The Association for Qualitative Research
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Social class

A standard method for describing populations, based on the occupation of the head of the household. In the UK it is rarely considered acceptable to ask participants about their income (as is standard in the US, for example), but social class or social grade gives a rough indication of income and to some degree of lifestyle. As populations become more diverse, working patterns more flexible and households more fluid, the effectiveness of this measure is being challenged - however, it remains a standard and generally useful factor in research sample specifications.

Synonyms, Acronyms and Abbreviations

  • Social Grade

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