The aspiration gap

The pursuit of betterment in Great Britain is party of the DNA of culture.

The upper class expect standards to be met and maintained at all costs. In matrimonial union the perfect social match preferred to a true romance. A high flying career of status the only permissable occupation. A daughter sorely disappoints her father bringing home the rag-tag world traveler.

The working class are divided; deviation from the pack leads to ostrocism. The pursuit of betterment leading to the all too common refrain ‘who does he think he is?’. Woe be tide the lad that tries to share philosophical literature with his father, in favour of a days manual labour and a pint.

Those stuck in the middle are bound by the constant struggle to move up at all costs. Sinking back to blue collar business is not an option.

As Morrissey once said, ‘we hate it when our friends become successful, and if they’re Northern, that makes it even worse.’

Leading a life of aspirational achievement is seen as an abandonment of the tribe. It is punishable by exclusion. No longer accepted fully as part of the community there exists a sort of awkward no man’s land without classification.

There are exceptions of course, but they are few.

We all seek acceptance. Life is about cooperation, trust and inclusion. A life bereft of acceptance is a life lived on the fringes.

Beyond class conditioning it is possible to accept ourselves. It’s a brave pursuit. But with courage the obstacles can be overcome.