Blog post #3- CHAVS

Chavs is an adverse stereotype in Britain which is associated with people who are of the working class. People who are considered Chavs are those who have a low income and who may not be able to afford certain material possessions that many associate with high prestige. According to Owen Jones, the middle and upper class, demonize and ridicule those that are of the working class. In the documentary Chavs’ author Owen Jones returns to Stockport, many middle class people respond unfavorably, when they are asked about their opinion of those who are considered Chavs. Some people responded by saying that Chavs are people who don’t have jobs, and who are constantly walking around in “track suits” looking like “rift raft”. When Owen Jones interviewed those who are of the working class they felt a great deal of shame for being associated with this stereotype and claimed that “no one wants to admit to being a Chavs.”

I think that this negative stereotype called Chavs could be related to one of Goffman’s idea called a discreditable stigma. According to Goffman, those who have a discreditable stigma, try to keep their failing private and try to pass as “normal” within society to avoid any stigmatization. I feel that this is definitely the case with those who are Chavs. Many of them would never feel comfortable with revealing to others that they are of the working class and some of them try to hide the fact because of the stigma that is attached to it.

Owen Jones believes that the stigma associated with being a Chavs causes the working class to have a poor view of themselves. This stigma is being systematically used to make the working class feel inferior, so that they will not gain access of a political voice and fight for more rights.

Jones wrote the book called Chavs: The Demonization of the working class, to expose this adverse stigma and to make the working class realize that they need a political voice and that they need to unify together to fight for what is their best interest as a people. Ultimately,the working class in Britain needs to rise above this stigma against them to have a sense of pride in who they are as a people, so that they can also have a political voice in the society that they are apart of.

Justine Pierre  

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One response to “Blog post #3- CHAVS

  1. Bingo! *Discreditable stigma*. Sharp analysis of the stigmatization of the working class in Britain. The question I’m left with is whether, how/why it’s any different in the US.

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