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Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class (original 2011; edition 2012)

by Owen Jones

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281940,152 (3.81)11
Member:outside-jane
Title:Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class
Authors:Owen Jones
Info:Verso Books (2012), Edition: 2nd Revised edition, Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:2012, Your library
Rating:***
Tags:politics, chavs, class system, thatcher, unions, miners, britain, england, predjudice

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Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class by Owen Jones (2011)

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» See also 11 mentions

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Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
Just reread this with updated 2016 preface. Essential reading for anyone who wants to understand what is happening in UK (and elsewhere) today, explaining how successive governments have demonised the poor for their own agenda. A very depressing read that explains only tool clearly what has gone and how increasing inequality damages the whole of society (what's left of it post-Thatcher anyway). ( )
  Roseredlee | Jul 3, 2016 |
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. ( )
  jennpb | Apr 13, 2016 |
A polemic that wears its leftwing politics unashamedly (and largely legitimately) on its sleeve. This is a solid review of the excesses of Thatcherism, how gravely it damaged working-class culture in the 1980s, and its upshot in Britain today - where a working-class rump has gone from being viewed as 'salt of the earth' to 'scum of the earth'. Some discussion of globalisation would have been useful (after all, Thatcher's economic policies and smashing of the trade unions didn't take place in a national vacuum), but overall this is a fairly convincing read. ( )
  Panopticon2 | Oct 5, 2014 |
I really enjoyed reading this thought-provoking book about discourses about working-class people and issues that they in particular face in British politics and media. I think it would have been even better if it had spent some time right at the beginning to discuss the range of meanings that the term "working class" has and how those might have shifted over time. ( )
  mari_reads | Oct 26, 2013 |
I think that this is a really important book. It explained to me how & why Labour has, to my mind, lost its way and how many of the problems we now have are still the legacy of Thatcherism. Reading it was like having the lens on our society cleaned. ( )
  awomanonabike | Oct 8, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Owen Jonesprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jáuregui, ÍñigoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 184467696X, Paperback)

A compelling 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 groundbreaking 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, one based on the media’s inexhaustible obsession with an indigent white underclass, he portrays a far more complex reality. Moving through Westminster’s lobbies and working-class communities from Dagenham to Dewsbury Moor, Jones reveals the increasing poverty and desperation of communities made precarious by wrenching social and industrial change, and all but abandoned by the aspirational, society-fragmenting policies of Thatcherism and New Labour. 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, and wide-ranging interviews with media figures, political opinion-formers and workers, Chavs is a damning indictment of the media and political establishment, and an illuminating, disturbing portrait of inequality and class hatred in modern Britain.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:14 -0400)

In this ground-breaking investigation, Owen Jones explores how the working class has gone from 'salt of the earth' to 'scum of the earth'. It is a disturbing portrait of inequality and class hatred in modern Britain.

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