- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Verso; 1 edition (May 22, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1844678644
- ISBN-13: 978-1844678648
- Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,303,634 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class 1st Edition
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“A passionate and well-documented denunciation of the upper-class contempt for the proles that has recently become so visible in the British class system.”—Eric Hobsbawm, Guardian
“A work of passion, sympathy and moral grace.”—Dwight Garner, New York Times
“A bold attempt to rewind political orthodoxies; to reintroduce class as a political variable ... 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. Jones torches the political class to great effect.”—Jon Cruddas, Independent (Book of the Week)
“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 ... 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 (Book of the Week)
“Superb and angry.”—Polly Toynbee, Guardian
“Seen in the light of the riots and the worldwide Occupy protests, his lucid analysis of a divided society appears uncannily prescient.”—Matthew Higgs, Artforum
“As with all the best polemics, a luminous anger backlights his prose.”—Economist
“Chavs is 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 lively, well-reasoned and informative counterblast to the notion that Britain is now more or less a classless society.”—Sean O'Hagan, Observer
“A trenchant exposure of our new class hatred and what lies behind it.”—John Carey, author of The Intellectuals and the Masses
“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
“Eloquent and impassioned.”—Andrew Neather, Evening Standard
“Jones’s analysis of the condition of the working class is very astute ... A book like this is very much needed for the American scene, where the illusion is similarly perpetuated by the Democrats that the middle-class is all that matters, that everyone can aspire to join the middle-class or is already part of it.”—Anis Shivani, Huffington Post
“Everybody knows what a chav is, it seems, but no one is a chav. But then it’s a word unlike any other in current usage ... A new book, Chavs: The Demonisation of the Working Class, by first-time author Owen Jones ... has thrown the word into the spotlight all over again.”—Carole Cadwalladr, Observer
“A blinding read.”—Suzanne Moore, Guardian
“[A] thought-provoking examination of a relatively new yet widespread derogatory characterization of the working class in Britain ... edifying and disquieting in equal measure.”—Publishers Weekly
“A fiery reminder of how the system has failed the poor.”—Peter Hoskin, Daily Beast
“Mr. Jones’s book is a cleareyed examination of the British class system, and it poses this brutal question: ‘How has hatred of working-class people become so socially acceptable?’ His timely answers combine wit, left-wing politics and outrage.”—Dwight Garner, New York Times
About the Author
Owen Jones is a writer, commentator and activist. He writes frequently for the Guardian, Independent and New Statesman, and has worked in Parliament as a trade union lobbyist and parliamentary researcher, helping Labour plan backbench rebellions on issues ranging from civil liberties to workers’ rights. He lives in London.
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Top customer reviews
Rise like Lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number -
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you -
Ye are many - they are few.
Percy Bysshe Shelley, "The Call to Freedom"
Owen Jones writes a easy read in a logical way. It helps that I know many people living with diminished expectations as well as frequently listening to the anger on all side of the political spectrum when I listen to The Washington Journal on C-Span.
There are holes in OJ's logic, but it offers a take that adds to out knowledge.
There is an almost complete absence of accurate representation of working-class people in the media, on TV. Owen shows class hatred in TV reality shows. There are almost no politician and journalists anymore with working-class background. Most have no idea about the reality of working-class life or average income.
“Chavs” are a derogative caricature of white working-class people as racist hooligans, alcoholic thugs or sexually permissive single mothers. This caricature shows class hatred of the middle-classes and the Oxbridge educated elite. The figure of the “Chavs” is used to deflect blame away from the capitalist system and Neo-Liberal politics onto the individuals.
The working-class has lost all control over its representation. Thatcherism has deliberately destroyed British manufacturing and weakened trade-unions. The Neo-Liberal housing policy has deepened divisions within working-class communities and created working-class areas without hope.
Owen analyses the influence of the UKIP racists in working-class areas. He calls for a return to working-class politics and values.