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Social Stratification
Classes and Castes. Class is the primary way in which people approach social stratification. The upper class (the landed gentry, the titled nobility, and members of the royal family) has roughly the same social position it has had since the nineteenth century, when the middle classes began to compete successfully with the landed interests for influence. However, the upper class lost official political influence (and credibility) in the twentieth century. The major change in England's social identity structure has been the shrinking number of workers in manufacturing and the increasing number of people who work in service industries. White-collar and other service workers have replaced blue-collar workers as England's economic backbone. Consequently, the middle class has increased in size and wealth, and home ownership has increased, while union membership has declined dramatically, along with the size of the traditional industrial working class.
Most workers expect unemployment at some point in their careers, especially the unskilled and uneducated. In 1983, only 5 percent of non-manual workers were unemployed. In contrast, skilled manual workers experienced 12 percent and semi-skilled and unskilled manual workers 23 percent unemployment, and manual workers combined accounted for 84 percent of the unemployed.
England is becoming a society of the included and the excluded. There has been a sharp rise in long-term unemployment. The nature of work in a fluid economy does not support long-term employment for low-skilled and moderately skilled workers, and this is reflected in the rise in part-time (24.7 percent of the 1999 workforce), and multiple-job workers. Homelessness has become a fact of English life, with 102,410 families in England accepted as homeless in 1997 alone.
The richest class has increased its share of the national income and national assets. In 1995, the wealthiest 10 percent of the population owned half the assets controlled by households. In 1997 the income of the top 20 percent of households was four times that of the bottom 20 percent. Meanwhile, those earning less than half of the median doubled between 1979 and 1998, reaching 10 percent.
Ethnic minorities have not fared well in the new economic environment. For all minority men, unemployment was 17 percent in the period 1986–1988, for example, compared with 10 percent for whites. Ten years on, in the period 1997–1998, unemployment rates of Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, and blacks were more than three times those for whites. Indians, on the other hand, have faired better, currently occupying a central position in the middle class as entrepreneurs and in the professions, enjoying chances of employment more comparable to whites.
Symbols of Social Stratification. Many of the traditional symbols of social difference have undergone change. Clothing and other consumer goods historically were indicators of class, but are now more ambiguous. Most consumer goods are widely available, and the clothing and fashion industries recycle styles so quickly that rank and clothing do not always correspond. Education, which used to be a clear way to divide people into classes, has also lost some of its defining power. Private primary and secondary schools increased their share of school age children through 1990, and higher education has expanded the number of places available to those who want postsecondary training; by the mid 1990s more than 30 percent of students age eighteen were attending a university. Oxford and Cambridge have been accepting students from an increasingly broad socioeconomic spectrum, and students now have many more universities to choose from. Accent also has become a less reliable class signifier.

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Gender Roles and Statuses
Division of Labor by Gender. Gender roles assign homemaking, other domestic activities, and most unpaid labor to women. A man's sense of self is defined chiefly in terms of the paid work he can obtain. The impact of these constructions of gender is now much different than before, but is still felt in English society.
The Relative Status of Women and Men. Although there is no equal rights amendment, in recent decades there has been a more noticeable commitment to equality of opportunity for men and women through bodies such as the Equal Opportunity Commission and laws such as the Abortion Act of 1967 and the 1969 Divorce Act. The rate of women's (especially married women's) participation in the workforce increased in the late twentieth century, as did the nature of that participation. In 1971, only 57 percent of women of working age were economically active, but in 1998 that figure was 72 percent, whereas men's participation declined from 91 percent to 84 percent. Despite their importance in the workforce, women earn only 80 percent of what men do. Women have been confined to lower-status work, are more likely to work part-time, and are under-represented in elite jobs. However, some women have obtained high-status, formerly male-dominated work, and the status of female-dominated work has risen. Women's increasing participation in political life and their progress in religious roles in society—the rise of women MPs in the 1990s and the Church of England's agreement to ordain women priests in 1994—may be an indication of this.
Women have probably made the least progress in the social sphere. They were the victims in 70 percent of cases of domestic violence in 1998, and women still perform most unpaid work, such as running households and raising children. Gender roles among particular subgroups, however, diverge from this picture. Some Muslim and Jewish women are more involved in the domestic sphere, and Afro-Caribbean community women are more likely to be employed and have a higher status than Afro-Caribbean men.

