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July 03, 2011

Comments

Nick

The greatest trick the landed aristocracy ever pulled was persuading the world they no longer existed: http://www.who-owns-britain.com/

Tim Almond

The problem here is Guardian types assuming that people think chavs=working class. Chavs aren't working class, because they neither work, nor have any desire to work.

Talk to working class people sometime, most of them have a pretty low opinion of chavs.

Matt McG

There's a profound difference, though, between working class people's critical view of those whom they live around and with, and general sneering and tarring-with-the-same-brush that comes from the media and the middle classes.

chris y

Marx referred to chavs as "Lumpenproletariat" and he had a pretty low opinion of them as well, while not falling into the trap of regarding them as representative of the working class.

Tim Almond

"There's a profound difference, though, between working class people's critical view of those whom they live around and with, and general sneering and tarring-with-the-same-brush that comes from the media and the middle classes."

I'm middle class and I know lots of middle class people and I've rarely heard someone who has a contemptible view of working class people. The general view is that if someone works and looks after themselves then that's just fine.

Keith

waffle is what this is.

Chav has no recognised meaning and may mean gypsy originally; or not. It is anyway a soap opera stereotype not a term of sociological analysis. The fact very deprived people have bad habits and may not live up to the aspirations of political activists like Karl Marx is hardly new or informative. There has always been a tendency for social reformers to confuse hostility to poverty with hostility to the culture produced by poverty and thus hostility to the poor themselves. And to think a perfect society should be composed of perfect people. Which leads in a totalitarian direction.

To valorise conservative social groups rather undermines the great success that has been achieved in the post war period in making society more liberal. Many old fashioned working class attitudes are vile e. g. dockers marching in support of Enoch Powell in '68 and the inferior status of women and homophobia etc. Not all change is bad. Tradition is not always good. Indeed traditions are often a negative defence mechanism imposed by social situations affecting groups not a free choice made from an open menu.

golookgoread

[hostility to the culture produced by poverty and thus hostility to the poor themselves]
I am experiencing a annoyingly long phase of self-loathing at this moment in time - even my chav neighbours keep asking me "Are you alright, luv?"

Tom Addison

Having two younger sisters who are 12 and 14, I'm often used to hearing tales of the exploits of "chavs" at their school (and there seem to be a fair few).

A chav, by their definition (although they haven't told me this directly) seems to be not that bright or doesn't behave very well in class, gets into many arguments and fights, wears fancy clothes and owns fancy gadgets that they can't really afford (and they love bragging about how much it cost) and listens to crap music on their phone, making sure that everyone else can hear it.

I'm sure you've noticed that being working class is not a prerequisite for being classified within this group. Most boy racers I know are the sons of accountants, solicitors and the like.

And this isn't a new phenomonon, this whole "chav" thing, they were known as "scallies" where I'm from until the last 5-6 years. Shows like Jeremy Kyle seem to have made some people think that anyone who doesn't listen to The Arhcers enjoys nothing more than football, tattoos and mugging grannies.

Chris Rock had the best definition of chavs anyway, "People who want respect for shit they're supposed to do." He's a black comedian and was referring to the n-word at the time, but I think it can be applied to both.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3PJF0YE-x4

Keith

I read recently a comment about some people being corporate or rich chavs for their boorish conduct.
It reminded me of bullingdon boy Cameron at Oxford. Having poor taste or bad manners is not a monopoly of a social class. This is the confusion we get when employing vague words that are suggestive of some "type" of person that cannot be pinned down in a scientific way.

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