Start reading Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here or start reading now with a free Kindle Reading App.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

 
 
 

Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.
Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class
 
 

Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class [Kindle Edition]

Owen Jones
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (257 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £9.99
Kindle Price: £5.99 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
You Save: £4.00 (40%)
* Unlike print books, digital books are subject to VAT.

Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition £5.99  
Paperback £6.99  
Unknown Binding --  
Kindle Daily Deal
Kindle Daily Deal: At least 60% off
Each day we unveil a new book deal at a specially discounted price--for that day only. Learn more about the Kindle Daily Deal or sign up for the Kindle Daily Deal Newsletter to receive free e-mail notifications about each day's deal.


Product Description

Review

The stereotyping and hatred of the working class in Britain, documented so clearly by Owen Jones in this important book, should cause all to flinch. Reflecting our high levels of inequality, the stigmatization of the working class is a serious barrier to social justice and progressive change. --Kate Pickett and Richard Wilkinson, authors of The Spirit Level

It is a timely book. The white working class seems to be the one group in society that it is still acceptable to sneer at, ridicule, even incite hatred against. ... Forensically, over 304 pages, Jones seeks to explain how, thanks to politics, the working class has shifted from being regarded as 'the salt of the earth to the scum of the earth'. --Carol Midgley, Times

Superb and angry. --Polly Toynbee - Guardian

Product Description

Bestselling 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 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 2011.


Product details


More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
657 of 735 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A missed opportunity 8 Aug 2011
Format:Paperback
I've read some remarkable reviews of this book in the press, most of which comment on how acutely it makes its argument, the forensic detail with which Jones writes, and the wonderful style he employs. Unfortunately, I didn't see much of any of these, and ultimately found this book frustrating. Not because I disagreed with the overall argument - far from it - but rather because at times it's a blunt analysis framed bluntly. It left me feeling that we on the left really need a much better voice than this.

First, the good points, of which there are some. Jones starts promisingly with some astute points about Dewsbury and how it differs from the media representation during the Shannon Matthews case. An early chapter on 1980s contexts for modern class politics is passionate and useful, if something of a primer for those who have never heard of the miners' strike. The real value of the book lies in its critique of the concept of meritocracy, in a passage that will challenge the thinking of many. Jones also effectively deploys some useful statistics and makes some valuable observations about the effects of the misperception of the median salary (£21,000, since you ask, although a better editor would have meant that we didn't have to be told this at least four times).

These points aside, however, the rest of the book is seriously undermined by three major problems:

Firstly, there's the way in which the book presents the working class themselves. Jones is right to challenge the conservative assumption that the working class remain so through choice, a lack of ambition, aptitude, and so on. The problem, however, is that Jones goes too far in the other direction, to the extent that the working class seem to be little more than passive economic victims.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars He has a point but he does go on 18 Aug 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Owen Jones repeats himself quite a bit in this book. He has a point, but it is not argued well. For example, he does not deal with the central point that the middle classes may be right in their characterisation of the rump of ex-working classes having become feckless, irresponsible, apathetic, and habitually drunk/stoned. If there is truth in this his widely held view, his proposals to address the problem will not work.

Owen believes that non skilled and semi skills jobs could be created by Government policy in large volumes in exactly the right places for English white unemployed to get working again in high status jobs (he considers factory and mining jobs higher status than call centre and retail jobs). I doubt this is true, and Owen Jones is entirely unconvincing on why and how this would work.
Was this review helpful to you?
315 of 384 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Class War 6 Jun 2011
By Diziet TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I hesitated to title this review 'Class War' - it seems so out-of-date, so 'old Labour'. But that is what this book is about. It is about the sustained economic, social and ideological attack on the majority of the population of this country.

The idea of 'chavs' is, these days, so pervasive that as I read the first few chapters, I had my doubts. The book seemed merely an apologia for a post-industrial lumpenproletariat, a group of alienated misfits beyond the reach of the rest of society. But Jones' analysis is far wider, deeper and more powerful than that and deserves as wide an audience as possible.

