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Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 25. No. 11. 1962

Class War

Class War

The details of this include the 11-plus exam in Britain. A different "class war" is being fought out in schools based on success or failure in exams. Intelligence has become the criteria of selection.

The implications of this are important. Dr Hey cited Michael Young, who saw the intelligent children from the working class being "siphoned off" and transferred into a new social plane. They become alienated from their class of origin through their education at school and University.

T. S. Eliot saw this in his "Notes on the Definition of Culture" . . . the removal from the working class of their more intelligent members. As is recognised by sociologists, marriage partners tend to be similar in their education. The working class would perpetrate its own kind, denuded of intellectuals, continued Dr Hey.

Would society in Europe become more and more stratified? Despite the fact that in 1957, 46 per cent. of French children received no education, the systems are increasingly turning to I.Q. selection methods., Although there is still a marked social bias at universities this was disappearing.

The size of families is another important differentiation developing between classes. Families with a higher average intelligence keep family size down. An expensive education is not easily available to the large families of skilled, semiskilled and unskilled workers.