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Marriage, Family, and Kinship
Marriage. Among many members of the South Asian and Jewish communities, arranged marriages as a means of cementing family alliances are the norm. Most inhabitants, however, decide independently whom to marry, often choosing to cohabit with the partner before marriage. Social position, social aspirations, and informal social control drive the choice of a marriage partner. Thus, marriages across class lines are not common, especially among unskilled workers and the professional and managerial classes. Marriages across ethnic lines also are not common. As a reason for marriage, economic security is prominent, but so is the desire for sexual and social companionship. In 1997, about half the population over age sixteen was married. While marriage between a man and a woman remains the primary model for long-term relationships, it is not the only one. Same-sex unions and so-called blended families are increasingly common, and experimentation with forms of quasi-polygamy has taken place.
Domestic Unit. The basic domestic unit is a household headed by a married couple—a model that accounted for 59 percent of the households in 1998. Close to 73 percent of inhabitants live in a family headed by a couple (though not necessarily a married couple). It is uncommon for couples to live with the kin of either partner. Current gender roles dictate that men are the primary breadwinners and women are responsible for household management. Who actually controls the household on a daily basis, however, varies by household. Single-parent, usually female-headed households are on the rise, accounting for 9 percent of all households in 1998. The extended family is a visible and important social institution in the South Asian, Asian, Afro-Caribbean, and Jewish communities and still plays a role in the majority population. People living alone represented 28 percent of households in 1998.
Inheritance. Children rarely depend on inherited wealth to become independent and usually inherit movable property rather than real estate. When real estate is involved, it often consists of a home and the attached land, not agricultural land. Most people follow the principle of equal division of inherited wealth among offspring, with some favoritism toward biological offspring in blended families.

People envision themselves as part of a set of interconnected families, the size of which varies with marital status and family traditions. Most people include three to four generations of people in their kin group. Those who are married count the same number of generations of the spouse's family as part of their family. Kin groups do not have prominent status in society formally or informally. Notions of kinship involve a network of individuals who enter into kin relationships. The individual is not subsumed by the kin structure.

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Secular Celebrations
New Year's Eve and Day (31 December, 1 January), celebrate the beginning of the new year. April Fool's Day (1 April), is a day on which people play practical jokes on one another. The sovereign's birthday is celebrated in June. Guy Fawkes's Day (5 November) commemorates the foiling of a 1605 Catholic plot to blow up the houses of Parliament and is an occasion for fireworks and revelry. Remembrance Day (11 November) celebrates the contributions of war veterans to defending the freedom of the nation.

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Sport and leisure[edit]
Main article: Sport in England

Celebrations at Trafalgar Square after England's 2003 Rugby World Cup victory.
There are many sports which have been codified by the English, and then spread worldwide, including badminton, cricket, croquet, football, field hockey,lawn tennis, rugby league, rugby union, table tennis and thoroughbred horse racing. In the late 18th century, the English game of rounders was transported to the American Colonies, where it evolved into baseball. Association football, cricket, rugby union and rugby league are considered to be the national sports of England.
England, and other countries in the United Kingdom, compete as a separate nations in some international sporting events, especially in football, cricket, rugby league and rugby union. The England cricket team actually represents England and Wales.[7] However, in the Olympic Games, England competes as part of the Great Britain team. English supporters are now more likely to carry the Cross of Saint George flag than the British Union Flag.[8]
Football maintains a consistent popularity across the country and is often indicative of trends across wider culture in England, such as in clothing and music. Different sports directly represent the different social classes within England. Rugby league, for instance, was traditionally associated with the old mill towns of north-west England, whereas cricket and rugby union have their origins in the private schools of the 18th and 19th centuries respectively.
Tennis is also a major sport, with one of the sport's most internationally prestigious tournaments being held at Wimbledon. The most popular sports in modern-day England are:

