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blissblogger
19-05-2005, 02:49 AM
The last few return visits to the UK, i've felt genuine culture shock for the first time. ASBO's? Most confusing of all, "chav". Trying to track the happy slapping trend on the web to work out if it actually exists or is made-up, i stumbled on an anti-chav site. http://www.chavtowns.co.uk/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1580. it was quite disorienting.

My initial tentative diagnosis (excuse me if this seems obvious, i've been out of the country a long time. Following the disappearance of old style class war in the UK (as mediated by the trade unions--when i were a lad the leaders of the big unions were public figures, so famous that Mike Yarwood would impersonate them -- does anyone know the names of the leaders of any union nowadays? while in london i went past the TUC headquarters, i'd almost forgotten that acronym even existed) and the dominance of bland centrist managerialism, class tensions have resurfaced in an
Americanized form, i.e. their class nature disavowed, their basis in material inequality etc ignored. Instead the struggle expressed entirely as cultural antagonism. Ie. Chav being similar to America where it's considered OK to make fun of "white trash". In other words the UK has moved so far into post-socialism that the idea of "society is to blame" is long forgotten; the state of these people is regarded as entirely their own fault.

Except that, judging by this anti-chav site, it's felt that chav values are culturally hegemonic (something that could never be said in the USA of white trash culture).

So what's it all about then? And what exactly is the etymology of "chav"? And yeah, is happy slapping just an urban/media myth?

Pearsall
19-05-2005, 03:53 AM
Chav is just a national version of previous regional words like ned, schemey, scally, charver, etc.

You know, underclass (usually) white youth with tracksuit, hoodie, and baseball hat. Attitude, bad behavior.

simon silverdollar
19-05-2005, 08:39 AM
i read somewhere that the the origin of the word 'chav' is a romany word, so may be there was a racist undercurrent to the first uses of 'chav' (a little like the way where i come from at least 'pikey' can mean scally as well as gypsie, or traveller).

but about the cultural hegemony of 'chavism': there might be a point there. certainly in the small provincial towns where i grew up, most of the young people there were what would now be called 'chavs'; wore sports wear, drank loads and started fights, did petty crime and vandalism, went on club 18-30 holidays and fought with foreigners, rode round in Max Powered vauxhall novas. and interestingly this was a very middle class area- so this 'hegemony' of 'chav' culture and attitudes may exist in the sense that it extends way beyond the working class, or even the lower middle class.

as to whether or not middle class teenagers engaging in the activities listed above is a new phenomenon or not, i don't know.

simon silverdollar
19-05-2005, 08:41 AM
another interesting point is that on grime messageboards all the kids from realy rough areas, like newham and tower hamlets, see 'chavs' as rich kids from essex with no style.


class issues in britain = ultra complicated.

martin
19-05-2005, 09:19 AM
'Chavi' is Romany slang for 'child', it was then applied to kids considered to belong to the 'underclass'. It's just the same as the kids who wore shell suits and had flat top hairdos in the early 90s, but I have to be really honest, girls in pink Von Dutch trucker caps, facial jewellery and burberry bras really do it for me

Rambler
19-05-2005, 09:24 AM
http://www.chavscum.co.uk/

This is the site that got everyone picking up on the word - note that the original byline was the much more patronising 'A field guide to Britain's burgeoning peasant underclass', [http://web.archive.org/web/20031212053819/http://www.chavscum.co.uk/] but they changed it to 'A user's guide to Britain's new ruling class' around the time that people started noticing the site. I think it's a vile word - the accepted origin is from the Romany for child, and I can't help but think that there was a racist slant to it originally, but then maybe I'm being oversensitive.

bassnation
19-05-2005, 09:51 AM
http://www.chavscum.co.uk/

This is the site that got everyone picking up on the word - note that the original byline was the much more patronising 'A field guide to Britain's burgeoning peasant underclass', [http://web.archive.org/web/20031212053819/http://www.chavscum.co.uk/] but they changed it to 'A user's guide to Britain's new ruling class' around the time that people started noticing the site. I think it's a vile word - the accepted origin is from the Romany for child, and I can't help but think that there was a racist slant to it originally, but then maybe I'm being oversensitive.

yep, good old fashioned snobbery. there is a case for asking why so many of the UKs youth are being written off with no education and no opportunities. but its easier for most people just to either fear them or poke fun at them - or maybe a bit of both mixed together.

when i was growing up in the early nineties a lot of the ravers i knew (including myself really) were what people might term as proto-chavs - riding round in your mums nova with booming 'ardkore issuing forth, the trackys etc. people would do well to remember that the soundtrack for these peoples lives is now being obsessed over by academics, feted by critics and sold for huge amounts on ebay. these people live their lives twice as brightly as everyone else and deserve respect rather than the vile snobbery they get instead.

bassnation
19-05-2005, 09:58 AM
is happy slapping just an urban/media myth?

its definitely happening, there have been several reported incidents in the last few days alone. but its hard to tell whether people are picking up on an urban myth that was first reported in the media, and imitating it - or its something thats come from nowhere. i don't know if you've picked up on the other stories related to this, but big shopping centres like bluewater in kent have banned the wearing of hoodies and baseball caps - the traditional "chav" uniform, under the pretext that if someones wearing a hood, the cctv cameras won't catch them.

theres a distinct whiff of moral panic about the whole business, if you ask me. the uk doesn't really know how to deal with children and youth - attacking these clothes without dealing with the underlying social problems of kids not having anything to do seems a bit pointless, really.

simon silverdollar
19-05-2005, 10:03 AM
theres a distinct whiff of moral panic about the whole business, if you ask me. the uk doesn't really know how to deal with children and youth - attacking these clothes without dealing with the underlying social problems of kids not having anything to do seems a bit pointless, really.

it's crazy isn't it; have you seen the daily express's 'Crusade' against 'hooded yobs'?
for fucks sake...

bun-u
19-05-2005, 10:39 AM
another interesting point is that on grime messageboards all the kids from realy rough areas, like newham and tower hamlets, see 'chavs' as rich kids from essex with no style.


class issues in britain = ultra complicated.

there does seem to be some confusion about the word 'chav' - it seems to veer from a sneering attitude to the tasts of the noveau riche, to a kick-them-while-they're-down brushing off of job-less 'benefit scoungers' (the underclass) - daytime tv has alot to answer for creating a culture for a desensitised voyeur-of-the-poor.

I think it often depends on who is doing the name calling - I think the class system isn't massively different from before, it just has alot more strata's and it's quite common for people to have the most disdain for the strata below them

Diggedy Derek
19-05-2005, 11:15 AM
I really dislike the word Chav. I was discussing this with a really anti-chav person, in fact someone who is an evangelical glam-style advocate, for whom the wearing of sportswear = some sort of peasantry. he argued blandness and conformity = some sort of cultural entropy. Now in many cases this is no doubt true (of course the homogenisating effects of suits = another sort of cultural entropy), but surely one can be "an individual" without having to devise some sort of utterly unique dress code (as he does- more or less succesfully, as it goes).

What I've tried to do with this guy, and I haven't quite managed it yet, is make a case for the wearing of sportswear as being a "positive identity". But i think one can be made. The hoody issue links into this in an interesting way- kids in hoods are being victimised, but if you were a young kid wearing, say, just a school uniform walking through hackney, you're much more likely to be picked upon than someone in a hood and a baseball cap. Sure, a hood means you can hide your face if you're mugging someone, but it also means you can hide your face from a mugger trying to catch your eye.....

By the way Blissblogger, agree only partly with what you're saying about trade union leaders. I think Bob Crow of the tube union is quite well known. On the other hand, he has a real notoriety for calling strikes that makes him something of a hate figure, as if arguing your corner for more pay or better conditions is somehow a bad thing, which more or less confirms your analysis that everyone in the uk accepts late-capitalism with it's bland, controlling managers who know what's best for the workers.

3underscore
19-05-2005, 11:34 AM
Chav is just a national version of previous regional words like ned, schemey, scally, charver, etc.

You know, underclass (usually) white youth with tracksuit, hoodie, and baseball hat. Attitude, bad behavior.

I think the reference that you make to the terms “schemey” and “ned” are slightly misleading to the “chav” terminology, as both actually have a serious origin. Ned is an acronym for “non educated delinquent”, and I think takes its routes from actual police and court definitions. Obviously, this has muddied over times, but the actual definition is very clearly defined. “Schemey” is similarly clear – someone from the housing schemes. Obviously, a post war term, referring to the areas of high rises in Easterhouse or Niddrie. Obviously, over time these definitions have become more colloquial, and are used loosely to refer to certain social groups.

Chav seems to be used as the new popular way to refer to the same group – essentially Burberry hats, Elizabeth duke gold earrings, Rockport, tracksuits – even those who are seen as being dressed in designer clothes that someone sees they shouldn’t be able to afford / wear…. The term’s use is becoming chaotic, and frankly I don’t actually like the sound of the word, which I think makes me interpret it as even more derogatory. It has a real sneering quality to it like most (good) swear words.

As for the Unions – no, noone really knows the names of the leaders, other than maybe the only real socialist commitments (Fire Brigade from strikes a few years ago, Teaching Unions). I think much of this comes not from a lack in socialism, but more the fact that in twenty years the UK has moved from a manufacturing economy sourcing its own raw materials, to a service economy. I would expect that you will see some Unionisation of call centres if the people get their act together, but on a standard basis they hold little sway and have little need (at least from what I can see). The Union negotiate my pay rise every year, and every year I get a letter saying how they went in asking for inflation plus three percent, and walked out with inflation plus about 50bps. The fact is that everyone knew it would be the latter even if they hadn’t turned up.

Randy Watson
19-05-2005, 02:54 PM
What I've tried to do with this guy, and I haven't quite managed it yet, is make a case for the wearing of sportswear as being a "positive identity". But i think one can be made.

Definitely. Chavs (and I feel uneasy using that term, it's casually slung about but it covers a wide spectrum of age, race and class) often take a great deal of care in their appearance. They fetishise clothing in the same way as the mods did in the sixties (remember reading a description of Shaun Ryder as a post-modern mod). Your friend and his demand for individuality is making strong demands on what is often most visibly a young demographic. Youth are only at the start of establishing identity and expressing it through their choice of clothing, often - along with music - the first autonomous choices they make. They are bound to look to their peers and therefore be a bit faddish.

Is there a term for the gloomy looking children in ridiculously wide bottomed trousers and home-died hair? They look like descendents of goths, but you couldn't really call them that.


The hoody issue links into this in an interesting way- kids in hoods are being victimised, but if you were a young kid wearing, say, just a school uniform walking through hackney, you're much more likely to be picked upon than someone in a hood and a baseball cap. Sure, a hood means you can hide your face if you're mugging someone, but it also means you can hide your face from a mugger trying to catch your eye.....

...or the mugger takes you for a rude boy and gives you a steer.


