Class consciousness

I’ve started reading Owen Jones’s

, my follow up to the excellent
by Lynsey Hanley (I reviewed Estates here). Two chapters in, Chavs describes examples of that demonisation of the working class (white British and non-white and/or immigrant). Some of the examples he quotes from posh, mainly female journalists are staggeringly crass and awful. I hope he includes later more about the interplay between socio-economic class and culture – just as in the days of ‘U and non-U’, part of the demonisation is mocking the cultural differences. My northern working class family had ‘settees’, although obviously I’ve made it to the ‘sofa’ class myself.

[amazon_image id=”1844678644″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class[/amazon_image]

Class has been overlooked for too long in public political and cultural discourse. It’s always seemed clear to me that you can’t discuss, for example, the role of race in society without considering how race and class overlap. It seems the increase in inequality may have made it permissible to bring the subject up again, although I note that many people are still more comfortable talking about ‘the 99 per cent’ or ‘low-income families’ than about ‘the working class’ or even ‘poor people’.

I’ll review Chavs later in the week.


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