Term given to describe an emerging population within post-industrial
societies with distinct characteristics. The aspirational class come from working class
backgrounds, but they have no desire to spend their lives packing boxes or mining coal
. Equipped with a good grasp of the fundamentals of economic rationalism
, they aspire to climb up the socio-economic food chain
through moving into the professions
positions. They are better educated their parents, more aware of wealth
in society, incredibly status conscious
and generally believe that the trappings of success
are really within their grasp
. Cheap credit
is helpful here.
Many members of the aspirational class are migrants or the children of migrants, who may not be overly enamored with the working class culture or values of their host country. Many have high human capital themselves and they intend their children to be equally ambitious in a new world, while remaining faithful to their family's traditions.
One of the drivers of social advancement here is education. In many countries in the OECD, the number of people who came from families in the lower fiftieth percentile of wealth ownership who have attended university has risen dramatically in the last twenty years. They can now compete for white collar work against the rich kids. Not suprisingly, they shun studies in the arts and pure sciences for more practical courses like information technology, law and commerce.
As self-made accumulators of property they are resentful of sloth and keen on law and order. Quite often they reside in suburbs inhabited by the less fortunate members of the working class who were unable to respond productively to adverse changes in their economic situations, and in exreme circumstances take drugs and nick car stereos. So they also take a dim view of liberal elites ('Chardonnay Socialists') from the other end of town, who they consider as being shallow and self-obsessed in not acknowledging their world view of the situation in their own streets evidently their arts degrees make them soft .
They are thus ripe pickings for conservative political parties wishing to move into electorates that were traditionally a bastion for centre-left parties. When times are good they will vote for centre-right parties; but if circumstances deteriorate they may progress even more right along the political spectrum. In a bitter twist of irony, progressive politics helped the aspirational class advance through subsidised education, but ultimately they have become anti-progressive.