By the way Blissblogger, agree only partly with what you're saying about trade union leaders. I think Bob Crow of the tube union is quite well known. On the other hand, he has a real notoriety for calling strikes that makes him something of a hate figure, as if arguing your corner for more pay or better conditions is somehow a bad thing

I think Bob Crow is unpopular because he threatens strike action very readily and for what may appear to the general public as spurious reasons. He is clearly popular with his members though. I just wish he'd ditch that awful flat cap he wears.

boy better know
19-05-2005, 03:15 PM
I think the reference that you make to the terms “schemey” and “ned” are slightly misleading to the “chav” terminology, as both actually have a serious origin. Ned is an acronym for “non educated delinquent”, and I think takes its routes from actual police and court definitions. Obviously, this has muddied over times, but the actual definition is very clearly defined.


This is a fallacy. The word came first, then over time the acronym thing was tacked on. "Ned" is just a made up scottish word like "nyaff" or "numpty". As far as I can see, it is the Scotish equivalent of "Chav". Pearsall was spot on with his comment.

As for "Chav", to me it is simply a word. It's not a word I use as it is English slang, and it's just a rubbish word. There's far better slang I could be using.

I think some people are a bit too hysterical about offending the "underclasses" with this word. Most "chavs" aren''t even working class, and they're so oblivious that they probably wouldn't even consider themselves chavs.





Is there a term for the gloomy looking children in ridiculously wide bottomed trousers and home-died hair? They look like descendents of goths, but you couldn't really call them that.


Up here they're most commonly referred to as "Grungers" or "Moshers". "Grunger" is quite confusing though, as I don't think these kids are actually into grunge (apart from Nirvana). Usually it's nirvana, korn or slipknot hoodies you see them in.

egg
19-05-2005, 03:27 PM
aye, grungies or garage innit?

bassnation
19-05-2005, 03:52 PM
I think some people are a bit too hysterical about offending the "underclasses" with this word. Most "chavs" aren''t even working class, and they're so oblivious that they probably wouldn't even consider themselves chavs.

i think its perfectly reasonable to be offended when people sneer at the poor. i'd hardly call it hysterical - unlike the media panic about hoodies which is totally hysterical

and underclass != working class btw, its a level below all that, which is why you often get people spouting the old line "well, i'm working class and i don't dress like that"

you are right about them being oblivious to it though.

mms
19-05-2005, 07:34 PM
its definitely happening, there have been several reported incidents in the last few days alone. but its hard to tell whether people are picking up on an urban myth that was first reported in the media, and imitating it - or its something thats come from nowhere. i don't know if you've picked up on the other stories related to this, but big shopping centres like bluewater in kent have banned the wearing of hoodies and baseball caps - the traditional "chav" uniform, under the pretext that if someones wearing a hood, the cctv cameras won't catch them.

theres a distinct whiff of moral panic about the whole business, if you ask me. the uk doesn't really know how to deal with children and youth - attacking these clothes without dealing with the underlying social problems of kids not having anything to do seems a bit pointless, really.

what do you think came first though, the idea/scare/publicity, or the incidents focussed and named, i'd love to know

LRJP!
19-05-2005, 08:17 PM
you are right about them being oblivious to it though.
I don't know; i saw a tape pack a few years ago called Charva Beats, from that what i've overheard and seen written on bus shelters it's definately self-applied a bit... With such a codified style, can you be oblivious?

All this hoodies and baseball cap shit is bewildering in it's intensity and cluelessness. I mean as clothes go both are pretty all pervasive up and down the age and social spectrum - if they're really banning people with them from that shopping centre - as opposed to just banning young people - then you've got be dazzled really... i mean wtf!?!



Is there a term for the gloomy looking children in ridiculously wide bottomed trousers and home-died hair? They look like descendents of goths, but you couldn't really call them that.
a couple of years ago i was trying to popularise the term L'il Knots And Bizkits...

bassnation
20-05-2005, 10:22 AM
what do you think came first though, the idea/scare/publicity, or the incidents focussed and named, i'd love to know

apparently its evolved from tv programmes like jackass and dirty sanchez - although they are beating the crap out of each other in a consensual fashion rather than running up and bopping some old granny on the head at the bus stop. i dunno, kids of today. i mean, i've done some pretty anti-social things as a teenager but it was mostly petty vandalism and shop lifting, rather than assaulting people!

Rambler
20-05-2005, 12:27 PM
a couple of years ago i was trying to popularise the term L'il Knots And Bizkits...

I like Bizkits. I shall use that at the earliest opportunity.

egg
20-05-2005, 01:22 PM
oi blame the tango ads

tox
20-05-2005, 01:44 PM
apparently its evolved from tv programmes like jackass and dirty sanchez - although they are beating the crap out of each other in a consensual fashion rather than running up and bopping some old granny on the head at the bus stop. i dunno, kids of today. i mean, i've done some pretty anti-social things as a teenager but it was mostly petty vandalism and shop lifting, rather than assaulting people!

There was a bit of a discussion about Happy Slapping in a thread in the music folder linked here. (http://www.dissensus.com/showthread.php?t=1439) There's some very interesting reading in there.

HMGovt
20-05-2005, 02:18 PM
apparently its evolved from tv programmes like jackass and dirty sanchez - although they are beating the crap out of each other in a consensual fashion rather than running up and bopping some old granny on the head at the bus stop. i dunno, kids of today. i mean, i've done some pretty anti-social things as a teenager but it was mostly petty vandalism and shop lifting, rather than assaulting people!

What about your daily assaults on common sense over on UKD?

mms
20-05-2005, 05:41 PM
There was a bit of a discussion about Happy Slapping in a thread in the music folder linked here. (http://www.dissensus.com/showthread.php?t=1439) There's some very interesting reading in there.

the phenomenon of narrative becoming action action becoming narrative is called
ostension, ie the phenomenon of people who begin to action urban legends
http://www.ostension.org/whats_ostension.html

happy slapping seems to be an extention of societies habit of capturing and recording absolutley everything.
it's just casual violence plus the abilty to see it again, it might also be taking back a bit of control over what and who is recorded, considering we are a society under huge amounts of survellance.

Ness Rowlah
22-05-2005, 01:48 AM
what do you think came first though, the idea/scare/publicity, or the incidents focussed and named, i'd love to know
in Ballard's Super-Cannes (2000) you have the bored professionals (doctors, bankers etc)
going out on violent sprees filming themselves raping, beating the shit out of innocent people etc
- for both immediate satisfaction and later enjoyment/reliving on the screen.

Ballard got the class (?) and age-group wrong - but I think it's pretty much the same phenomenon.
And it's not only happy slapping, by extension it's also Pammy/Paris Hilton's "home-videos",
footballers involved in "roasting" etc.

Filming just the victim goes back even longer - "Peeping Tom" (and some Film Noir move I can't
remember the title of).

Grievous Angel
23-05-2005, 02:50 PM
I've heard the term Chav is a police acronym for "council housed and violent" -- but that story could just be anti-police prejiudice.

tryptych
23-05-2005, 05:27 PM
Is there a term for the gloomy looking children in ridiculously wide bottomed trousers and home-died hair? They look like descendents of goths, but you couldn't really call them that.

.

We usually refer to them as "emo kids", although this is probably a misnomer. Those who really listen to emo are probably more short hair, piercings and plugs, and tighter clothes.


in Ballard's Super-Cannes (2000) you have the bored professionals (doctors, bankers etc)
going out on violent sprees filming themselves raping, beating the shit out of innocent people etc
- for both immediate satisfaction and later enjoyment/reliving on the screen.

Ballard got the class (?) and age-group wrong - but I think it's pretty much the same phenomenon.
And it's not only happy slapping, by extension it's also Pammy/Paris Hilton's "home-videos",
footballers involved in "roasting" etc.

Filming just the victim goes back even longer - "Peeping Tom" (and some Film Noir move I can't
remember the title of).

Following on from this, I read something in the Guardian a few weeks back that rather disturbed me - young kids engaging in group sex whilst their parents were out after school, apparently influenced by the footballers roasting incidents. "Daisy-chaining" is the term... http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,,1471856,00.html

Nothing about filming it... yet...

mms
23-05-2005, 06:55 PM
'daisy chaining' cor that sounds brilliant, absolute total destruction of all innocence wrapped up in the name of an innocent childs game of the past, only an adult could make that up, and i don't believe a word of it.


aren't those kids with big trousers and miserable faces, and sometimes fairly unused skateboards called grebos?

Grievous Angel
23-05-2005, 08:55 PM
aren't those kids with big trousers and miserable faces, and sometimes fairly unused skateboards called grebos?
LOL
Grebo = Pop Will Eat Itself and Gaye Bikers on Acid
:)

jack_yggdrasil
23-05-2005, 09:08 PM
:mad:
aren't those kids with big trousers and miserable faces, and sometimes fairly unused skateboards called grebos?

they are. as were big greasy rockers in the 60s.
load of bollocks really.

mms
23-05-2005, 09:15 PM
they are. as were big greasy rockers in the 60s.
load of bollocks really.

my sister when she lived in ipswich had very specific names for all these (sub) urban tribes, grebos were these kind of children, then there were townies, raggas, goths and rockers, skaters, ravers, very confusing and quite odd.

jack_yggdrasil
23-05-2005, 09:41 PM
my sister when she lived in ipswich had very specific names for all these (sub) urban tribes, grebos were these kind of children, then there were townies, raggas, goths and rockers, skaters, ravers, very confusing and quite odd.

heh. i wonder if any of those 'tribespeople' saw themselves as such....

owen
24-05-2005, 12:51 AM
so let me get this straight, 'happy slapping' is a term for people being beaten up and filmed on mobiles? didn't know this had its own word, but it happened to two close friends (one female) a year ago on the street where i live. deptford isn't very 'super-cannes' but i can totally see where ness is coming from here

i don't know what that has to do with 'chavs' mind you. my suspicion with that term is that its used to denote what was otherwise denoted by 'townie' or 'ned' by bourgeois types, but is an ambiguous enough term for it not to sound like class disdain- unlike the above two phrases where it is blindingly obvious....

but though i find the term (and that awful, awful website) repellent, i do recall the joy i had when i was 14 or so and i found out i had a generic insult i could throw at people who were throwing generic insults at me me and my friends were called 'hippies' at school (southern england mid 90s, incidentally), for not having cropped hairdos...these things are TOTALLY based on class though. 'we' were mostly middle class (i wasn't, but joined the group in school where i didn't have to pretend to be stupid) 'they' were overwhelmingly working class.

anyway it's best not to get me started on this one...

Randy Watson
24-05-2005, 08:50 AM
I'm not buying grebos, I associate Grebos with being a bit more fun loving and with more of a sense of humour. These kids are fucking miserable. I'm picking up on Bizkits.

