Lecture response: Class and society

Lecture by Sean o’Dell

This lecture explored different levels of class, how society is affected by class and multiple time periods which have shaped class throughout the years. We still live in a world where there are different levels of class and people are judged based on this, the hierarchical class system states there are 3 levels:

  • working class
  • middle class
  • lower class

There are more class levels in today’s society, these classes are used to place people into groups based on their wealth and social status. Between 1838 and 1868 the working class formed a movement called Chartism which was based around writing a people’s charter to receive rights, they put pressure on politicians but weren’t able to receive reforms until 1887. Another movement based around social class was the pre-raephelites which was Avant garde art during the Victorian period, this is closely linked to fashion and textiles as William Morris was involved in the arts and crafts side which carried on the tradition of handmade items.

In regards to fashion there are certain garments which indicated a persons class or wealth, for example denim jeans which closely links with our current project of Levi’s. Originally jeans were only worn by working men in America, this was due to their durability and functionality. Jeans were adopted by American film stars such as James Dean and Marlon Brando in order to rebel and to be different from society. This was the same principal adopted in 1960’s England where teenagers adopted mods and rockers styles to look alternate to their parents and rebel from societies conformities.

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