By Owen Jones
A compelling research into the parable and fact of working-class lifestyles in modern Britain.
In sleek Britain, the operating classification 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 push aside as feckless, criminalized and ignorant an unlimited, underprivileged swathe of society whose contributors 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 knowledge 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 finds the expanding poverty and desperation of groups made precarious by way of wrenching social and commercial switch, and all yet deserted via the aspirational, society-fragmenting regulations 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.
according to a wealth of unique study, 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, irritating portrait of inequality and sophistication hatred in sleek Britain.
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Extra info for Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class
The impact of this industrial collapse can be seen on the Matthews family. Both the grandparents and parents worked in local industry, particularly in textiles. And yet, as Karen Matthews’s mother put it: ‘The town has changed now. ’40 Manufacturing in areas like Dewsbury Moor used to provide secure, relatively well-paid, highly unionized jobs that were passed down from generation to generation. ‘The decline of the British manufacturing and industrial base has decimated communities up and down the country,’ says Labour MP Katy Clark.
Dewsbury Moor is a good example. The ward finds itself in the top 10 per cent for overall deprivation and child poverty. As we have seen with the bile spewed out by journalists during the Shannon Matthews affair, the detractors argue that this is largely due to the fecklessness 33 chavs of the people who live there. They’re wrong. Governments have effectively socially engineered these working-class communities to have the problems that they have. We’ve come a long way since Labour’s Aneurin Bevan founded modern council housing in the aftermath of World War II.
The town of Dewsbury was once home to a thriving textile industry. Over the past three decades, these jobs have all but disappeared. At the 35 chavs bottom of the street where Karen Matthews once lived are dozens of disused lock-ups, including abandoned textile mills and expansive industrial estates. ‘This was known as the heavy woollen area of West Yorkshire. There were also lots of engineering and manufacturing jobs,’ Reverend Pitcher explains. ‘Those jobs have all gone; there’s virtually no manufacturing industry.
Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class by Owen Jones