• Rugby
• Cricket
• Football

Significantly, football and cricket both have their roots in England and are now two of the most popular, successful and lucrative sports in the entire world. Sports that are played on an individual basis and feature highly in England include:

• Tennis
• Golf
• Athletics
• Motor sport
• Horse racing

England has various bank holidays, public holidays, traditional holidays and national events scattered across its calendar. Some date back hundreds of years, while others are more recent. Some are fun and festive, encouraging the locals to dress up and join in the festivities, while yet others are more sombre. These include (where the following dates are mentioned, they apply to 2011):

1 January - New Year’s Day
1 January - The New Year's Day Parade London (over 10 000 performers travel around London offering impressive dancing, acrobatics, cheerleading and musical acts)
5 January - Twelfth Night (Christian)
6 January - Epiphany (Christian)
12 January - Plough Monday (the start of the new farming year)
15 – 17 January - Straw Bear Festival at Whittlesey

2 February - Candlemas Day (Christian)
3 February - Chinese New Year
14 February - St Valentine's Day (a Christian festival associated with love and romance)

Pancake Day (a Christian carnival on the eve of Ash Wednesday to start Lent, which is a time of fasting and devotions)
5 March – St Piran’s Day Cornwall
8 March - The Great Spitalfields Pancake Race
9 March - Ash Wednesday (the start of lent)
14 March - Commonwealth Day

1 April – April Fool’s Day (traditionally the day of practical jokes and trickery)
3 April – Mothers’ Day
3 April - Simnel Sunday
17 April - Palm Sunday (Christian)
21 April - Maundy Thursday (Christian)
21 April – The Queen’s birthday
22 April - Good Friday (Christian)
23 April – St George’s Day (a church festival)
24 April - Easter Sunday (Christian)
25 April - Easter Monday (Christian)
25 April - Hop Monday
30 April – 2 May – Rochester Sweeps Festival

1 May - May Day
2 May - Early May Bank Holiday
30 April - 2 May - Rochester Sweeps Festival
24 May – Empire Day
29 May – Oak Apple Day (the birthday of Charles II)
30 May – Spring Bank Holiday
30 May – Cheese Rolling (in Gloucestershire)

2 June - Ascension Day (Christian)
2 June – Coronation Day: Gun Salute
12 June – Pentecost / Whitsuntide (Christian)
19 June – Fathers’ Day

5 July - Tynwald Day (the national holiday of the Isle of Man)
15 July - St. Swithun's Day
TBC - Swan Upping (a census of swans on the River Thames)

1 August - Lammas Day
1 August - Yorkshire Day
26 – 28 August - Reading Festival
27 – 29 August - The Glenn Miller Festival (the largest jazz, swing and Jive festival in the United Kingdom)
28 – 29 August - Notting Hill Carnival
29 August - Late Summer Bank Holiday

4 September – 8 November - Blackpool Illuminations
5 September - The Great River Race, London
TBC - Heritage Open Days (free entry to several National Trust properties)

11 October - Apple Day
11 October - Trafalgar Day
17 October - Punky Night (children sing through the streets and at residential doors)
31 October - Halloween

1 November - All Saints Day (Christian)
1 November - London to Brighton Veteran Car Run
2 November - All Souls Day (Christian)
5 November - Guy Fawkes
5 November - Lewes Bonfire Night
11 November – Armistice Day
13 November - Remembrance Sunday
14 November - The Prince of Wales' birthday
20 November - Stir-up Sunday (last Sunday of the Christian Church Year)
27 November - Advent Sunday (Christian)

-Atleast in England, a guy or a girl can initiate the date/relationship.. doesn't matter

-The payment depends on how formal/serious the 'date' is...
If you are on a 'date' such as.. a nice dinner, or a movie at the cinema... the guy will most likely pay to be nice.

