upper class

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Related to upper-class: Social classes

upper class

US Education of or relating to the junior or senior classes of a college or high school
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005

upper class

the topmost class in any society. In modern British society this class can be said to consist of:
  1. a core of around 25,000 individuals who exercise strategic control over the economy (Scott, 1982);
  2. a wider group of individuals and families owning considerable, usually inherited, wealth, and distinguished by a distinctive lifestyle.

Since the numbers of individuals involved is relatively small, networks of relationships (e.g. public-school education, upper-class leisure pursuits) play an important part in sustaining the distinctive lifestyle and high social status, as well as the economic and political power, enjoyed by the upper-class. Persons whose family origins are upper-class are also prominent in élite professions, such as the administrative class of the civil service, the judiciary, and the upper echelons of the military, positions which may be seen as upper-class in their own right.

Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000
References in periodicals archive ?
In two field studies on driving behavior, upper-class motorists were found to be four times more likely than the other drivers to cut off other vehicles at a busy four-way intersection and three times more likely to cut off a pedestrian waiting to enter a crosswalk.
Another study found that upper-class participants presented with scenarios of unscrupulous behaviour were more likely than the individuals in the other socio-economic classes to report replicating this type of behaviour themselves.
Enrique Alvarez Felix's refined sissy character challenges societal roles but, at the same time, reaffirms other stereotypes about the upper-classes. In Mexican film, upper-class young men (senoritos, so to speak) are often portrayed as decadent young men who fail to carry on the family dynasty.
In summary, from what I witnessed while teaching AFROTC cadets, we developed character by using excellent lesson plans (containing core values, discipline, and self-discipline lessons/case studies), with the positive influences of the cadre, upper-class cadets, and peer cadets, by providing a family environment and structure, and with fantastic monetary rewards.
CHALLENGE: Sir Richard Branson believes his airline's upper-class service will win British Airways'customers Picture: TIM OCKENDEN
These upper-class "social reformers" intervened in families' lives based on their standards of what an American family should be.
Although asserting a universal description of the human condition as revealed truthfully only in the Christian narrative, (41) by self-definition Hauerwas reveals that he speaks out of the social position and the problems, experiences, and fears of white middle- and upper-class American males.
In an age when upper-class women were supposed only to smoke in private, the incident caused a stir and started a trend.
Allies in upper-class families and the corporate elite aren't, however, particularly concerned about these issues.
Hurston registers the negative bias against voodoo mainly among the Haitian upper class, who wished to deny the existence of voodoo altogether: "The upper-class Haitian is steeped in voodoo traditions but he will 'lie' to save his own and the national pride" (Tell 83).
Upper-class affiliation, she shows, was based on at least two of the following three criteria: firstly wealth, secondly kinship and descent and thirdly education and etiquette.