The book starts with a shocking comparison between the media coverage of Shannon Matthews and Madeleine McCann. The point is forcefully made that the coverage clearly showed a deep-rooted class prejudice - and ignorance. The McCann's come from the same class as the majority of journalists, leader writers and 'opinion formers'. The same journalists have virtually no experience of the world of Shannon Matthews. Jones makes the point in a quote from Kevin Maguire of the Mirror:

'Increasingly, the lives of journalists have become divorced from those of the rest of us. 'I can't think of a national newspaper editor with school-age kids who has them in a state school,' [Maguire] reflects. 'On top of that, most journalists at those levels are given private medical insurance. So you're kind of taken out of everyday life.' (P27)

Jones continues:

'More than anything, it is this ignorance of working-class life that explains how Karen Matthews became a template for people living in working-class communities.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Time for the exploited to rise up. 31 Jan 2013
Format:Paperback
I've been wanting to read this for a while, and have finally got round to it. It's an interesting book and very timely in the effort that Jones is making to rescue the depiction of the poor from the clutches of the right wing. Having read this back to back with The Shock Doctrine (a far more disturbing and wide-ranging book) I feel suitably angry and want to do something about it, but frustrated at the lack of a viable strategy for tackling those heartless bastards who run the world.

The author is an angry young man, and that means that the book frequently has a strident edge and is inclined to bang home the same statistics and arguments again and again. His target audience is quite clearly the lay socialist and he lets us have it with both barrels. That's no bad thing, but it tends to position his argument in the same tradition of easy claims and blinkered ideology that he so frequently criticises on the other side. No sensible reader would disagree that the mass media and their political lickspittle always argue from the specific to the general in their attacks on the working class. The likes of Shannon Matthews, as Jones points out very effectively, are always presented as typical of a wider demographic. Yet Jones plays the same game when he talks of the rich and powerful, and even the 'middle class', as if they were homogenous. It's a self-defeating rhetorical strategy and disappointingly obvious.

Part of the problem of the book is that Jones buys into the class labels he writes about too easily. Even in the preface he provides two opinion polls one of which gives a result of over half the population self-classifying as working class, while the second poll has 71 percent identifying themselves as middle class.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't Bother
Terrible in one word. I can't get past the first few chapters.

First, Owen attempts to confuse the reader, or batter him/her into submission, by trying to pretend that... Read more
Published 2 days ago by M. Knight
3.0 out of 5 stars Some good interviews, but prejudiced and lacking in historic...
Oh dear, how this book is heavy on prejudice and light on perspective. Whereas there is much to commend, especially in the records of interviews with representatives of governments... Read more
Published 10 days ago by Mr D G Rodwell
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
First class.
Published 13 days ago by Dr J T R Bavin
4.0 out of 5 stars Well-written but flawed
This book while being well-written and enjoyable, was in many ways disappointing. Its main strength is that the author has done a good deal of background work and presents an... Read more
Published 15 days ago by DannyC
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
he speaks the truth
Published 21 days ago by Paul Clark
1.0 out of 5 stars Total S***e
A load of class-warfare drivel written by the Prime Chav himself. Chippy, jealous and filled with hatred about a country he plainly despises, a system he can't understand and a... Read more
Published 25 days ago by Mr Adrian Lee
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read
Excellent read
Published 26 days ago by Tamil's tigress
5.0 out of 5 stars I fine book
I fine book
Published 1 month ago by T McEvoy
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful and furious book
A wonderful and furious book. Ok political conclusions a bit simplistic, but Owen Jones has done a great service, highlighting the elitism and arrogance of much that passes for... Read more
Published 1 month ago by James Wickham
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Interesting
Published 1 month ago by Neil Bagshaw
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions
   


Look for similar items by category