A new study of wealthy British neighborhoods has revealed a trend that most Stephen Sondheim fans already take for granted: wealthy women who “lunch” tend to booze up more in all their leisure time than their working- or even middle-class counterparts. To the sociology mobile!
That was a joke, obviously, because, unlike the women who live in exclusive areas such as Esher in Surrey, Merchiston in Edinburgh, or Knightsbridge in London, hardly any sociology department has the budget for its own mobile of any kind. Researchers found that female (and male) residents of really posh areas tend to suffer higher rates of mental illness or depression than people living in more modest neighborhoods. Moreover, those members of the brunching, lunching leisure class also tend to exceed the recommended limit of three drinks per day, more than any other social type.
From the Telegraph:
Around 6.5 per cent of men and women in these areas also suffer from anxiety and nerves, compared with a national average of 2.9 per cent. In contrast, the only groups with a higher likelihood of mental illness or depression are elderly people in social housing, those living in highrise flats, and young people renting.
Patrick Tate, director of analytics at CACI, the firm that carried out the research, said: "Women in these [expensive] areas have lavish lifestyles, but without the need to work, and they are extremely socially active. It is the classic group of ladies who lunch.
The data also revealed a "footballers' wives" effect, with four in 10 women in suburbs such as Totteridge in north London and Heswall in the Wirral, known for having wealthy footballers and their partners as residents, drinking more than three units of alcohol a day, compared with 28.9% nationally.
So, based on this postal code breakdown of British society, are we to assume that the upper classes are nothing more than effete inebriates interested in leisure and little else? Gee, what a stunning revelation.
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