Blog #4- Chavs “Chavscum”

In class when we discussed Chav’s, I tried to relate it to a type of people in America. Chavs are people in England characterized as being a mix between an African American and a “Guido.” They wear sweatsuits and big chains and are considered working-class youth. When I think of sweatsuits and guido’s I immediately think of the Jersey Shore reality tv show. The Situation, Pauly D, Vinny, Ronnie, Sammy, Snooki, Dina, and J-Wow all could have been classified as working class (I mean, before they made their millions from being on one of the most popular reality shows) if they were from England. Mike “the situation” Sorrentino, in my opinion excudes a “chav.” He wears the horrible all-velour sweatsuits and the gaudy “blinged-out” chains. Abercrombie even offered to pay him to NOT wear their brand because they didn’t want to be associated with him. If I had to think of an “american chav” the jersey shore cast would be it.

        I also felt really bad for Lady Sovereign when I watched her in the Chav’s video. She claims being stereotyped as “one of the biggest most popular chavs” didn’t really get to her, but you can tell it did. Being called a chav is equivalent to  bullying in America. Unfortunately, people stereotype and namecall to make themselves feel better while hurting others.

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7 responses to “Blog #4- Chavs “Chavscum”

  1. I found this post quite entertaining and I do agree completely. What entertains me so much is the difference between Lady Sovereign and the cast of Jersey Shore because while Lady Sovereign says that being a “chav” does not bother her so much, we can tell it does, yet on the other hand the Jersey Shore cast knows that they are a laughing stock. The difference being that those on the Jersey Shore think they are above everyone else and thus embrace the stereo type as if they are being glorified, and I must say if I was getting paid the amount of money they are, then I would embrace it just as much.

    • I think you’re onto something, in the contrast you draw between JS cast members and Lady Sovereign. I was pretty impressed by the way Lady Sovereign answered the question. Imagine a JS person being asked a similar question. I don’t think they’d answer it seriously and genuinely the way LS did. They’d probably stay ‘in character,’ brush it off, say they’re actually ‘flattered’ or get flustered and maybe nasty. LS took it seriously and gave a thoughtful reply. When she said it doesn’t bother her, I don’t think she means it doesn’t affect her at all. She says it’s hateful and wrong and I think that bothers her. In recognizing that the comments are really driven by ignorant hate, she isn’t letting them undermine her own ‘self-concept’ and sense of self-worth. On the psychological/spiritual level, there’s no question that L Sovereign is much more ‘together’ than the JS folks…of course, this is based merely on what I’ve seen in the media.

  2. I really liked this post by the blogger and I feel that he/she did a great job explaining Chavs and its relation to how it is here in American. The blogger compares chavs to Americas own Jersey Shore. They claim that they fit the description of what chavs are like in America with a mix between an African American and a “Guido.” I completely agree with the authors comments and I also immediately thought about the cast of the Jersey Shore when we first learned about the topic in class.

  3. ciarasullivan25

    In class when we were talking about chavs and trying to relate it to America, I immediately thought of the Jersey Shore cast (before they became famous). There was even a segment once on the Rachael Ray talk show where she had the girls dressed professionally; out of the ‘chav’ style and the girls looked great.

  4. alexandrazayas1

    Chav’s really do relate perfectly to the “Jersey Shore” and also to “Malibu’s Most Wanted” as discussed in class. It is funny because it is a name that we give people not one that people would call themselves. The only difference is the Jersey Shore cast proudly defines themselves as guidos and guidettes and do not believe it has a negative connotation whatsoever. Us watching it find it completely absurd and ridiculous. It is my guilty pleasure though, I find it rather amusing.

  5. Great post, K. You kicked off a lively discussion.

    It’s interesting that the American equivalent of ‘chavs’ that most people point to – the Jersey Shore cast – comes out of reality tv. Sociologist Imogen Tyler sees reality tv as a prime site of ‘chav bashing’ in the UK. She argues that the typical m.o. of these programs is to showcase (usually lower-income, less-educated) peoples’ ‘failings,’ poor judgement, and ‘bad’ taste – allowing (usually more privileged) audiences to feel morally superior, ‘esthetically superior,’ and smarter than the ‘vulgar and depraved idiots’ on screen.

    There’s also a ‘class’ or, better, economic component in the way chavs are described. Often, they’re cast as welfare-dependent, as layabouts who don’t work, hustlers, even petty criminals. The Jersey Shore folks, at this point, don’t have to worry about money; but even before their fame/infamy, they seemed to be quite secure financially, having grown up with typical middle-class comforts. But, as Tyler argues, having a lot of money does not ‘inoculate’ one from the chav stigma. Like Weber on ‘status,’ she insists it’s about how one *spends* their money. And says that’s why even the Beckhams (footballer David and former Spice Girl, Victoria) are branded chavs… But this makes me wonder whether class, or ‘class origin,’ *does* have something to do with it. From what I’ve seen of them, the celebrity photos, their look doesn’t seem to fit with the stereotype, at least not anymore (I think that over time their style has definitely morphed, getting more and more ‘understated’). It seems like it’s a hard label to shake off once you’re ‘branded.’

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