Created By: dragonslip on September 8, 2012

English intellectual=middle class person

This is how in English TV shows and films people in intellectual professions tend to be middle class

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In English TV shows if say…. a doctor or lawyer shows up on screen there’s a fair chance he will sound middle class if not upper middle class. Where is if a doctor or lawyer appears on an American show they’ll likely either be of just a normal back ground or of poor underdog stock

Take for example the English version of Law and order compared to the American original. Aside from token working class black Alesha Phillips all the english lawyers have been upper middle class where as in the American version the final three lawyers consisted of the son of a police officer, an Italian American and a former gypsy child

The reason for this disparity could just be english snobbery but likely it’s just that underdog stories are more a part of American culture and so seem more realistic in that setting


Live Action TV
  • the current line up of Silent Witness all sound middle class
  • Aside from token working class black Alesha Phillips all the english lawyers on Law & Order: UK have been middle class

Community Feedback Replies: 3
  • September 8, 2012
    ...firstly, this isn't really a trope. Or if it is, it should be "middle class job, working class background". Not a list of British media that doesn't make use of it enough. Alisha is hardly the only lawyer in L&O UK with a working class background (Thorn's isn't exactly subtle). Not to mention, most of the cast in the legal profession are from families of barristers (Truth In Television).

    Secondly, as a Brit, I also find that last paragraph quite offensive. How would you like it if I wrote a trope definition which talked about "American religious fervour" or "American anti-intellectualism" as if it were a simple fact? All in all, this trope seems to consist of you slinging around stereotypes under the assumption that all English accents are either middle class or Estuary.
  • September 8, 2012
    Yeah, why wouldn't someone with a professional degree be middle class or higher? The opposite would be the trope.
  • September 8, 2012
    To add to the rest, this is partly because the notions of "class" are different in the US and the UK. My impression, and from what I've read at different places - is that the UK concept of which class an individual is considered to be in is much more tied to education, while the US view is much more tied to income and how much money one has. In Europe in general, class is also to a higher degree tied to your employment status in the broadest sense.