A word, obviously coined as the antonym of underclass, which sprang into prominence in the US in 1995 but which has only just reached Britain, and in which it is unlikely to become common because of differing social structures. The overclass, it is argued, comprises a small homogeneous elite group of individuals who run American institutions, who form what Michael Lind, in Harper’s Magazine, called a “guild oligarchy”, separate from and superior to the traditional middle classes. One of the defining characteristics of members of the overclass is their tendency towards isolation, using their resources to exclude themselves voluntarily from society, as the antithesis of the underclass, which is excluded by its poverty.
Search World Wide Words
Recently added pieces
Zoilism; Fish-faced; Poach; Immensikoff; Habiliments; The Sense of Style by Steven Pinker; Agister; The Word at War; Not so green as you’re cabbage-looking; Peely-wally; Draw a line in the sand; Porphyrogeniture; Set one’s cap at; Epicaricacy; Furthest and farthest; Hide one’s light under a bushel; Jentacular.
Support World Wide Words!
Donate via PayPal. Select your currency from the list and click Donate.
Buy from Amazon and get me a small commission at no cost to you. Select your preferred site and click Go!