I sometimes think that the working class mindset — the drive as you call it — is inherited. In my early life, after my parents' divorce, we had very little. My mum’s almost-neurotic budgeting is something I’ve now taken into adulthood with me. My dad, despite having “made it”, still to this day has a working class chip on his shoulder. He retired at 50, now builds boats for funsies, has a £10K watch… But still buys supermarket own-brand baked beans and cereal. On sale.

So much of how I see the world was informed by my parents' perceptions of wealth and their fears of poverty. The fear of being left with nothing drives me despite having grown up relatively comfortably, all things considered.

China specialist, feminist, political scientist in progress. Reviews, socialism & everyday academia. Low-brow, no jargon/acronyms. Editor of The Open Bookshelf.

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