Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class
In modern Britain, the working class has become an object of fear and ridicule. From Little Britain’s Vicky Pollard to the demonization of Jade Goody, media and politicians alike dismiss as feckless, criminalized and ignorant a vast, underprivileged swathe of society whose members have become stereotyped by one, hate-filled word: chavs.
In this acclaimed investigation, Owen Jones explores how the working class has gone from “salt of the earth” to “scum of the earth.” Exposing the ignorance and prejudice at the heart of the chav caricature, he portrays a far more complex reality. The chav stereotype, he argues, is used by governments as a convenient figleaf to avoid genuine engagement with social and economic problems and to justify widening inequality.
Based on a wealth of original research, Chavs is a damning indictment of the media and political establishment and an illuminating, disturbing portrait of inequality and class hatred in modern Britain. This updated edition includes a new chapter exploring the causes and consequences of the UK riots in the summer of 2011.
2010 general election areas argued aspiration background Britain British caricature cent chav chav-hate claimed class politics Conservative council estates council housing crime culture Dagenham Daily Mail David Cameron demonization Dewsbury Moor drug economic ethnic minority factory families former Guardian Hazel Blears huge Iain Duncan Smith immigration impact incapacity benefit income inequality Jade Goody Johann Hari Jon Cruddas journalists Karen Matthews kids Labour Party lack leader less living London look low-paid manufacturing middle middle-class million miners minister parents people’s policies politicians poor poverty privileged problems racist reality right-wing says sector workers service sector Shannon Matthews Simon Heffer social housing society sort teenage Thatcher there’s things Tony Blair Tory trade unions underclass unemployed unemployment Vicky Pollard vote voters wages wealthy welfare well-paid white working class white working-class working-class working-class Britain working-class communities young