By Owen Jones
A compelling research into the parable and truth of working-class existence in modern Britain.
In smooth Britain, the operating category has develop into an item of worry and ridicule. From Little Britain’s Vicky Pollard to the demonization of Jade Goody, media and politicians alike brush aside as feckless, criminalized and ignorant an enormous, underprivileged swathe of society whose participants have turn into stereotyped by means of one, hate-filled observe: chavs.
during this groundbreaking research, Owen Jones explores how the operating type has long past from “salt of the earth” to “scum of the earth.” Exposing the lack of awareness and prejudice on the middle of the chav comic strip, one in keeping with the media’s inexhaustible obsession with an indigent white underclass, he portrays a much more complicated fact. relocating via Westminster’s lobbies and working-class groups from Dagenham to Dewsbury Moor, Jones unearths the expanding poverty and desperation of groups made precarious via wrenching social and business switch, and all yet deserted through the aspirational, society-fragmenting rules of Thatcherism and New Labour. The chav stereotype, he argues, is utilized by governments as a handy figleaf to prevent real engagement with social and fiscal difficulties, and to justify widening inequality.
in response to a wealth of unique learn, and wide-ranging interviews with media figures, political opinion-formers and employees, Chavs is a damning indictment of the media and political institution, and an illuminating, tense portrait of inequality and sophistication hatred in smooth Britain.
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Extra resources for Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class
His wife, a senior director of one luxury goods business and owner of another, is the daughter of a major landowner and happens to be a descendant of King Charles II. ’29 All well and good, but doesn’t where he’s going have an awful lot to do with where he’s from? His belief that the Karen Matthews case is broadly representative makes sense when you look at his feelings towards people who share her background. ’ One of the Conservatives’ few working-class MPs, Junior Transport Minister Mike Penning, admits that the lack of politicians from workingclass backgrounds impinges on their ability to relate to people in 30 the case of shannon matthews communities like Dewsbury Moor.
The aim was to rub out the working class as a political and economic force in society, replacing it with a collection of individuals, or entrepreneurs, competing with each other for their own interests. In a new, supposedly upwardly mobile Britain, everyone would aspire to climb the ladder and all those who did not would be responsible for their own failure. Class was to be eliminated as an idea, but it was to be bolstered in practice. There has been no greater assault on working-class Britain than Thatcher’s two-pronged attack on industry and trade unions.
You wouldn’t know it from the media coverage, but most of us think of ourselves as working class. As a poll published in October 2007 revealed, that’s how over half the population described themselves. 34 Of course, self-identification is an ambiguous, subjective business and people of all classes might, for various reasons, mischaracterize their place in the social pecking order. And yet the figure has an uncanny relation to the facts. 35 We’re a nation of secretaries, shop assistants and admin employees.