Subcultures and Social Class
For the moment, we can think about social class as a category that relates to the type of work that people do. There are many ways of trying to measure class but a simple definition will suffice for the moment. In basic terms, therefore, we can identify three major social classes in Britain:
a. An upper class consisting of people who own businesses and employ others to work for them.
b. A middle class consisting of people employed in professional occupations and who have responsibility for the day-to-day running of businesses.
c. A working class consisting of people who neither own nor have any substantial control over the running of a business. The working class largely consists of people employed in non-professional work.
In strict terms, the above are known as economic classes because they are defined in terms of work (the economy). A social class takes into account all kinds of other factors that affect an individual and their relative position in society, but for the moment it is sufficient just to note this distinction.
A class as defined in this context therefore, consists of people who have similar economic interests and experiences.
For example, a member of the upper class will have different economic interests and social experiences than a member of the working class. This leads to the idea that we can identify distinct class cultures along the lines already suggested. A class culture, therefore, represents a very large number of people who, because of their roughly similar class position in society develop a roughly similar form of culture.
As an aside, you might like to note that the culture developed by an upper class is normally the dominant culture in any society, precisely because this class is the wealthiest, most politically powerful and influential class in society.
On the basis of the above it is, of course, possible to identify a number of different examples, both reactive and independent, of class subcultures (groups who develop within each social class).