Owen Jones (3)

This page covers the author of Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class.

For other authors named Owen Jones, see the disambiguation page.

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Jones was born in Sheffield and grew up in Stockport, Greater Manchester, and briefly in Falkirk, Scotland. He is the son of a local authority worker and an IT lecturer and describes himself as a "fourth generation socialist"; his grandfather was involved with the Communist Party and his parents met as members of a Trotskyist group, the Militant tendency.

He attended Bramhall High School and Ridge Danyers Sixth Form college (now Cheadle and Marple Sixth Form College)before reading history at University College, Oxford, graduating with a BA in 2005 and a Master of Arts in US history in 2007.Prior to his media career, Jones worked as a trade union lobbyist and as a parliamentary researcher for the Labour Party.

Jones is a weekly columnist for The Independent newspaper and his work has previously appeared in The Guardian, the New Statesman, the Sunday Mirror, Le Monde diplomatique and several smaller publications.He has made a number of television appearances as a political commentator, including several BBC News shows, Sky News, Channel 4 News, ITV's Daybreak and BBC One's Question Time discussion programme. Jones tends to write from a left-wing perspective, with Andrew Neather citing Jones' Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class as part of a resurgence of left-wing-themed ideas. Additionally, he is the Policy and Media Advisor for the Centre for Labour and Social Studies, a left-wing think tank.

In 2011 Jones published his first book, Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class, which discusses issues surrounding stereotypes of sections of the British working class, and the use of the pejorative term 'chav'. The book received attention in both domestic and international media, including being selected by The New York Times as one of its top 10 non-fiction books of 2011 and being long-listed for the Guardian First Book Award. In addition, The Independent on Sunday newspaper named Jones as one of their top 50 Britons of 2011 for the manner in which the book raised the profile of class-based issues. Jones is currently working on a second book, due to be released in 2014, that will focus on issues concerning the British establishment.

Jones has received attention as a significant commentator of the left, with The Daily Telegraph placing him at 7th in their 2013 list of Britain's most influential left-wingers and readers of the Left Foot Forward blog voting him as the most influential left-wing thinker of 2013. In November 2012, Jones was awarded Journalist of the Year at the Stonewall Awards, along with The Times journalist Hugo Rifkind. In February 2013 Jones was awarded the Young Writer of the Year prize at the Political Book Award, donating half the prize money to support the campaign of Lisa Forbes, a Labour parliamentary candidate, and the other half to Disabled People Against Cuts. Jones commented in an interview with The Student Journals, that several people have made the accusation that he uses his politics only as a tool to raise his own profile, and that he risks being seen as a "lefty rent-a-gob".

Jones spoke at a press conference to launch the People's Assembly Against Austerity on 26 March 2013 and regional public meetings in the lead-up to a national meeting at Central Hall Westminster on 22 June 2013.

In November 2013 he delivered the Royal Television Society Huw Wheldon Memorial Lecture entitled 'Totally Shameless: How TV Portrays the Working Class'.

Jones is gay and lives in London.


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