Chavs were just casuals in my day (84-89).

mms
24-05-2005, 08:52 AM
heh. i wonder if any of those 'tribespeople' saw themselves as such....


some of them did and some others defined them i guess.
skaters definitley define themselves, they are held together by their love of the old wooden toy.
goths as welll i imagine, i doubt townies do or raggas, grebos maybe.

incidentally i keep on seeing this girl around whos about 16 or so with two mates, they all dress in slightly ripped and fucked school uniforms and this one girl has 'death loves us all ' written in chalk on her back, quite an odd look.

don_quixote
25-05-2005, 09:05 AM
i find the laughing at it absolutely vile, and whilst i wouldnt want to claim some kind of solidarity - i come from the same background! these kids used to live on the same street as me! what differentiates me walking around in a group and them walking around in a group bar dress?

when i was 15-16 used to get angry that these guys gave people my age a bad name, now at 19 i totally understand it's a minority and just kids doing what kids do, no matter where they come from (in my failing state school spectrum that is, i've not a clue how different the kids who went to posh schools are)

oh and i dunno how kids hanging around on the streets now is any different to how it was in the past.

it's just the old having an age old dig at the young again? the notion of getting an asbo sounds ace though.

Rambler
25-05-2005, 01:32 PM
it's just the old having an age old dig at the young again? the notion of getting an asbo sounds ace though.

There's loads of pensioners getting ASBOs now, mostly for being cantankerous and shouting at people. I've always wanted to turn out like that when I'm old anyway - pretend to be deaf, scare kiddies by being the 'weird old man' up the street, that sort of thing - so I'm looking forward to getting an ASBO at 70 and wearing it like a badge of pride.

Noah Baby Food
25-05-2005, 04:10 PM
Kids are not allowed out on the streets or out in public generally if they have no money. It's highly suspicious that they would want to be outside, socialising in groups and getting up to mischief, when they could be indoors playing computer or watching SKY. That's how it's going down nowadays.

All I know is, if I was a pissed-off fourteen year old, I'd be rocking the hoody and cap 24-7...especially now our PM is declaring vote-friendly civil war on kids in sportswear by demonising them. When I was a yoot, it was all nicking VW signs, there was a fair media kick-off about that too...

Tony Blair is going to amend his proposed idea of banning hoodies and caps....hoodies with "Nirvana", "Slipknot", "Marilyn Manson" etc on 'em, they're allowed as they signify a generally middle-class mild mannered youth, with good behaviour. Brands such as Nickelson, Hackett and Berghaus on the other hand - the wearing of these will be banned for anyone under the age of 16, unless they have a signed document stating the profession of their father, to prove their class status. If youths are caught wearing banned clothing three times, they will be forced into workfare.

AshRa
25-05-2005, 05:48 PM
Why doesn't Tony Blair just ban the whole JD Sport empire? Chavs will have NOTHING to wear.

fldsfslmn
11-06-2005, 08:00 PM
I think it often depends on who is doing the name calling

I don't think the idea of a "hostile and parasitic" youth culture is anything new, so I too think this is the central feature of the debate. I would be more interested in trying to define the different types of speakers on this thread and elsewhere who tend to offer either sympathy, solidarity, or scorn. (You could add to that a fourth "S"—suspicion, if you like.) What are these voices all about and how can they be organised?

As a Canadian who spent some time in the sprawl of London a few years back, I found the "hegemonic" (to quote someone upthread) aspect of chav to be its defining character. Sure, we have fashion trends and idle, destructive packs of teenagers (like anywhere), but I can assure you there is nothing, absolutely nothing in Canada as mystifyingly (almost admirably) uniform as the chav.

With this thread on my mind recently, I walked by a group of Canadian high school kids who were spending their lunch hour outside 7-11. Sure enough, I found myself offended by them—the angle at which baseball caps are worn, the quantity and gaudiness of the jewellry, the "classic"-ness of the trainers have all increased dramatically in the last few years. Or have they?

I was going to write some stuff about how "the discourse producer" (if we can apply a "chav"-like label to him or her too) has now entered that phase of life where teenagers are a constant threat and irritation, but then I decided to scrap it: that hardened "authentic" chav exterior I encountered in Britain—seen lounging outside the offie or from the window of a train—is about where it stops. The chavs I made friends with (ie. those who would probably identify themselves as such, if asked) are bright, resourceful, unfailingly loyal, and hypermodern. There is a relentless push towards newness among these guys at all times (no irony or recontextualisation here) that makes me feel like a bit of a fucking dinosaur. (And genuinely embarrassed for trying to figure out whether they're the noughties equivalent of mod.)

Tweak Head
13-06-2005, 11:54 AM
these people live their lives twice as brightly as everyone else and deserve respect rather than the vile snobbery they get instead.

FFS! I can't believe I just read that, or that no-one here has picked up on it. I'm not sure exactly what you mean, but leaving aside the question of the rights and wrongs of mocking or loathing chavs, I can't see a meaning other than that you're saying that these people's lives are somehow brighter, more vibrant, more creative than, say, mine, or even the average person's because they are obsessed with their clothes (or was there some other reason). That is just plain ludicrous.

I'm not trying to be personal here, or to pick a fight with Bassnation, but I couldn't let that statement go unremarked.

And those that suggest that the antisocial behaviour of chavs (or indeed any antisocial behaviour) is somehow "society's fault", i.e. that they don't have a choice as to their behaviour, are as deluded as the mother of three teenage mothers who blamed the schools and the lack of sex education. IMHO.

Woebot
14-06-2005, 08:29 AM
what i've found weird about the chav term is how incredibly strongly it has encoded my reaction to the people who live around me (smack in the middle of the estates with no other posh upwardly-mobile twats for miles)

suddenly i'll look at a nice young gel, and i'll be thinking: "shes a chav" such is the, sometimes unpleasant, power of language

labrat
14-06-2005, 12:57 PM
derz nuffin ouside the text innit

mpc
18-06-2005, 12:03 AM
what i've found weird about the chav term is how incredibly strongly it has encoded my reaction to the people who live around me (smack in the middle of the estates with no other posh upwardly-mobile twats for miles)

suddenly i'll look at a nice young gel, and i'll be thinking: "shes a chav" such is the, sometimes unpleasant, power of language

haha. (i'm not sure if that was supposed to be funny, but i laughed)

unrelated, but, at uni there was a girl i'd see everyday who dressed up as a school girl. she'd come into the coffee shop thing everyday (where i'd be wasting my life away between lectures) and buy a coffee and leave. i'd also see her coming in some days from the toward the tube station. i had a theory that she was pretending to her parents that she was still at school, but was actually going to uni.

they had a "chav" night at my uni earlier this year. i saw pictures afterwards. people dressed up in sportswear and some strange girls put balloons beneath their tops, symbolising that all chavs are pregnant. quite interesting stuff.

simon silverdollar
18-06-2005, 07:04 PM
unrelated, but, at uni there was a girl i'd see everyday who dressed up as a school girl. she'd come into the coffee shop thing everyday (where i'd be wasting my life away between lectures) and buy a coffee and leave. i'd also see her coming in some days from the toward the tube station. i had a theory that she was pretending to her parents that she was still at school, but was actually going to uni.



she works in the main library. she's nice.

mpc
19-06-2005, 01:22 PM
she works in the main library. she's nice.

what!? so she's not even a student!?

have you ever seen anyone commenting on her attire?

ambrose
04-07-2005, 08:48 PM
is this ucl (science) library?

if so, i know her....

she isnt pretending to her parents that she is going to school, at any rate.

Culla
11-07-2005, 02:34 PM
Round the way of my youth (Surrey/Hampshire borders) if you were “chavving” something you were stealing it. The definition of a pikey was a gypsy who had moved into a house (which ironically, given the snobbery, would have been many of our families a few generations before)

The chav phenomenon broadly refers to most of the descriptions mentioned before in this thread – and has united the nation’s typical class snobbery and regional terminology (ie – northeasterners used the term ‘charver’). Part of this is the complete sartorial hegemony of sportswear, providing easy identifiers. Cull has debated around the issue in a few pieces, and I love the twist that east London grimeheads apply to it – using the word to refer to people from the suburbs with more money but no class (BB’s Saskia and Maxwell, eg):
http://www.whorecull.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=68&Itemid=42
http://www.whorecull.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=58&Itemid=42

As for the latest point – the youth trend towards very low-slung jeans seems to be cross-strata. It doesn’t make me feel middle class; it makes me feel old…

baboon2004
13-07-2005, 02:57 PM
Haven't read all of this thread thoroughly, so sorry if I'm reiterating points that have already been made, but here's my tuppence worth:

I grew up in north Kent, and I'm pretty sure that 'chav' has been used on and off for a long time there. To me (and being blissfully unaware of the etymology), it was always used to designate aggressive and unpleasant people who used ignorance as a badge of honour, and I would never have applied the word to anyone who didn't fit that description. The fact that many of said people seemed to move into wearing baseball caps, white trainers and,, later, Burberry, seemed to cement the relation between the word and a particular code of appearance.

Paqamaq
17-07-2005, 05:12 AM
I grew up in north Kent, and I'm pretty sure that 'chav' has been used on and off for a long time there.



You're right, it has been used for a long time in the north Kent area, in fact I heard that the word actually derives from the town of Chatham, and not the gypsy word for child mentioned further up. Have been unable to verify that though.

labrat
30-11-2005, 12:45 PM
whatever happened to happy slapping?

run_time
11-04-2006, 05:26 PM
Was interested to see an article in today's Guardian looking at 'the chav' phenomenon...by this I'm talking more its use as a derogatory label rather than as a descriptor. Mirrored many of my own viewpoints in that the term is used generally as a virtual stick to beat 'the other' and has its roots very much lying in the old class system.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/print/0,,329454896-103680,00.html

Don't really find myself identifying with the commonly used charicatures of working or middle class but don't see that as an excuse to have a go at them

Slothrop
11-04-2006, 05:45 PM
Haven't read all of this thread thoroughly, so sorry if I'm reiterating points that have already been made, but here's my tuppence worth:

I grew up in north Kent, and I'm pretty sure that 'chav' has been used on and off for a long time there. To me (and being blissfully unaware of the etymology), it was always used to designate aggressive and unpleasant people who used ignorance as a badge of honour, and I would never have applied the word to anyone who didn't fit that description. The fact that many of said people seemed to move into wearing baseball caps, white trainers and,, later, Burberry, seemed to cement the relation between the word and a particular code of appearance.
I'm originally from east kent. Looking back, 'chav' has always had a bit of a dual meaning depending on the context and, I suppose, on the chav in question - partly it's a youth tribe seen from a neutral point of view as being another set of fashions and styles, and partly a youth tribe as seen from the rather partisan point of view of a member of a different youth tribe somewhat further down the food chain as being some violently conformist tendancies. The parts of chavviness that you objected to weren't the trainers and trackies so much as the tendancy to heave bricks at you in the park.

It was never entirely a class thing, either - a lot of the chavs I knew at school were from very nice middle class families. I get almost as bothered by the Burchillesque argument that ignorance and stupidity are exclusively working class qualities so objecting to ignorance and stupidity is class prejudice as I do by all the media people who've just discovered that 'the chav phenomenon' gives them the chance to exhibit their prejudices and be thought clever for it.

firefinga
02-08-2017, 09:37 PM
Do "Chavs" still exist?

pattycakes_
03-08-2017, 05:57 PM
that's like asking if hipsters still exist

craner
03-08-2017, 09:20 PM
I was always fascinated by the appropriation of Burberry check and how it affected the reputation of the entire brand. Bet the Chief Execs didn't see that coming! Did Owen Jones discuss this phenomenon in his PHD thesis/book?

baboon2004
04-08-2017, 07:51 AM
miaow!

