has been a long time since it was introduced, but the class system is still alive in Britain. Nowadays, it is divided into three or four main categories:
1: The upper class, mostly the gentry, the titled lord and ladies. They are often very wealthy, and they send their children to prestigious public schools. Most of them have inherited their wealth. To enter the upper class without being born into it is considered extremely difficult.
2: The middle class, people with more than basic education. People from the upper middle class, like lawyers and doctors, often send their children to public schools. Nowadays, the majority of people in Britain belong to the middle class.
3: The working class is people who work in trade and industry.
4: The underclass: During the rule of Margaret Thatcher, many people in the middle- and the working class bought their own houses, and many of the traditional working class industry jobs were removed. This created an underclass below the working class. It is made up of unemployed people who rely on state benefits. Teenage pregnancy is more common in this group than the others, and they far more likely to be involved in petty crimes than the higher classes. This is the group which is often described as "white trash" in the USA. In the UK, some people use the term "chavs" to describe them.chav-pregnant-lovely.jpg

People in higher classes often speak more correct English than people in the lower classes, who tend to speak with an accent.

The top professional jobs in Britain are dominated by people who have attended public schools. For example, only 7% of the population have attended public schools, while 75% of the judges in Britain have attended public schools. And as written earlier in this text, it is upper class and higher middle class families who send their children to public schools. This clearly helps keeping the class system alive.

Some people in the UK would like to climb the social ladder, some want to be loyal to their own class. No matter what they would like, climbing the social ladder in Britain is not easy, as your class is not only decided by your income, but also by your values and behaviours.



British Humour:

The British are famous for their well-developed sense of humour. Their humour tends to be verbal, with the use of puns and irony. Making jokes and teasing someone is often a sign of approval. Performing artists will for instance often be met with heckling, slightly abusive, but friendly, comments from the audience.
British humour has become a huge export, with international comedy successes Monty Python, Fawlty Towers, Mr. Bean and Ricky Gervais in The Office and Extras. This has
been internationally popular, and has been a strong avenue for the export and representation of British culture to an international audience.

http://www.toontowncentral.com/gallery/data/505/Mr_Bean.PNG (the picture)
Targets Engelsk VG1


The Pub- a Social Centre

Everywhere in Britain, no matter how small the village is, you will find a pub. The Pubs are no longer a typical male area, they are now also popular for family outings like pub lunches. Pub is a shortened word for public house, and it advertises itself by butting a sign in front of the building. It is normal for the British people to have mysterious names on their Pubs, that goes way back in the British history. The pubs are an important meeting place for the British people. They use the Pubs as social centers where people meet to discuss political problems, local affairs and to share a good laugh.


The picture (
Targets English VG1