Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Summary - Chavs The Demonization of the Working Class

Summary - Chavs The Demonization of the Working Class
Title of the book: Chavs The Demonization of the Working Class.
Title of chapter: Chapters 6 and 7, 'A  Rigged Society' and 'Broken Britain'.
Pages: 169-220
Author: Owen Jones
Date published: 22 May 2012.
Publisher: Updated edition used published by Verso 2012.

Key Quotes:

Chapter 6, 'A Rigged Society':
"Politicians and media commentators who focus on an alleged lack of aspiration among working-class kids often miss the point. Aspire to what? The disagreement of so many good, well-paid working-class jobs in communities across the country means it is difficult to see what lies at the end of school- other than supermarkets or call centres."  - page 175

"Being born into a prosperous middle-class family typically endows you with a safety net for life. If you are not naturally very bright, you are still likely to go far and, at the very least, will never experience poverty as an adult. A good education compounded by your parents 'cultural capital', financial support and networks will always see you through. If you have a bright child born into a working-class family, you do not have any of these things. The odds are that you will not be better off than your parents. Britain's class system is like an invisible prison." - page 182.

Chapter 7, 'Broken Britain':
"Twenty-four-year-old John Ashburn and nineteen-year-old Anna agreed. If I asked if Ashington was a nice place to grow up. 'No, it's full of drugs,' replied John without hesitation.Why did the think drugs were a problem? 'Because there's nowt to do here, so that's why people just think "Oh, I'll just take some drugs to get high and that", because it's something to do,' said Anna. - page 188.

"There are a lot of similar themes in Ashington and Longbridge. There is the same sense of despair and pessimism about the future..the shattering effects locally of the collapse of industrial Britain's role in...anti-social behaviour drugs and teenage pregnancy .. a lack of good, secure jobs and plenty of people out of work through no fault of their own." - page 193. 

" Tory leader David Cameron phrased it, Britain had fallen into a 'social recession .When two young boys from disturbed back-grounds were indefinitely detained... in another mining village...Cameron seized on the case as evidence. The case could not be dismissed as an 'isolated incident of evil,' he argued. A whole range of issues were identified as part of the Tory narrative, such as 'family breakdown, welfare dependency  failing schools, crime, and the problems that we see in too many of our communities'. - page 194

"...the 'chav' caricature. Teenagers pushing strollers, yobs, feckless adults: this is what chavs are for many people. The media....have gone out of their way to convince us that these are the moral issues...In blaming the victims, the real reasons behind social problems like drugs...have been intentionally obscured." - page 194

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