Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more
  • RRP: £14.99
  • You Save: £1.51 (10%)
FREE Delivery in the UK.
Only 3 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon.
Gift-wrap available.
Quantity:1
Chavs: The Demonization o... has been added to your Basket
+ £2.80 UK delivery
Used: Good | Details
Sold by happyfish63
Condition: Used: Good
Trade in your item
Get a £0.34
Gift Card.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class Paperback – 6 Jun 2011

352 customer reviews

See all 5 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Paperback, 6 Jun 2011
£13.48
£6.99 £0.75

There is a newer edition of this item:

£13.48 FREE Delivery in the UK. Only 3 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class + The Establishment: And how they get away with it + Occupy
Price For All Three: £21.23

Buy the selected items together


Trade In this Item for up to £0.34
Trade in Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class for an Amazon Gift Card of up to £0.34, which you can then spend on millions of items across the site. Trade-in values may vary (terms apply). Learn more

Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Verso; 1 edition (6 Jun. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184467696X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844676965
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 0.2 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (352 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 185,853 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

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

About the Author

OWEN JONES has worked in the British Parliament as a trade union lobbyist and parliamentary researcher. He is currently writing a PhD on the history of blue-collar America and the rise of the New Right. He lives in London.

Inside This Book

(Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By os TOP 500 REVIEWER on 31 May 2013
Format: Paperback
'Chavs' is an important and readable book `Chavs' is shorthand for people who have been stigmatised as being idle, undeserving and socially undesirable. Its main thesis is that the returns to labour compared with the returns to capital have diverged sharply over the last 30/40 years, resulting in a vastly unequal society. A trend that successive governments, Conservative and Labour governments have both conspired to encourage by a variety policy tools: mostly involving the tax and benefit system, council house sales, deregulation of financial markets and regular union 'bashing', to either help the rich to a bigger slice of the pie or deny those lower down the scale their former share of the goodies. Couple these policies with an ongoing propaganda war whose sole aim was to demonise, discredit and isolate the 'lower' classes and all their works and you effectively have a 'class war'.

'Chavs' could be read as one long anti-Thatcher rant. A more positive reading of the book would be to see it as a warning for the future. By creating an economic and social underclass, we are storing up the seeds for failure and extremism as a result of allowing the rich to 'get away with it' and the poor to 'pick up the tab' in the form of higher taxes, low wages and uncertainty of employment. Such great inequality in terms of wealth, income and opportunity is a form of injustice that will create problems that will only become more entrenched in society with time.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
738 of 824 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Pittard on 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 ›
108 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jazzrook TOP 500 REVIEWER on 20 Jun. 2011
Format: Paperback
This well-argued and powerful book by Owen Jones demolishes the myth that Britain is a classless society and expands on a quote from Observer columnist, Nick Cohen: "To say class doesn't matter in Britain is like saying wine doesn't matter in France".
Jones explains how the label 'chav' has been used by rightwing commentators to caricature the working class as lazy, feckless and violent.
With numerous millionaires in the current Tory-led coalition cabinet and ever-increasing levels of inequality this important and enlightening book on the "invisible prison" of the British class system deserves to be widely read.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
332 of 405 people found the following review helpful By Diziet on 6 Jun. 2011
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 ›
67 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again


Feedback