The Demonization of the Working Class
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 figleaf to avoid genuine engagement with social and economic problems and to justify widening inequality. Based on a wealth of original research, Chavs is a damning indictment of the media and political establishment and an illuminating, disturbing portrait of inequality and class hatred in modern Britain. This updated edition includes a new chapter exploring the causes and consequences of the UK riots in the summer of 2010.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
"Superb and angry." Polly Toynbee, Guardian; "A work of passion, sympathy and moral grace." Dwight Garner, New York Times; "Persuasively argued, and packed full of good reporting and useful information - [Jones] makes an important contribution to a revivified debate about class." Lynsey Hanley, Guardian; "A timely book." Book of the Week, The Times; "A blinding read." Suzanne Moore, Guardian; "It moves in and out of postwar British history with great agility, weaving together complex questions of class, culture and identity with a lightness of touch." Jon Cruddas, Book of the Week, Independent; "A lively, well-reasoned and informative counterblast to the notion that Britain is now more or less a classless society." Sean O'Hagan, Observer.