Gavin F (gavluvsga) wrote in 50bookchallenge,
Gavin F

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Book #22: Chavs by Owen Jones

Number of pages: 300

The word "Chav", as left-wing social commentator Owen Jones notes, first appeared in the Collins English Dictionary in 2005, with the definition: "A young working class person who dresses in casual sports clothing". Apparently, it is a derivitive of the Greek "Chavi" (meaning "Child"), and not - as some believe - an acronym for "Council Housed and Violent".

This book is subtitled: The Demonization of the Working Class, and is all about why people in Britain give so-called "Chavs" a very poor image, as people who are lazy, and even racist, and generally not pleasant to be around.

This is a subject that Jones clearly feels very strongly about, as he principally targets politicians (mostly Thatcher, but also New Labour and the current Conservative government), the media and television shows.

It's a book that made me feel somewhat guilty because I've had plenty of negative thoughts myself about people who are less well off than myself. This book points out how the long-standing class divide in Britain has left many deprived people a lot worse off, in terms of both education and employment prospects, as well as discussing the all-too-familiar dislike of immigrants "stealing jobs" that is so common over here in Britain.

This book is written from a socialist point of view, which is somewhat different from my usual political stance, but it was a thought-provoking read and did make me realise just how bad things are.

Next book: The X-Files: Season 11, Volume 1 by Joe Harris
Tags: british, contemporary, essays, in the media, non-fiction, politics

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