I think he did, but he's since been involved in another clothing storm: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/owen-jones-responds-to-criticism-of-costly-gq-interview-clothes_uk_58ea7edfe4b00de141043815 . Nice to see him predicting the disastrous Labour election result, too. He lost me after his turncoat act to endorse Owen Smith. Owen fucking Smith! To be fair, he did describe himself as delusional for doing that...before forgetting his delusions to return to trashing Labour's 'collective failure' in that interview of April 2017.

Mr. Tea
04-08-2017, 09:04 AM
There were never this many Owens around when I was a kid. Where have they all come from?

firefinga
04-08-2017, 10:27 AM
that's like asking if hipsters still exist

Well, I am not British and Chavs were a British phenomenon in the 2000s so in my point of view asking bout them in 2017 isn't that weird

john eden
04-08-2017, 10:57 AM
Chavs never really existed.

Do poor people on estates still exist? Yes they do - but a lot of them are being forced out of social housing in desirable areas / into the private rented sector.

Are they subject to quite as much scrutiny and derision in the press as they were? No, not quite so much afaik.

pattycakes_
04-08-2017, 11:27 AM
Well, I am not British and Chavs were a British phenomenon in the 2000s so in my point of view asking bout them in 2017 isn't that weird

it's not a weird question. i'm just saying that they do, but it's not black and white. it's not as definable as it maybe once was.

Mr. Tea
04-08-2017, 12:16 PM
'Chav' is only a synonym for 'poor' if you decide that it is. It's got much more to do with an attitude and a type of behaviour, in my view. When I was at high school they were called townies rather than chavs and plenty of them came from financially comfortable families (and then again, plenty of them didn't).

john eden
04-08-2017, 12:57 PM
Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. ... "When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean- neither more nor less."

john eden
04-08-2017, 01:01 PM
https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/chav

NOUN

British
informal, derogatory
A young lower-class person typified by brash and loutish behaviour.

Mr. Tea
04-08-2017, 02:15 PM
A stereotypical 'chav car' is a souped-up sports model with custom wheels, rims and exhausts, blacked-out windows, a flashy paint job and a massive powerful stereo. From the POV of anyone who's not a member of Saudi royalty, that is not a "poor person's car".

And do I really have to explain how, in the UK in 2017, wealth and class do not map onto each other in a linear fashion?

Mr. Tea
04-08-2017, 02:20 PM
And what about the "brash and loutish behaviour" bit? Do all poor people behave like that?

john eden
04-08-2017, 02:22 PM
A stereotypical 'chav car' is a souped-up sports model with custom wheels, rims and exhausts, blacked-out windows, a flashy paint job and a massive powerful stereo. From the POV of anyone who's not a member of Saudi royalty, that is not a "poor person's car".

No.

279

280

281

And, palpably, the whole reason why the term "chav" is used by wankers, is to denigrate the lower orders. Especially for their garish displays of wealth.

Everything else is defensive nonsense used by liberals as a smoke screen because they are in denial about mocking the poor. "Oh ho ho ho isn't the Queen a bit of a chav with all that gold and Donald Trump as well."

john eden
04-08-2017, 02:27 PM
I do agree that we are not talking about absolute levels of poverty like in a Dickens novel here. Being working class or even in an underclass isn't the same as absolute poverty.

But it is relative poverty.

They don't save up, they blow all their wages on weed and jewelry. They live in a council house with their Mum but they have a massive car stereo and a big telly. I can't afford a massive car stereo and I work every day as a supermarket manager and I see these cunts come in with their tracksuits in the middle of the day smelling of marijuana. It's not right is it.

john eden
04-08-2017, 02:33 PM
And what about the "brash and loutish behaviour" bit? Do all poor people behave like that?

No they don't because Chavs are a subsection of the working class, not the entire class. In fact the hatred of chavs which I can most understand is from other people who live in the same community.

Also - nobody has called the Bullingdon Club chavs with a straight face, have they? Their brash and loutish behaviour is characterised differently.

firefinga
04-08-2017, 02:45 PM
Is (or rather was) Victoria Beckham a gentrified Chav?

john eden
04-08-2017, 02:51 PM
Is (or rather was) Victoria Beckham a gentrified Chav?

Kind of. She was what people would call "Nouveau Rich" previously.

Which is similar - in that people are said to be displaying what wealth they have (in her case considerably more than most) in ways which give away their "poor" taste.

Leo
04-08-2017, 02:57 PM
flash, loud, loutish...sounds like The Mooch!

Mr. Tea
04-08-2017, 04:47 PM
It's not a word I use myself, precisely because so many people consider it a synonym for 'poor' - which you're doing, right now. And as I said, I knew people growing up who were certainly not poor, but who would fit the description of 'chav' (even if we didn't use that word) on account of their appearance, tastes, attitude and behaviour.

Not sure what the Bullingdon Club has to do with all this. Sure, there's always been a tendency for toffs to behave like antisocial pricks. There's a great many people who aren't toffs but aren't on the breadline either - the great majority of people.


In fact the hatred of chavs which I can most understand is from other people who live in the same community.


Now you're onto something. The flipside of not all 'chavs' being poor is that most poor and/or working class people are not 'chavs'. Most of the kids I grew up with who had long hair, owned a skateboard and listened to punk rock - the very people the townies loved to yell homophobic insults at, chase down the high street and occasionally beat up - were from pretty humble backgrounds themselves. Wealth and income levels, in absolute terms, have less to do with it than you're making out, I think. The idea that it begins and ends with middle-class people disdaining working-class people is grossly inaccurate, anyway.

john eden
04-08-2017, 05:06 PM
I think you're misinterpreting what I am saying and have a woeful understanding of class.

Which is consistent if nothing else.

Mr. Tea
04-08-2017, 06:56 PM
You implied "chavs" are just what the media were calling "poor people on estates" a few years back. You then decided to school me by posting a dictionary definition that specifically mentions antisocial behaviour as a defining characteristic of chavdom. But apparently I'm the one who's confused here.

john eden
04-08-2017, 07:20 PM
https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/chav

NOUN

British
informal, derogatory
A young lower-class person typified by brash and loutish behaviour.

This thing that I bolded about lower class.

And the point about relative poverty.

And we can move on to cultural capital. Maybe. And taste.

Mr. Tea
04-08-2017, 08:01 PM
Good god, John, were you always this pompous and headmasterly?

john eden
04-08-2017, 08:51 PM
I've always found the repetition of tedious tasks wearing, yes. :x:

owengriffiths
05-08-2017, 05:54 PM
I've always found the repetition of tedious tasks wearing, yes. :x:
But you have a job, right?


There were never this many Owens around when I was a kid. Where have they all come from?

We've been around for decades, hiding in plain sight, waiting for our time. Our day will come.

john eden
05-08-2017, 08:10 PM
But you have a job, right?
.

That and school is how I found out.

john eden
06-08-2017, 10:01 AM
Links in with this thread:
http://www.dissensus.com/showthread.php?t=13798&page=6&p=339395#post339395

I remember being told to do something or other in infants school and deciding to just wander off and see what other people were doing. I got called aside by teacher he asked me something like - did I not like the work or something. And I said no. And he looked a bit taken aback and said that I'd probably have some problems later in life then. And I remember thinking well if it's so great why do people have to be forced to do it. Anyway, we were both right as it turns out.

john eden
06-08-2017, 10:04 AM
Back on this thread, it is also Chavs' rejection of the protestant work ethic that people hate. There's some grim stuff in there about the sexuality of the lower orders too.

Mr. Tea
06-08-2017, 10:58 AM
Back on this thread, it is also Chavs' rejection of the protestant work ethic that people hate.

That's the best euphemism for "living on the dole" I've ever seen, lol. :crylarf:

firefinga
06-08-2017, 11:20 AM
That's the best euphemism for "living on the dole" I've ever seen, lol. :crylarf:

In today's western economies becoming unemployed isn't a "privilege" of the lower ranks of society any longer. The constant threat of "becoming redundant" has eaten deeply into the middle class. And together with this ubiquitous job-insecurity the pressure on the actual jobless and poor has intensified. Welfare cuts, (economically idiotic) workfare programmes also have this element of hatred and revenge. Meaning the still-got-a-job middle class believing the on the dole crew has it so easy for not wage-slaving away so they gotta be punished for that. Which also shows how much the "work as fun" BS is propaganda.

john eden
06-08-2017, 11:46 AM
In today's western economies becoming unemployed isn't a "privilege" of the lower ranks of society any longer. The constant threat of "becoming redundant" has eaten deeply into the middle class. And together with this ubiquitous job-insecurity the pressure on the actual jobless and poor has intensified. Welfare cuts, (economically idiotic) workfare programmes also have this element of hatred and revenge. Meaning the still-got-a-job middle class believing the on the dole crew has it so easy for not wage-slaving away so they gotta be punished for that. Which also shows how much the "work as fun" BS is propaganda.

Exactly. And Chavs' refusal to appear downtrodden and know their place REALLY pisses people off in this climate.

Mr. Tea
06-08-2017, 11:54 AM
You are in a sense right, though. Resentment of the unemployed is a major source of support for Tory austerity policies among working-class and middle-class voters alike. No-one likes to feel that they're going to work each day so someone else doesn't have to, and it's very difficult to see an effective way to counteract this narrative when there is in fact a core of truth to it, for all the exaggeration and distortion it's then subjected to by the government and the press.

firefinga
06-08-2017, 12:13 PM
when there is in fact a core of truth to it, for all the exaggeration and distortion it's then subjected to by the government and the press.

The only core of truth in this debate usually is, that there is a group of people working and a group on the dole and on welfare. I sometimes have to debate fools who are jealous and envious of the welfare recepients and I usually say, if it's so great, come on, what's holding you back? Sell all your stuff, live on your savings for a while and then get yourself to the welfare office and apply for support.

martin
06-08-2017, 12:58 PM
No-one likes to feel that they're going to work each day so

the boss can keep up his BUPA payments.

Mr. Tea
06-08-2017, 07:51 PM
In today's western economies becoming unemployed isn't a "privilege" of the lower ranks of society any longer. The constant threat of "becoming redundant" has eaten deeply into the middle class. And together with this ubiquitous job-insecurity the pressure on the actual jobless and poor has intensified. Welfare cuts, (economically idiotic) workfare programmes also have this element of hatred and revenge. Meaning the still-got-a-job middle class believing the on the dole crew has it so easy for not wage-slaving away so they gotta be punished for that. Which also shows how much the "work as fun" BS is propaganda.

Where did I ever say it was easy? It's fucking shit, and is shitter now that it ever has been, within living memory at least. I have personal experience of this. My point is exactly that living on the dole is shit, and should not be romanticized as some sort of noble stand against capitalism. For one thing, that makes it sound voluntary, which - most of the time - it isn't.

