"A social climber is someone who seeks social prominence, for example by obsequious behavior. The term is sometimes used as synonymous with parvenu, one who has suddenly risen to a higher economic status but has not gained the social acceptance of others in that class. "Social climber" may be used as an insult, suggesting a poor work ethic or disloyalty to roots. Social climbers, for example Mr. Elton in Jane Austen's Emma, have been found in fiction for at least two centuries. The Franklin in the prologue of the Canterbury Tales by Geoffery Chaucer was also considered a social climber of his time."
See also Nouveau riche