Literature has shown there is a constructive correlation between an individuals socioeconomic status (SES) and their participation in sporting activities. This piece of writing will be defining the impact social class division has on the opportunities for an individual to participate in sport and leisure activities. Also the key aspects of the social class system within the United Kingdom, from the traditional methods of social stratification, to the modern 7 class system released in 2013 by the British Broadcast Corporation (BBC). The term 'Social Class' or 'Socioeconomic Groups' , refer to an individuals status within society. There are various factors which determine an individual's status, such as; income, family background and educational experiences. This socioeconomic status can be seen as a status hierarchy in which three main common social classes are informally accepted in the majority of societies: Upper Class, Middle Class and Working Class (Wesson et al, 2000).
Torkildsen (2011) stated that the nature and definition of 'social class' is generally regarded as being problematic, as class not only relates to income or occupation but also upbringing and family background. "social class is often regarded as grouping on the basis of occupation, which is 'socioeconomic class' rather than social class" (Torkildsen, 2011 p.49). divine
In modern society these 3 traditional social classifications, working, middle and upper class are outdated, fitting less than 40 percent of the United Kingdom's population. In April 2013 the British Broadcast Corporation introduced a new model for social classification, within the United Kingdom. Social class and socioeconomic groups traditionally have been defined by income, occupation and education. The BBC Lab UK (BBC, 2013) states that the traditional method is far too simplistic. Their research suggests that social class has 3 dimensions, economic, social and cultural. These 3 dimensions represent sub categories in order to measure an individual's social status. Economic capital measures income, savings and house value. Social capital measures how many people we know and their social status. Lastly cultural capital that measures the extent and nature of an individual's cultural interests and activities. This new model consists of 7 social classes ranging from precariat all the way to the elite. The 7 new social classes are defined as:
• Elite - the most fortunate group of individuals in the UK, distinct from the other classes through its wealth and assets. They also have the highest levels of economic, social and cultural capital.
• Established middle class - the second wealthiest, scoring highly on all three capitals. The largest and most expressive group, scoring second highest for cultural capital.
• Technical middle class - a tiny, but distinctive new class. That is successful, however scores low for social and cultural capital. Distinguished by its social isolation and cultural indifference.