That aside, everything you've written is true. Although it's not just the middle class who exhibit this resentment. All the strongest anti-'scrounger' talk I've heard has come from people who are themselves working class.

john eden
06-08-2017, 08:22 PM
My point is exactly that living on the dole is shit, and should not be romanticized as some sort of noble stand against capitalism.

Do you feel that anyone is doing that here?

firefinga
07-08-2017, 10:03 AM
romanticizing being on the dole as a noble stand against capitalism?

I have never encountered anybody doing that. In fact, all I ever hear when there's some talk regarding unemployment it's demonization of the actual people being unemployed. I give you that, Tea, this is coming from all sorts of people, working and middle class.

As to who is most responsible for the fetishizing of work, john eden rightly idenitified the Protestant work ethics. It's kinda interesting that Catholicism always saw work as something undesirable and wealth as being something which actually gets you closer to damnation. Calvinism of course changed these views completely.

One also has to say tho that Socialists probably fetishized work even more than the Calvinists.

In Ancient Greek and Rome work was the sign of being UNfree and utterly undesirable - work was being done by slaves or people of the lower social ranks. Today's elites still pay hommage to this way of organising societies.

Mr. Tea
07-08-2017, 07:57 PM
Do you feel that anyone is doing that here?

Well it sounded like you were getting pretty close with that stuff about rejecting the Protestant work ethic.

To be clear, the entire way we relate to work is severely fucked up and I am by no means defending the status quo. The Tories have successfully made 'benefits' a dirty word to most of the country and the left needs a convincing counter-narrative to stand some chance of stopping the wholesale gutting of the welfare state. What form that could take, I don't know.

Firefinga - I know I replied to your post but my comments were mainly aimed at JE, sorry for confusion.

Mr. Tea
07-08-2017, 07:59 PM
Off topic, but:



We've been around for decades, hiding in plain sight, waiting for our time. Our day will come.

Hi Owen, what's up. Can we PLEASE have more Danny Dyer? Pleeease?

john eden
07-08-2017, 08:39 PM
Well it sounded like you were getting pretty close with that stuff about rejecting the Protestant work ethic.



Ridiculous.

trilliam
12-08-2017, 10:38 AM
'Chav' is only a synonym for 'poor' if you decide that it is. It's got much more to do with an attitude and a type of behaviour, in my view. When I was at high school they were called townies rather than chavs and plenty of them came from financially comfortable families (and then again, plenty of them didn't).

No no and no

Where is Rudewhy to shit all over this post

Chavs are poor white people point blank. it's not some affectation you can pull off with a trakky and some workouts

trilliam
12-08-2017, 10:40 AM
Chavs are still about but fortunately for whites everywhere we're back to pretending only black people are working class/live in estates

Yes I know people from those brexit ends are even poorer then their London equivalents but no one cares.

Mr. Tea
12-08-2017, 10:03 PM
No no and no

Where is Rudewhy to shit all over this post

Chavs are poor white people point blank. it's not some affectation you can pull off with a trakky and some workouts

Can we take it as read that baboon is one of the more notably left-wing regular contributors here? At any rate a bit more left-wing than that awful reactionary old Mr. Tea? OK, good. He said:



I grew up in north Kent, and I'm pretty sure that 'chav' has been used on and off for a long time there. To me (and being blissfully unaware of the etymology), it was always used to designate aggressive and unpleasant people who used ignorance as a badge of honour, and I would never have applied the word to anyone who didn't fit that description.

Most people, if asked to define the word, would probably say something more or less along those lines. So to say that it's simply synonymous with being poor, or being poor and white, is to equate being poor with being aggressive, unpleasant and ignorant.

And if that's supposed to be the progressive stance to take on the word 'chav', then I really don't know what to say.

trilliam
13-08-2017, 05:58 AM
Can we take it as read that baboon is one of the more notably left-wing regular contributors here? At any rate a bit more left-wing than that awful reactionary old Mr. Tea? OK, good. He said:



Most people, if asked to define the word, would probably say something more or less along those lines. So to say that it's simply synonymous with being poor, or being poor and white, is to equate being poor with being aggressive, unpleasant and ignorant.

And if that's supposed to be the progressive stance to take on the word 'chav', then I really don't know what to say.

the description i gave was the media line at the time, and definitely what id imagine posh middle class people to think of chavs

that description by mr tea sounds pretty airy fairy/not trying to say too much/liberal/out of touch, and tbh under the guise of appearing "humane" is exactly the kind of answer id expect a posh middle class person to give

where's "north kent" ?

/

what is a "progressive" stance on chavs, do we need one?, is that actually a thing?

chav was a word used to mock/demonise white working classes aka poor white people, we've since decided they're exempt from this kind of treatment unlike other minorities who inhabit the same space in society as them so the word fell out of favour, whats this revisionism about

you're seeking a progressive stance on chavs stinks of white privilege to me bro

Mr. Tea
14-08-2017, 05:24 PM
the description i gave was the media line at the time, and definitely what id imagine posh middle class people to think of chavs

Posh middle class people live in attractive Victorian houses on pleasant, clean streets where antisocial behaviour is not a common problem. They may be the sort who read Katie Hopkins books and who think "All working class people are 'chavs" (i.e. unemployed hooligans), or they may be the sort who read Owen Jones books and think "'Chav' is just a nasty snobbish term for working-class people" (i.e. the stance you and others here are taking). In either case, working-class people are reduced to an Other, an undifferentiated mass with a character determined entirely by their socioeconomic status.

The glaring irony here is that the people who are actually affected by the ASB, low-level crime and general aggro from those who, for the purposes of this thread, may be called 'chavs', are themselves mostly working class. They live on the estates and streets where this goes on because they can't afford to live anywhere else. I left London a few years but I've spent many years living in areas just like that, and I know many people who still do. Your assumption that you're in a position to lecture me about 'privilege' and being 'out of touch', when I'm talking from personal lived experience and not something I've read in the Guardian and taken for gospel truth, is fucking hilarious. "Bro."



where's "north kent" ?

Oh I dunno really, though I would take a wild guess that it's the northern part of the English county of Kent. :rolleyes:

owengriffiths
14-08-2017, 06:17 PM
Off topic, but:



Hi Owen, what's up. Can we PLEASE have more Danny Dyer? Pleeease?

In an ideal world the last two episodes will come out Christmas time. The last episode is particularly long, violent and epic, so it's possible I might blow that deadline.

Mr. Tea
14-08-2017, 07:09 PM
I think it's worth talking for a moment about "the media", which has come up a lot here. First off, without wishing to downplay the obvious effect it has on public opinion, if you think "the media" is an accurate representation of what everyone thinks about everything, then seriously, come on. If you believed everything the papers said you'd think millions of young people spent 2010 snorting "meow-meow", when no-one who isn't a journalist or reporter has ever called mephedrone that, unless they were taking the piss. And in the previous decade, lifestyle supplements decided young, urban, working-class and lower middle-class men spending money on clothes and taking care of their appearance was a brand new phenomenon, and so "metrosexuals" were invented. (Because no-one had ever done that in the '80s, or the '60s, or the '20s, of course.) Second, what even is "the media"? Are we meant to suppose that the Telegraph, the Mirror, the Sun, Guardian, Express, New Statesman, Daily Star and Morning Star can all be lumped in together on any given issue? Ridiculous.

Anyway, let's look at the proposition that "The Media" - and therefore lots of people - think 'chav' is a synonym for 'poor'. If you know even the first thing about the press in this country, you'll know that even the most reactionary of the right-wing papers, in fact especially those papers, have always distinguished between the 'deserving' and 'undeserving' poor. Now 'chavs' are stereotypically unemployed - quite possibly claiming benefits fraudulently, in fact - whereas the great majority of poor people either work for a living, are dependent on someone with a paid job or claim a pension (which is never the benefit anyone is thinking of when they're talking about people who are 'on benefits'). So even in the most bigoted and stupid definition of the word - which, admittedly, some people hold - a 'chav' is synonymous with an unemployed person, but not with the majority of the poor, who work for a living.

And if you look at this from the POV of social class rather than income level and employment status, the proposition that 'chav' just means 'working class' is blown to pieces when you consider that it would be pretty damn weird for the Sun, a paper with an exclusively working-class readership, to slander the very people who buy it every day as 'chavs' - wouldn't it? And this is the paper that spends more ink than any other banging on about "yobs" and "benefits cheats". Or at least vies for that with the Daily Mail, whose readership straddles the working class and the less educated part of the lower middle class. It's certainly not read by many "posh middle class people", who are more likely to read the Guardian.

So no, 'chav' is not synonymous either with 'poor' or with 'working class' in the minds of any significant number of people.

trilliam
14-08-2017, 07:53 PM
Posh middle class people live in attractive Victorian houses on pleasant, clean streets where antisocial behaviour is not a common problem. They may be the sort who read Katie Hopkins books and who think "All working class people are 'chavs" (i.e. unemployed hooligans), or they may be the sort who read Owen Jones books and think "'Chav' is just a nasty snobbish term for working-class people" (i.e. the stance you and others here are taking). In either case, working-class people are reduced to an Other, an undifferentiated mass with a character determined entirely by their socioeconomic status.

The glaring irony here is that the people who are actually affected by the ASB, low-level crime and general aggro from those who, for the purposes of this thread, may be called 'chavs', are themselves mostly working class. They live on the estates and streets where this goes on because they can't afford to live anywhere else. I left London a few years but I've spent many years living in areas just like that, and I know many people who still do. Your assumption that you're in a position to lecture me about 'privilege' and being 'out of touch', when I'm talking from personal lived experience and not something I've read in the Guardian and taken for gospel truth, is fucking hilarious. "Bro."

Oh I dunno really, though I would take a wild guess that it's the northern part of the English county of Kent. :rolleyes:


if i was white i definitely would've been called a chav at one stage of my life, maybe even now if it was still in vogue. recently got a flat in an area thats being heavily gentrified after being on the housing register for five years

so with that being said if giving the correct definition of chav is "reducing working-class people into an undifferentiated mass with a character determined entirely by their socioeconomic status" then fair enough but thats what it is, with the background youre coming from i dont know why you disagree with it

what u gotta realise is that "liberals" (?) dont have to know the intricacies of something to be right in their general (informed) assessment, they probably got glaring prejudices elsewhere. anyway why dont u wanna call a spade a spade ?

/

I asked about North Kent because I went to secondary school in Bexleyheath, I know Blackfen, Welling, Sidcup etc kinda well first saturday job was in Bluewater etc. Anyway I don't know what area of Kent these places are in.

"I grew up in north Kent, and I'm pretty sure that 'chav' has been used on and off for a long time there. To me (and being blissfully unaware of the etymology), it was always used to designate aggressive and unpleasant people who used ignorance as a badge of honour, and I would never have applied the word to anyone who didn't fit that description."

