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In the Muggle world, there is a huge class gap between the poor and the rich. Sure, in the Wizarding world, you have poor families like the Weasleys and rich families like the Malfoys, but is there really that much of a class gap?

As long as you have even a small bit of money, you can afford a wand. With magic being able to get you almost anything you want, is there really that much need for money other than for basics, which only requires a small amount of money easily attainable from a job? If there isn't, there isn't that much of a class gap, right?

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    You don’t need money to go to Hogwarts. Tom Riddle didn’t have any, for instance; he got his wand and essentials from the Hogwarts fund for poor wizards and witches. There definitely seems to be a large class gap in the wizarding world as well, but it’s not as closely tied with money as in the Muggle world—the ‘upper class’ in the wizarding world is rather the old, pureblood families. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Mar 1 '16 at 21:42
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    Everyone gets to go to Hogwarts, but not everyone gets to live in an enormous manor house after they've finished school. – Valorum Mar 1 '16 at 21:49
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    @OldBunny2800 - JKR specifically said that a Hogwarts education is free. – Valorum Mar 1 '16 at 21:53
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    In the real world, the upper tiers of wealth is not really about buying things. Most of that money is actually unspent. What that money is about is about connections, power, and respect. – Fhnuzoag Mar 1 '16 at 21:53
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    Yes, he says in the hut on the island that he’s not paying to have some crackpot teach Harry magic tricks, but he’s talking out of his arse. He doesn’t know the first thing about Hogwarts, and he’s probably assuming that Hogwarts, as a boarding school, requires payment like Muggle schools. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Mar 1 '16 at 21:54
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I would say YES, there is a class gap in the wizarding world.

But it isn't as defined by the Muggle world. The 'classes' you refer to in the Muggle world are demarcated solely on money. People socialize only with people of similar spending capacity (barring exceptional circumstances).

The wizarding world is rather different. Janus Bahs Jacquet got it kind of right. The demarcation in the wizarding world is in terms of their beliefs on 'blood purity' rather than the actual ancestry of the witch/wizard. The 'pure-blood' supporters are completely anti-Muggle. They despise anything to do with Muggles (from Muggle-born witches/wizards to Muggle technology). According to the Pottermore article on Pure-Bloods:

Slytherin's discrimination on the basis of parentage was considered an unusual and misguided view by the majority of wizards at the time. Contemporary literature suggests that Muggle-borns were not only accepted, but often considered to be particularly gifted.

...

Magical opinion underwent something of a shift after the International Statute of Secrecy became effective in 1692, when the magical community went into voluntary hiding following persecution by Muggles. This was a traumatic time for witches and wizards

...

Under such conditions of uncertainty, fear and resentment, the pure-blood doctrine began to gain followers. As a general rule, those who adopted it were also those who had most strenuously opposed the International Statute of Secrecy, advocating instead outright war on the Muggles.

However, plenty of supposedly 'pure-blood' families condemned this school of thought and believed that one's ancestry had nothing to do with the witch/wizard in question. These include the families of Weasley, Longbottom, Abbott, Crouch,etc.

These families, along with the rest of the wizarding world belong to the other 'class'. They all know and socialize with each other, as evidenced by the Muggle camp manager's remarks at the site for the Quidditch World Cup:

“It’s like some sort of . . . I dunno . . . like some sort of rally,” said Mr. Roberts. “They all seem to know each other. Like a big party.”

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Chapter 7: Bagman and Crouch

Wealth doesn't matter to these 'classes' of people. All that matters is whether you are bigoted or not.

While it does seem like wealth does matter to the other 'class', canon only says the Malfoys and Blacks are incredibly wealthy. There is no evidence to suggest the Goyle family or the Crabbe family were rich. Just that they believed all Muggle-borns (or Mudbloods as they like to call them) are scum, and that the Muggles deserved to be subjugated to rule under magic folk (pure-blooded at that).

  • I would say wealth still matters a bit, at least for the Malfoys who don't seem to like the Weasleys because they are poor. – Thomas Mar 2 '16 at 12:42
  • Social class is defined as: "people having the same social, economic, or educational status," (see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_class). Considering muggle-borns to be inferior to pure-bloods is not part of this. – vap78 Mar 2 '16 at 13:05
  • @Thomas Malfoys don't like the Weasleys because the Weasleys are "blood traitors" in their eyes. So they find any excuse they can to pick on them. Including their lack of wealth. – ʀᴇᴅ_ᴅᴇᴠɪʟ226 Mar 2 '16 at 18:29
  • @vap78 You're quoting from the Wikipedia article as it refers to Muggles. Muggles work everyday to make more and more money. Very few people are content with the money they make and always strive to be richer. The opposite in true in the wizarding world. Very few wizards strive to increase their wealth. They just work to have enough money to satisfy basic needs. Lucius (and later Draco) don't earn anything at all(according to Pottermore). They have enough wealth to sustain themselves and their families and are happy with it. In the Muggle world, even the extremely rich work almost every day. – ʀᴇᴅ_ᴅᴇᴠɪʟ226 Mar 2 '16 at 18:35
  • @vap78 Considering this basic difference in terms of how Muggles and magic folk live their lives, it isn't right to consider the Muggle definition for social class. The social classes here are divided according people's outlook on how purity of blood affects magic. – ʀᴇᴅ_ᴅᴇᴠɪʟ226 Mar 2 '16 at 18:37

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