Also known as the petty bourgeoisie
by Marxist Definitions. Usually working professionals and often take residence in suburbia
or greenbelt areas. Generally speaking, their children attend university and do well within the education system, often following in their parents footsteps to maintain some sort of professional job.
However, one must ask oneself how to define class. Perhaps financially or culturally? It has been asserted that you do not need to be restricted to relative material wealth in order to be middle-class. Rather, you can still have middle-class values. If this is true, then one can assume that there is still working-class values thus the statement that there ceased to be a working-class in the 1970's is false. Furthermore, that even if they have two cars and take several holidays a year they are still distinctly working-class. Often it has been asserted that money does not buy you class or status. Certain Neo-Marxists now assert that the working-class are transforming into a "Service Class" for the 'infomation workers'. For example, service class's may work in Supermarkets on checkouts, providing a service for people who are employed in the IT industry.
A stereotypical middle-class family might consist of two parents, married, living in detached house with two cars and a well maintained garden. Their children, both at university. They enjoy dinner parties and have many cook books and dabble in Red Wine probably far to often. This is merely a stereotype though, you'd probably be suprised how many have fairly bizarre patterns of behavior such as Swining or Heroin addiction.
See the films Blue Velvet
or American Beauty
for accounts of the American middle-class. Alternatively George Orwell
wrote exstensively on the class system in Britain in novels such as "Down and Out in London and Paris" and "Road to Wigan Peer".