So with that in mind to me this description sounds kinda mad. Some people from the areas I mentioned might prescribe to that kinda airy thinking but some/most definitely don't. areas are middling to affluent, there's worse places and better in Kent but assuming the worst in that "North Kent" is a super snobby area, why is your qualified view point in line with someone from there?

trilliam
14-08-2017, 08:08 PM
I think it's worth talking for a moment about "the media", which has come up a lot here. First off, without wishing to downplay the obvious effect it has on public opinion, if you think "the media" is an accurate representation of what everyone thinks about everything, then seriously, come on. If you believed everything the papers said you'd think millions of young people spent 2010 snorting "meow-meow", when no-one who isn't a journalist or reporter has ever called mephedrone that, unless they were taking the piss. And in the previous decade, lifestyle supplements decided young, urban, working-class and lower middle-class men spending money on clothes and taking care of their appearance was a brand new phenomenon, and so "metrosexuals" were invented. (Because no-one had ever done that in the '80s, or the '60s, or the '20s, of course.) Second, what even is "the media"? Are we meant to suppose that the Telegraph, the Mirror, the Sun, Guardian, Express, New Statesman, Daily Star and Morning Star can all be lumped in together on any given issue? Ridiculous.

I'm talking specifically about the Mail, Sun, and papers of that ilk, you could say those kind of outlets are controlled by "the poshos" and explicitly insult while simultaneously being marketed to and loved by the working class who love it. It'd be wrong of you to think intelligent middle class people who read The Guardian or whatever don't prescribe to some of the baser sentiments being echoed in the papers they don't read


Anyway, let's look at the proposition that "The Media" - and therefore lots of people - think 'chav' is a synonym for 'poor'. If you know even the first thing about the press in this country, you'll know that even the most reactionary of the right-wing papers, in fact especially those papers, have always distinguished between the 'deserving' and 'undeserving' poor. Now 'chavs' are stereotypically unemployed - quite possibly claiming benefits fraudulently, in fact - whereas the great majority of poor people either work for a living, are dependent on someone with a paid job or claim a pension (which is never the benefit anyone is thinking of when they're talking about people who are 'on benefits'). So even in the most bigoted and stupid definition of the word - which, admittedly, some people hold - a 'chav' is synonymous with an unemployed person, but not with the majority of the poor, who work for a living.

we could go into the exact definition of a chav but lets be honest does it really matter? like you yourself said chav was used as a blanket term that could insult the benefit cheats and as well as the nine to five worker who lives next door to them? if the most bigoted stupid definition of the word is what is being applied then its being applied liberally whether its factual or not

And if you look at this from the POV of social class rather than income level and employment status, the proposition that 'chav' just means 'working class' is blown to pieces when you consider that it would be pretty damn weird for the Sun, a paper with an exclusively working-class readership, to slander the very people who buy it every day as 'chavs' - wouldn't it? And this is the paper that spends more ink than any other banging on about "yobs" and "benefits cheats". Or at least vies for that with the Daily Mail, whose readership straddles the working class and the less educated part of the lower middle class. It's certainly not read by many "posh middle class people", who are more likely to read the Guardian.

So no, 'chav' is not synonymous either with 'poor' or with 'working class' in the minds of any significant number of people.

i think i touched on the points you're making here in my above paragraphs so lets just leave it at you're educated enough to know the truth but too scared of not appearing educated to say it

to summarise^

baboon2004
15-08-2017, 12:14 AM
Can we take it as read that baboon is one of the more notably left-wing regular contributors here? At any rate a bit more left-wing than that awful reactionary old Mr. Tea? OK, good. He said:

Most people, if asked to define the word, would probably say something more or less along those lines. So to say that it's simply synonymous with being poor, or being poor and white, is to equate being poor with being aggressive, unpleasant and ignorant.

And if that's supposed to be the progressive stance to take on the word 'chav', then I really don't know what to say.

To clarify, I was talking about how the word was used in 90s Kent, not how it started to be used across the UK in the 2000s. My point was that it was bizarre to see a word that was not often used when I was young, suddenly have a 'second life' as a word routinely used to bash working class people who acted in a way middle class people deemed vulgar.

baboon2004
15-08-2017, 12:23 AM
I asked about North Kent because I went to secondary school in Bexleyheath, I know Blackfen, Welling, Sidcup etc kinda well first saturday job was in Bluewater etc. Anyway I don't know what area of Kent these places are in.

"I grew up in north Kent, and I'm pretty sure that 'chav' has been used on and off for a long time there. To me (and being blissfully unaware of the etymology), it was always used to designate aggressive and unpleasant people who used ignorance as a badge of honour, and I would never have applied the word to anyone who didn't fit that description."

So with that in mind to me this description sounds kinda mad. Some people from the areas I mentioned might prescribe to that kinda airy thinking but some/most definitely don't. areas are middling to affluent, there's worse places and better in Kent but assuming the worst in that "North Kent" is a super snobby area, why is your qualified view point in line with someone from there?

As the author of that comment...in 2005, so I'm not exactly tied to it... I guess if you want to understand what someone is saying, then read the original context. I was talking about the 90s, and I'm guessing your youth came a bit later than that?

I only mentioned north Kent because there was a long-time story that the word 'chav' originated from Chatham, which is in north Kent (so yeah, not really that super snobby)...may well not be true, but it's a pretty widespread story, and I never heard anyone else from any other parts of the country use it until much later (tho I'm sure someone will contradict me on that)...

Slothrop's comment from 2006 convinces me I'm not entirely mad and not entirely misremembering:

"I'm originally from east kent. Looking back, 'chav' has always had a bit of a dual meaning depending on the context and, I suppose, on the chav in question - partly it's a youth tribe seen from a neutral point of view as being another set of fashions and styles, and partly a youth tribe as seen from the rather partisan point of view of a member of a different youth tribe somewhat further down the food chain as being some violently conformist tendancies. The parts of chavviness that you objected to weren't the trainers and trackies so much as the tendancy to heave bricks at you in the park.

It was never entirely a class thing, either - a lot of the chavs I knew at school were from very nice middle class families. I get almost as bothered by the Burchillesque argument that ignorance and stupidity are exclusively working class qualities so objecting to ignorance and stupidity is class prejudice as I do by all the media people who've just discovered that 'the chav phenomenon' gives them the chance to exhibit their prejudices and be thought clever for it."

To be clear, I'm saying that the usage changed when the word 're-emerged' in the 2000s and spread like wildfire because of the internet.

Mr. Tea
15-08-2017, 12:39 PM
I'm not reading back through all that. I just want to reiterate that, in the time and place I grew up, townies were called townies before they were called chavs. We thought they listened to shit music and had shit hair and clothes, and they thought the same thing about us, because that's what teenagers are like. The difference is, they were the ones who'd yell abuse at, and perhaps try and beat up, anyone who was different from them. Yes they were mostly working class, but this is a red herring, because most of everyone was working class, including many of the kids they picked on. And as others have noted, kids with much the same attitude sometimes came from quite comfortable families.

I have no real interest in what "the media" may or may not have said about "chavs", because the opinions of upper-middle-class journalists who live in lovely big old houses in leafy parts of inner London - be they clueless reactionaries who think of working class people simply as grubby ignorant plebs, or clueless liberals who romanticize them as the noble, honest salt-of-the-earth (but who in either case doesn't interact socially with anyone outside their own class from one year to the next) - are completely irrelevant from the lived experience of 95% of people.

john eden
15-08-2017, 12:50 PM
Posh middle class people live in attractive Victorian houses on pleasant, clean streets where antisocial behaviour is not a common problem. They may be the sort who read Katie Hopkins books and who think "All working class people are 'chavs" (i.e. unemployed hooligans), or they may be the sort who read Owen Jones books and think "'Chav' is just a nasty snobbish term for working-class people" (i.e. the stance you and others here are taking). In either case, working-class people are reduced to an Other, an undifferentiated mass with a character determined entirely by their socioeconomic status.

The glaring irony here is that the people who are actually affected by the ASB, low-level crime and general aggro from those who, for the purposes of this thread, may be called 'chavs', are themselves mostly working class. They live on the estates and streets where this goes on because they can't afford to live anywhere else. I left London a few years but I've spent many years living in areas just like that, and I know many people who still do. Your assumption that you're in a position to lecture me about 'privilege' and being 'out of touch', when I'm talking from personal lived experience and not something I've read in the Guardian and taken for gospel truth, is fucking hilarious. "Bro."


In fact middle class people, in London at least, increasingly do live on council (or former council) estates.

Did you live on an estate in London, Tea? You probably remember that I did for ten years, because you came to my flat. You may or may not remember that a group I was involved in regularly knocked on every door on every estate in one of the wards in south Hackney in noughties. One of the things that came up at my estate TRA and through door knocking was anti-social behaviour. (The word "chav" didn't funnily enough, but I suspect that was down to good manners rather than anything else).

In both instances I was involved with campaigns to resolve anti-social behaviour, which were mildly successful. No doubt with your huge range of experience on this issue you can "lecture" us all on the strategies you have developed in this area.

In fact Marx was already bang on this with all his stuff about the lumpenproletariat. I.e. a subsection of the working class which is anti-social and unproductive. So it's not the case that the working class is seen (here at least) as undifferentiated.

But anyway I have made the point upthread that chavs are a subsection of the working class, which is Owen Jones' position too. The further away you are from working class communities, the less likely you are to see the tensions within them and the more likely you are to stereotype. Which is where your precis of Katie Hopkins' position comes in. When posh cunts dress up as chavs for their fancy dress parties they essentially are taking the piss out of what they see as thick poor people who live on estates, no? Who all wear garish clothes and cheap jewelry and are on benefits and have six kids.

So the word "chav" can mean different things to different people, depending on how close to the phenomena they are.

Obviously when I lived on an estate I was better off than many other people who lived there. That didn't stop parents at my daughter's school making snarky comments about where I lived though, or being reluctant to come round. Did they think we were chavs? Possibly not. Were we being stereotyped based on where we lived? Yes we were. Were we being lumped in with lumpen types? Probably by some people yes.

trilliam
15-08-2017, 04:26 PM
@baboon

didnt know chav had history tbh, that slothrop quote you brought is right in breaking down chav to it's core essence which is basically thuggery, thing is people don't tend to go into that much detail when you using chav they just throw it out there and it hits people who you could say aren't it's "true" target audience,

@ mr tea

this stuff about 95% of the media being irrelevant or having no impact is bullshit but anyway

http://www.newsshopper.co.uk/news/bromley/15374512.__39_Violent__39__Orpington_boy__14__want ed_by_police_on_suspicion_of_robbery_and_criminal_ damage/#comments-anchor

have a look at the comments, turns out i was wrong about 'chav' being out of fashion, i wonder if these people are using the word as shorthand for "shit music, shit hair and clothes," an "aggressive and unpleasant people who used ignorance as a badge of honour" or poor white criminal youth from council housing

"So no, 'chav' is not synonymous either with 'poor' or with 'working class' in the minds of any significant number of people."

i was half joking when i said you were out of touch but your refusal to accept what chav meant in the wider scheme of things, along with that tripe about knowing people who know what their talking about does mark you out as kinda suspect

anyway im definitely in a position to lecture u so consider it done

/

what do u guys think those comments would've been like if he was of african/carribean descent

baboon2004
16-08-2017, 11:40 AM
@baboon

didnt know chav had history tbh, that slothrop quote you brought is right in breaking down chav to it's core essence which is basically thuggery, thing is people don't tend to go into that much detail when you using chav they just throw it out there and it hits people who you could say aren't it's "true" target audience,


that's true, the word has become an all-purpose insult to throw at working class people deemed to be 'uncouth'.

a lot of middle class energy has always gone into denigrating the poor (usually assuming that everyone in earshot agrees with their attitudes). and especially since racism, homophobia etc have become more cloaked and disguised, then the catch-all term of 'chav' was manna from heaven for people eager to prove their status in society and luagh at the supposed lack of 'sophistication' of others ('pikey', its forbear in the places where I lived, always having been too close for comfort to anti-Romany racism to be used by a certain kind of m/c person).

but of course there are still a million ways to disguise denigration based on class as well. the attitudes seem to get worse/more unreconstructed, the more that the people concerned feel they are model citizens in other ways

firefinga
16-08-2017, 12:39 PM
So all micro-analysis aside, is "Chav" then structurally the same (or something very similar) to what is being referred to as "White Trash" in the USA?

baboon2004
16-08-2017, 01:09 PM
So all micro-analysis aside

wrong forum

john eden
16-08-2017, 03:28 PM
So all micro-analysis aside, is "Chav" then structurally the same (or something very similar) to what is being referred to as "White Trash" in the USA?

