[Marxism] FORTHCOMING EVENT and NEW IN PAPERBACK / CHAVS: THE DEMONIZATION OF THE WORKING CLASS
Versomail at verso.co.uk
Mon Jul 11 05:15:31 MDT 2011
CHAVS: THE DEMONIZATION OF THE WORKING CLASS
BY OWEN JONES
PUBLISHED: 20 JUNE 2011
EVENTS IN LONDON:
July 11, 2011, 8.30pm
Blacks Club, 67 Dean Street
London W1D 4QH, UK
A SPANNER DEBATE: Owen Jones and David Goodhart on the Rediscovery of the Working Class
Booking via Moira at Blacksclub.com
July 13, 2011, 7.00pm
London Review Bookshop
14 Bury Place
London WC1A 2JL
Owen Jones will be discussing his new book CHAVS: THE DEMONIZATION OF THE WORKING CLASS. In a climate where public discourse largely ignores a vast swathe of the population that falls between an everyman middle-class and an increasingly caricatured 'underclass' it seems the one prejudice that can be expressed without censure is that against the 'chav': feckless, violent and thick.
For more information:
July 20, 2011, 7.00pm
Pages of Hackney Bookshop
70 Lower Clapton Road, Hackney
London E5 0RN UK
Pages presents Chavs.
Hackney local Owen Jones presents his investigation how the working class has gone from “salt of the earth” to “scum of the earth” in an intimate bookshop talk.
For more information:
July 26, 2011, 6.30pm
Waterstone's Gower Street
82 Gower Street
London WC1E 6EQ
An Evening with Owen Jones.
Owen Jones discusses CHAVS: THE DEMONIZATION OF THE WORKING CLASS
For more information:
August 10, 2011, 7.00pm
Peace House, 5 Caledonian Road
London N1 9DX
Join author Owen Jones as he explores the connections between the demonization of the working classes, the media, and the political establishment. Owen will take questions and lead discussion after his talk.
For more information:
How did the working class go from ‘salt of the earth’ to ‘scum of the earth’? 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 workshy, feckless, criminalized, racist and ignorant a diverse, underprivileged swathe of society. First-time author Owen Jones dismantles the use of the ‘chav’ stereotype as a convenient figleaf to avoid genuine engagement with social and economic problems and to justify widening inequality.
Chavs takes on the great British obsession: a compelling, clear-sighted portrait of inequality and class hatred in modern Britain. Also a damning indictment of the overwhelmingly privileged political establishment and complicit media, Jones takes apart countless examples to explode the myths underpinning the ‘chav’ caricature. Beginning with ‘The Case of Shannon Matthews,’ he illustrates that the spotlight only falls on what is passed off as ‘working-class life’ when there are horror stories that reinforce the ‘chav’ image.
Essential reading during the class war being waged by the coalition against the poor, CHAVS looks back at the Thatcherite experiment of the 1980s, New Labour, and the three decade-long attack on working-class industries, institutions and way of life, during which class was to be eliminated as a concept, but bolstered in practice.
In the era of ‘social mobility,’ the failures in the scramble up the social ladder are painted as the dysfunctional chav rump left behind and condemned as personally responsible for their circumstances. Jones cuts through the convenient illusion of a classless Britain arguing that the “glorification of the middle class—by making it the standard everyone should aspire for, however unrealistically—is a useful ideological prop for the class system.”
In the best traditions of ‘bottom-up’ social history, Jones speaks with many ordinary people from white working-class communities in West Yorkshire, East London and Manchester to present the realities of life in communities made precarious by wrenching social and industrial change, and all but abandoned by the aspirational, individualist politics of neoliberalism. Combining sophisticated social commentary and political analysis with original research, Jones also draws on extensive interviews with: MPs from across the political divide, prominent journalists, senior union figures, and many academics and experts.
PRAISE FOR CHAVS: THE DEMONIZATION OF THE WORKING CLASS
“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, Book of the Week, INDEPENDENT
“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'. ” Book of the Week, TIMES
“Superb and angry” Polly Toynbee, GUARDIAN
“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
“As with all the best polemics, a luminous anger backlights his prose.” ECONOMIST
“Eloquent and impassioned.” Andrew Neather, EVENING STANDARD
“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
OWEN JONES has worked in the British Parliament as a trade union lobbyist and parliamentary researcher. He is currently writing his PhD on the history of blue-collar America and the rise of the New Right. He lives in London.
ISBN: 978 1 84467 696 5 / $23.95 / £14.99 / $30.00CAN / Paperback / 256 pages
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