Victoria Beckham, also known as Posh Spice, recently claimed in a documentary that she grew up working class, despite her current wealth. Her husband, David Beckham, challenged her on this and pointed out their luxurious lifestyle. This exchange sparked a discussion on what it means to be working class in today’s economy. Many people romanticize and fetishize working-class identities, leading individuals like Victoria Beckham to deny their wealth. In Australia, the definition of working class has changed due to automation and globalization. The term originally referred to manual laborers during the Industrial Revolution. Karl Marx, a German socialist, further defined the working class as those who do not control the means of production. Factors such as culture, ancestry, and location now play a role in identifying one’s class. The gig economy has also added to the working class, with workers like delivery drivers and rideshare drivers being included. Service industries now employ more working-class individuals, including many women. There are debates about whether tradespeople are considered working class, as it depends on factors such as self-employment and social organization. Roughly 42.8% of Australians identify as working class, a number that has remained stable over the years.
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