I think so, yes.

Mr. Tea
16-08-2017, 07:54 PM
John - yes, I remember when I came to your flat, and I'm well aware you don't live in a Georgian mansion in the Cotswolds, which is part of the reason I'm having trouble understanding your position here. To answer your question, yeah I did live on an estate for a while some time ago. It was kind of noisy at times but an OK place to live for the most part. I make no claim to have grown up in the ghetto but I have lived in some fairly grotty places where shitty behaviour was pretty common and where much more serious shit occasionally went down too, which is why I have to laugh at trilliam's predictable kneejerk accusation of 'privilege', because the position I'm taking here has come from personal experience I'd never have had if I'd spent my whole life in Belgravia or some twee chocolate-box village. And it was perfectly obvious that this behaviour came only from a minority of people in these uniformly low-income areas, which is why the idea that 'chav' just means 'poor' rings so false for me. Which I see even you've revised in the last couple of pages, John.

Rich people playing at being 'chavs' is gross and only one step removed from vileness like 'colonials & natives' parties, but most people aren't rich. So while this attitude certainly exists, I think it's a lot less widespread than several of you are making out.

baboon2004
16-08-2017, 08:36 PM
I make no claim to have grown up in the ghetto but I have lived in some fairly grotty places where shitty behaviour was pretty common and where much more serious shit occasionally went down too, which is why I have to laugh at trilliam's predictable kneejerk accusation of 'privilege', because the position I'm taking here has come from personal experience I'd never have had if I'd spent my whole life in Belgravia or some twee chocolate-box village. And it was perfectly obvious that this behaviour came only from a minority of people in these uniformly low-income areas, which is why the idea that 'chav' just means 'poor' rings so false for me.

But you are privileged, as am I -neither of us would ever be called a 'chav', because we present as middle class with all the privilege that that entails. What you're saying here is not about privilege, but just that where you've lived has given you a certain amount of observational experience - two completely different things.

No-one (so far as I've read) has been saying that 'chav' is equivalent to 'poor', rather that you would only be called a 'chav' if you were deemed to be working class - people who present as middle class simply aren't called 'chavs' (since the emergence of 'Chav' Mark II in 2002-2004 anyways - what happened before is lost in the mists of time, even though I admit I've spent some time discussing it). It's about potentiality as much as what actually happens. People of a particular socioeconomic status/perceived status (accent etc always comes into play) are at any moment vulnerable to being derided/dismissed as a 'chav' by a middle class person who wants to exert social power, if they act in any number of ways deemed inappropriate. Like other stigmatising words, 'chav' is infinitely malleable to the whims of social power, which is precisely why it's difficult to say exactly what it means. (and also precisely why it's such a useful 'divide and conquer' tool vis-a-vis working class people en masse - deserving and undeserving poor, cultured and uncultured poor, law-abiding and violent poor, hard-working-salt-of-the-earth and feckless-benefit-cheating poor, ad infinitum).

[To my mind, this mechanism is the way that racism (and misogyny, homophobia) also works - power and the constant potentiality to exploit it/be exploited by it. And why the talk of someone being a 'racist' or 'not a racist' is to me overly simplistic outside of extreme cases like actual Nazis - more to the point is that at any given moment, any white person can choose to use or not use hundreds of advantages conferred to them by their designated skin colour. Which is why the solidarity of someone who doesn't face discrimination with someone who does, is such a complex and constantly shifting thing, so often subject to comprehensible accusations of betrayal].

john eden
17-08-2017, 12:37 PM
John - yes, I remember when I came to your flat, and I'm well aware you don't live in a Georgian mansion in the Cotswolds, which is part of the reason I'm having trouble understanding your position here. To answer your question, yeah I did live on an estate for a while some time ago. It was kind of noisy at times but an OK place to live for the most part. I make no claim to have grown up in the ghetto but I have lived in some fairly grotty places where shitty behaviour was pretty common and where much more serious shit occasionally went down too, which is why I have to laugh at trilliam's predictable kneejerk accusation of 'privilege', because the position I'm taking here has come from personal experience I'd never have had if I'd spent my whole life in Belgravia or some twee chocolate-box village. And it was perfectly obvious that this behaviour came only from a minority of people in these uniformly low-income areas, which is why the idea that 'chav' just means 'poor' rings so false for me. Which I see even you've revised in the last couple of pages, John.

Rich people playing at being 'chavs' is gross and only one step removed from vileness like 'colonials & natives' parties, but most people aren't rich. So while this attitude certainly exists, I think it's a lot less widespread than several of you are making out.

Well I'm not sure why you've had a problem understanding my position but I hope you will see that I've gone to reasonable lengths to try and flesh it out.

It seems that you have reigned in your initial enthusiasm for chavs owning sports cars and the word being more to do with behaviour rather than the behaviour/style/lifestyle of people of a particular class/income.

I have little idea about how widespread mocking chavs is amongst the ultra rich but I have had to tear into a public school boy in the workplace for trying to engage in "banter" about it and have also suffered some painful conversation with former oxbridge types of a more cerebral nature about this sort of thing. So it certainly exists and I don't think there is anything to indicate that I have happened to meet the most extremely bigoted upper class people, so presumably there is a lot more out there than that (especially when you factor in the general climate of demonising benefit claimants and people who live in council flats).

Mr. Tea
21-08-2017, 07:42 PM
Yeah yeah, I get it, I come across as a fairly standard-issue lower-middle-class person. My point about privilege is that I'm not part of the stratum of actually posh people for whom the working class as a whole might as well be a different species. If John's experiences are anything to go by then the sort of unpleasant attitudes several of you have described here must be pretty widespread among people of that class - at the same time, most people are not 'posh', by definition.

DannyL
23-08-2017, 10:05 AM
it's such a useful 'divide and conquer' tool vis-a-vis working class people en masse - deserving and undeserving poor, cultured and uncultured poor, law-abiding and violent poor, hard-working-salt-of-the-earth and feckless-benefit-cheating poor, ad infinitum).


One folk etymology doing the rounds for a while was "Council House and Violent" which seems to pack in the entirety of the British class system's assumptions into one useful phrase.

Mr. Tea
23-08-2017, 11:49 AM
One folk etymology doing the rounds for a while was "Council House and Violent" which seems to pack in the entirety of the British class system's assumptions into one useful phrase.

Pretty sure that's a 'backronym' but yeah, telling in itself, as you say.

baboon2004
23-08-2017, 12:13 PM
One folk etymology doing the rounds for a while was "Council House and Violent" which seems to pack in the entirety of the British class system's assumptions into one useful phrase.

yeah I remember hearing that one - think it was debunked, but as you say, it's no surprise that acronym arose

on googling it, I had the misfortune to find this article: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherhowse/3560662/Calling-people-chavs-is-criminal.html . I mean, I can't even.

john eden
30-08-2017, 04:17 PM
Young tories joke about "gassing chavs"

https://order-order.com/2017/08/30/young-tories-joke-about-gassing-chavs-in-activate-whatsapp-group/amp/

trilliam
06-09-2017, 08:39 AM
which is why I have to laugh at trilliam's predictable kneejerk accusation of 'privilege', because the position I'm taking here has come from personal experience I'd never have had if I'd spent my whole life in Belgravia or some twee chocolate-box village.

there was nothing kneejerk about my accusation but you're right i am predictable in my calling out of people who think you have to live in Belgravia or be the fat man on the monopoly board to be privileged :rolleyes: distancing through exaggeration i see you

what is predictable is your "i've lived on some estates before" spiel like im 99% sure i was on on point in my observations on u, in any case any comment i've made has been a direct reaction to attitudes/feelings/thoughts you've typed or expressed in here, good game.

/

what do you guys make of this hetty brou hah hah, very relevant in terms of the last few pages of discussion in here

http://www.huckmagazine.com/perspectives/opinion-perspectives/hetty-douglas-working-class-dawn-foster/

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/4394221/artist-shares-picture-workmen-mcdonalds-instagram-caption-1-gcse/

john eden
06-09-2017, 09:21 AM
I thought the Dawn Foster piece was excellent (as she usually is).

Mr. Tea
06-09-2017, 11:47 AM
there was nothing kneejerk about my accusation but you're right i am predictable in my calling out of people who think you have to live in Belgravia or be the fat man on the monopoly board to be privileged :rolleyes: distancing through exaggeration i see you

what is predictable is your "i've lived on some estates before" spiel like im 99% sure i was on on point in my observations on u, in any case any comment i've made has been a direct reaction to attitudes/feelings/thoughts you've typed or expressed in here, good game.


TBH it just sounded like that trusty old rhetorical ace in the hole, "you're privileged so anything you say can be ignored". Naturally you don't apply this to yourself, because no-one ever does.

I notice you went all out and said "white privilege", for good measure. Yes I'm white, like most people who post here. The stock stereotypical 'chav' being discussed here is himself white, so I'm not sure what the relevance is.

john eden
06-09-2017, 12:07 PM
I think it's possible to acknowledge your privilege without getting involved with the top trumps game of student intersectionality.

I am happy to say that I earn well above the average wage for someone my age in the UK and to acknowledge that this makes me pretty damn well off compared to the majority of the global population.

Part of this is down to graft, but I am certain part of it is also down to being a white male, speaking with a Hertfordshire accent, having had parents who went to University, being over 6 foot, being verbally articulate and being largely heterosexual, being born in the UK etc. None of these things can really be described as anything other than luck.

DannyL
06-09-2017, 02:00 PM
I think it's possible to acknowledge your privilege without getting involved with the top trumps game of student intersectionality.

I am happy to say that I earn well above the average wage for someone my age in the UK and to acknowledge that this makes me pretty damn well off compared to the majority of the global population.

