Friday, June 03, 2011


CHAVS, The Demonisation of the Working Class
Owen Jones, Verso 2011
The British 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 that has become stereotyped by one hate-filled word: chavs. In this groundbreaking investigation, Owen Jones explores how the working class has gone from ‘salt of the earth’ to ‘scum of the earth’. Moving through Westminster’s lobbies and working-class communities from Dagenham to Dewsbury Moor, Jones lays bare the ignorance and prejudice at the heart of the chav caricature, and reveals a far more complex reality: the increasing poverty and desperation of people left abandoned by the aspirational, society-fragmenting policies of both the Tories and New Labour. A damning indictment of the media and political establishment, Chavs is an illuminating, disturbing portrait of inequality and class hatred in modern Britain.

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