Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class

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Verso, 2016 - Classism - 320 pages
11 Reviews
Bestselling investigation into the myth and reality of working-class life in contemporary Britain

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 fig leaf to avoid genuine engagement with social and economic problems and to justify widening inequality.

When Chavs was first published in 2011 it opened up the discussion of class in Britain. Then, in the public debate after the riots of that summer, Owen Jones's thesis was proved right--the working class were the scapegoats for everything that was wrong with Britain.

This new edition includes a new chapter, reflecting on the overwhelming response to the book and the situation in Britain today.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - MarianneHusbands - LibraryThing

I only read this to chapter 4 but what I did read was enough for me. It is of its time all Thatcher ( spits) and Blair ( beyond derision) Post Brexit it is clear that the working-classes are still ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jennpb - LibraryThing

Well researched and aligned with my own political views, but 100 pages in I felt defeated. Yes, the working class is demonised. So what do we do about it? I couldn't struggle through the last half of the book to find out whether the author had any proposed course of action. Read full review

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About the author (2016)

Owen Jones is a writer, commentator and activist. He writes frequently for the Guardian, Independent and New Statesman, and has worked in Parliament as a trade union lobbyist and parliamentary researcher, helping Labour plan backbench rebellions on issues ranging from civil liberties to workers' rights. He lives in London.

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