-The dates are as formal as you make them. You could be going to a nice restaurant and have an expensive dinner. or you could just hang out at his place and watch a cheap movie. This will most likely depend on who you date.

Holidays in United Kingdom in 2014
Change Year | Change Holidays | Change Country

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Weekday | Date | Holiday name | Holiday type | Where it is observed | | | | | | Wednesday | Jan 1 | New Year's Day | Bank holiday | | Thursday | Jan 2 | 2nd January | Local holiday | Scotland | Monday | Jan 6 | Epiphany | Christian | | Tuesday | Jan 7 | Orthodox Christmas Day | Orthodox | | Tuesday | Jan 14 | Prophet's Birthday | Muslim | | Tuesday | Jan 14 | Orthodox New Year | Orthodox | | Thursday | Jan 16 | Tu B'Shevat (Arbor Day) | Jewish holiday | | Saturday | Jan 25 | Burns' Night | Local observance | Scotland | Friday | Jan 31 | Chinese New Year | Observance | | Friday | Feb 14 | Valentine's Day | Observance | | Saturday | Mar 1 | St. David's Day | Local holiday | Wales | Tuesday | Mar 4 | Carnival/Shrove Tuesday | Christian | | Wednesday | Mar 5 | Carnival/Ash Wednesday | Christian | | Sunday | Mar 16 | Purim | Jewish holiday | | Monday | Mar 17 | St Patricks Day | Local holiday | Northern Ireland | Thursday | Mar 20 | March equinox | Season | | Sunday | Mar 30 | Daylight Saving Time starts | Clock change/Daylight Saving Time | | Sunday | Mar 30 | Mothering Sunday | Observance | | Sunday | Apr 13 | Palm Sunday | Christian | | Tuesday | Apr 15 | First day of Passover | Jewish holiday | | Thursday | Apr 17 | Maundy Thursday | Christian | | Friday | Apr 18 | Orthodox Good Friday | Orthodox | | Friday | Apr 18 | Good Friday | Public holiday | | Saturday | Apr 19 | Holy Saturday | Christian | | Saturday | Apr 19 | Orthodox Holy Saturday | Orthodox | | Sunday | Apr 20 | Orthodox Easter | Orthodox | | Sunday | Apr 20 | Easter Sunday | Bank holiday | | Monday | Apr 21 | Orthodox Easter Monday | Orthodox | | Monday | Apr 21 | Easter Monday | Common Local holidays | ENG, NIR, WAL | Tuesday | Apr 22 | Last day of Passover | Jewish holiday | | Wednesday | Apr 23 | St. George's Day | Local holiday | England | Wednesday | Apr 23 | Shakespeare Day | Observance | | Monday | Apr 28 | Yom HaShoah | Jewish holiday | | Monday | May 5 | Early May Bank Holiday | Bank holiday | | Tuesday | May 6 | Yom HaAtzmaut | Jewish holiday | | Sunday | May 18 | Lag B'Omer | Jewish holiday | | Monday | May 26 | Spring Bank Holiday | Bank holiday | | Tuesday | May 27 | Isra and Mi'raj | Muslim | | Thursday | May 29 | Ascension Day | Christian | | Wednesday | Jun 4 | Shavuot | Jewish holiday | | Sunday | Jun 8 | Pentecost | Christian | | Monday | Jun 9 | Whit Monday | Christian | | Sunday | Jun 15 | Trinity Sunday | Christian | | Sunday | Jun 15 | Father's Day | Observance | | Thursday | Jun 19 | Corpus Christi | Christian | | Saturday | Jun 21 | June Solstice | Season | | Sunday | Jun 29 | Ramadan begins | Muslim | | Saturday | Jul 12 | Orangemen's Day | Local holiday | Northern Ireland | Monday | Jul 14 | Orangemen's Day observed | Local holiday | Northern Ireland | Thursday | Jul 24 | Laylat al-Qadr (Night of Destiny) | Muslim | | Tuesday | Jul 29 | Eid-al-Fitr | Muslim | | Monday | Aug 4 | Summer Bank Holiday | Local holiday | Scotland | Tuesday | Aug 5 | Tisha B'Av | Jewish holiday | | Friday | Aug 15 | Assumption of Mary | Christian | | Monday | Aug 25 | Summer Bank Holiday | Common Local holidays | ENG, NIR, WAL | Tuesday | Sep 23 | September equinox | Season | | Thursday | Sep 25 | Rosh Hashana | Jewish holiday | | Saturday | Oct 4 | Feast of St Francis of Assisi | Christian | | Saturday | Oct 4 | Yom Kippur | Jewish holiday | | Sunday | Oct 5 | Eid-al-Adha | Muslim | | Thursday | Oct 9 | First day of Sukkot | Jewish holiday | | Wednesday | Oct 15 | Last day of Sukkot | Jewish holiday | | Thursday | Oct 16 | Shmini Atzeret/Simchat Torah | Jewish holiday | | Thursday | Oct 23 | Diwali/Deepavali | Observance | | Saturday | Oct 25 | Muharram/Islamic New Year | Muslim | | Sunday | Oct 26 | Daylight Saving Time ends | Clock change/Daylight Saving Time | | Friday | Oct 31 | Halloween | Observance | | Saturday | Nov 1 | All Saints' Day | Christian | | Sunday | Nov 2 | All Souls' Day | Christian | | Wednesday | Nov 5 | Guy Fawkes Day | Observance | | Sunday | Nov 9 | Remembrance Sunday | Observance | | Sunday | Nov 30 | First Sunday of Advent | Observance | | Sunday | Nov 30 | St Andrew's Day | Local holiday | Scotland | Monday | Dec 1 | St Andrew's Day observed | Local holiday | Scotland | Monday | Dec 8 | Feast of the Immaculate Conception | Christian | | Wednesday | Dec 17 | First Day of Hanukkah | Jewish holiday | | Sunday | Dec 21 | December Solstice | Season | | Wednesday | Dec 24 | Last day of Hanukkah | Jewish holiday | | Wednesday | Dec 24 | Christmas Eve | Observance | | Thursday | Dec 25 | Christmas Day | Public holiday | | Friday | Dec 26 | Boxing Day | Bank holiday | | Wednesday | Dec 31 | New Year's Eve | Observance | | The UK family: In statistics | Families are changing shape and facing up to new lifestyle challenges. The facts and figures below give an idea of what the typical UK family looks like in the early 21st century.WHAT IS A 'TYPICAL' FAMILY?There were 17.1 million families in the UK in 2006 - up from 16.5 million in 1996.Most were still headed by a married couple (71%), although the proportion of cohabiting couple families had increased to 14%, from 9% 10 years earlier.Although two children remains the most common family size, the average number of children per family in the UK has dropped - from 2.0 in 1971 to 1.8.
WHERE FAMILIES LIVEMore young people are living at home for longer. In 2006, 58% of men and 39% of women aged 20-24 in England still lived at home with their parents.There is a larger than average concentration of single people living in London, whereas married couples and families tend to be concentrated in the centre of the country and around the outskirts of major cities, according to research by Professor Danny Dorling of Sheffield University.His map is based on data drawn from the 85 constituencies used for the European parliamentary elections in 1999, each containing roughly half a million people over the age of 18 in a similar geographical area.The areas are categorised, for example as predominantly single, where the number of people living on their own is the most unusually large group compared with the national average.Figures were not available for Northern Ireland.
WORK-LIFE BALANCEIn most families with dependent children, the father is still the main wage earner and the mother often works part-time.According to the BBC/ICM poll, 33% of women still do the bulk of household chores, but 35% of respondents said both parents shared childcare duties.
SPENDING HABITSThe average family income is £32,779 before tax.According to ONS figures, an average household - made up of 3.9 people - spends £601.20 a week, compared with a couple's average spend of £527.30. In other words, the household spends £155.60 per head, compared with a couple's spend of £263.60 per head. | | |…...

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