Part of this is down to graft, but I am certain part of it is also down to being a white male, speaking with a Hertfordshire accent, having had parents who went to University, being over 6 foot, being verbally articulate and being largely heterosexual, being born in the UK etc. None of these things can really be described as anything other than luck.

Yeah, I hit the top trumps on a lot of these points as you know. Thank God I'm not from Herts though.

Just been reading Grayson Perry's book about masculinity and he writes very well about "default male" settings - to which we could add default whitey, default het etc. Kate Bornstein describes privilege as a multi-sided pyramid, with us all at different points on various different sides, which vary over the course of one's life, due to age, changes in circumstances, changes in social mores etc

What I often see in these threads is a confusion between personal experience and the ideas under discussion. Personal experience can obviously be adverse i.e experienced as lack of privilege (especially when global circumstances have been torpedoing everyone's income, bar the 1%) - this doesn't mean that the concept isn't very real. This is what feeds a lot of retrogressive narratives i.e. Men's Rights: "If I'm so privileged WHY DON"T I FEEL IT?!"

Mr. Tea
06-09-2017, 04:28 PM
What I often see in these threads is a confusion between personal experience and the ideas under discussion. Personal experience can obviously be adverse i.e experienced as lack of privilege (especially when global circumstances have been torpedoing everyone's income, bar the 1%) - this doesn't mean that the concept isn't very real. This is what feeds a lot of retrogressive narratives i.e. Men's Rights: "If I'm so privileged WHY DON"T I FEEL IT?!"

I think part of the problem that leads to this is that, whereas the first person ever to say "Check your privilege" probably meant it as a useful shorthand for "Most of us have at least some kind of privilege that some other people don't have and it's useful to bear this in mind while critiquing structural inequality, whether purely economic or in terms of more subtle things like class, gender, culture etc." (and it may even have been taken as such by the person they said it to), it's become more usually used to mean (and is invariably heard as) "STFU".

luka
06-09-2017, 05:01 PM
Mr Tea is Hitler

sufi
06-09-2017, 07:23 PM
In a godwinian sense presumably?

Mr. Tea
06-09-2017, 08:11 PM
No, literally.

martin
07-09-2017, 08:49 AM
what do you guys make of this hetty brou hah hah, very relevant in terms of the last few pages of discussion in here

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/4394221/artist-shares-picture-workmen-mcdonalds-instagram-caption-1-gcse/

If it's not fake, my first thought's at least she's being honest. I mean, she's an indolent, ugly pig but at least she knows it and hasn't spent three years playing the 'ACAB' card on Twatter before calling for cops to tear-gas football fans because they're making a noise in the carriage while they're trying to read their Semiotexts, etc.

No snark, but is height really seen as a form of privilege now?

Mr. Tea
07-09-2017, 10:05 AM
No snark, but is height really seen as a form of privilege now?

Come on now, that's hardly fair. John and Dan didn't ask to both be 17 feet tall.

john eden
07-09-2017, 12:00 PM
If it's not fake, my first thought's at least she's being honest. I mean, she's an indolent, ugly pig but at least she knows it and hasn't spent three years playing the 'ACAB' card on Twatter before calling for cops to tear-gas football fans because they're making a noise in the carriage while they're trying to read their Semiotexts, etc.

No snark, but is height really seen as a form of privilege now?



Height is strongly related to income for men, after controlling for other social psychological variables like age, sex, and weight[1].
Again for men, a 1.8 per cent increase in wages accompanies every additional inch of height[2].
These pay disparities are apparently similar in magnitude to the race and gender pay gaps[3].
Ninety percent of CEOs, according to The Economist, are of above average height[4].
In China, again reported by The Economist[5], height requirements are routinely specified for jobs which seem to have no need of them. The height premium is most pronounced for women: each centimetre above the mean adds 1.5 to 2.2 per cent to a woman’s salary, particularly among middle- and high-wage earners


http://www.employment-studies.co.uk/news/heightism-unacknowledged-bias

Mr. Tea
07-09-2017, 01:04 PM
Wealthy Chinese get leg extension surgery to be taller.

john eden
07-09-2017, 01:12 PM
289

(From a survey of 630 women at match.com, apparently via here http://www.singlesteve.com/im-too-short-to-date-statistically-speaking/)

martin
07-09-2017, 03:00 PM
Well yeah, Tea - I wouldn't have typically classed JohnE or DannyL as particularly privileged over most of us, save for their ability to spy on the neighbours sunbathing. Or to do credible Big Bird impersonations at child hospice parties.

That's just tough shit/evolution sucks stuff, though, isn't it, rather than a political problem? I mean, you couldn't really agitate for a revolutionary 5ft4-9 movement and propose offing everyone over 6ft (PS- I'm 5ft10 and a half).

Leo
07-09-2017, 03:01 PM
also used to be that, in addition to all being white males, the top executives at fortune 500 companies were all clean shaven. you very rarely saw a CEO or chairman with mustache or beard, aside from maybe the old robber barons from the 1800s/early 1900s. perhaps there was some sense of untrustworthiness associated with facial hair. maybe the internet is changing that, although the shitworker engineers and programmers tend to be the weirdy beardy ones, not the babyfaced zuckerbergs.

carry on.

Mr. Tea
07-09-2017, 04:13 PM
It's funny, I've got a mate who must be about 5'2" and I'm fairly sure he's shagged more women than anyone else I know. Not that that overturns the observation that women generally prefer taller men, of course.

Martin's right though, this is pressing up against the limits of what's a societal privilege and what's just genetic luck of the draw. You can imagine a utopia in which men and women have absolute equality of opportunity in every respect and where racism and homophobia don't exist, but without going into heavy sci-fi genetic engineering territory, there's never going to be a society where everyone's equally intelligent, healthy and attractive.

john eden
07-09-2017, 04:28 PM
It's more a question of identifying the inequalities which exist.

Being black or a woman is also a matter of genetic chance, for the person who has been born. I would agree that the inequalities which result from that are more of a pressing problem.

I don't like the idea of unearned wealth from inherited money, so it also seems worthwhile at least thinking about unearned wealth in terms of genetics too.

Also worth mentioning that people's ideas of what is "intelligent, healthy and attractive" are social constructs.

I mean, I am a boring marxist and think that these things will mainly be resolved through the class struggle anyway, but it's not completely pointless, this stuff.

Mr. Tea
07-09-2017, 05:07 PM
Also worth mentioning that people's ideas of what is "intelligent, healthy and attractive" are social constructs.

People in different cultures might interpret these inherent inequalities differently and attach different weights to different markers, but the inequality is still there. Ideals of beauty vary of course but there is never going to be a society that doesn't have a concept of attractiveness that ranks some people higher than others. There are valid criticisms of the IQ test but there are never not going to be clever people and thick people, and I'm pretty sure having limbs and organs that work properly is universally seen as a good thing.


I mean, I am a boring marxist and think that these things will mainly be resolved through the class struggle anyway, but it's not completely pointless, this stuff.

I can imagine a utopia where people aren't judged for accidents of birth but again the underlying variation in the species is still there.

john eden
07-09-2017, 05:26 PM
The point is surely that it is very easy to imagine a society based on a fixed idea of physical beauty, on genetics, on hierarchy. There are perhaps some examples from the mid 20th century that come to mind.

It isn't utopian to oppose that.

Mr. Tea
07-09-2017, 08:39 PM
Lol, Godwin only got mentioned a page ago, too.

I'm not advocating for or against anything - just being realistic about what it's possible to achieve with the human organism being what it is.

Edit: and not everyone has the same utopia, don't forget. National Socialism was utopian on its own terms.

john eden
07-09-2017, 09:08 PM
I'm not advocating for or against anything

Everyone is advocating for something. Even if it's just stifling "realism".

Leo
07-09-2017, 09:11 PM
i work with a lot of ad agencies and in that extremely vain world, perhaps more than in other professions, good looking people definitely get the advantage in hiring and promotions. we may fancy ourselves as a progressive society, but there are still plenty of male client contacts with old-school mindsets who still love to have an attractive female account manager working on their business. ad agencies know this and often hire accordingly.

the latest and growing area of discrimination in the industry is ageism. not uncommon for those with highly-qualified experience to be brushed aside because hey, how is an old geezer going to be hip to the latest snapchat (or whatever) bullshit that the 18-25 demographic is into, right?

firefinga
08-09-2017, 06:12 AM
also used to be that, in addition to all being white males, the top executives at fortune 500 companies were all clean shaven. you very rarely saw a CEO or chairman with mustache or beard, aside from maybe the old robber barons from the 1800s/early 1900s. perhaps there was some sense of untrustworthiness associated with facial hair. maybe the internet is changing that, although the shitworker engineers and programmers tend to be the weirdy beardy ones, not the babyfaced zuckerbergs.

carry on.

Same with politicians, after WW2 anyways. But then, a certain scepticism towards bearded politicians might have been somewhat justified, reviewing policies of bearded politicians around and shortly before WW2 like Stalin or Hitler.

As of today, I would be very sceptical about a possible "Hipster" politician as well.

sadmanbarty
08-09-2017, 10:31 AM
Everyone is advocating for something.

That's luka level profoundness

Mr. Tea
08-09-2017, 01:21 PM
Everyone is advocating for something.

Well if you insist, then I'm advocating not fooling ourselves that having an ideology that says "Everyone is exactly the same" is actually going to make everyone exactly the same, or that disability and disease are going vanish after The Revolution.


Even if it's just stifling "realism".

You can call it that, or you can call it not being a fantasist. It's amazing how many people persist in the belief that ours is the only species not subject to evolutionary pressures. It's a delusion of the same sort as Creationism or Flat Earth.

john eden
08-09-2017, 01:24 PM
Where have I said that I think people are exactly the same, or should be?

Is this the bit of the conversation where you try to put words in my mouth and then get all pissy when called on it? Again?

Mr. Tea
08-09-2017, 01:27 PM
the latest and growing area of discrimination in the industry is ageism. not uncommon for those with highly-qualified experience to be brushed aside because hey, how is an old geezer going to be hip to the latest snapchat (or whatever) bullshit that the 18-25 demographic is into, right?

I don't doubt this happens a lot in certain industries but it has to be set against the considerable employment and other economic advantages that boomers otherwise enjoy in comparison to millennials (never mind the generation who are still kids or teens).

Mr. Tea
08-09-2017, 01:31 PM
Where have I said that I think people are exactly the same, or should be?

Is this the bit of the conversation where you try to put words in my mouth and then get all pissy when called on it? Again?

Et tu, Johnny!

Well you said earlier that being "healthy" is a "socially construct", which implies that if we could only think a bit differently about health, everyone would be healthy. If that's not what you meant, then what did you mean?

john eden
08-09-2017, 01:38 PM
Et tu, Johnny!

Well you said earlier that being "healthy" is a "socially construct", which implies that if we could only think a bit differently about health, everyone would be healthy. If that's not what you meant, then what did you mean?

I didn't say that.

This is what happens when you listen to the voices in your head instead of directly quoting people.

Mr. Tea
08-09-2017, 01:46 PM
Then what does 'people's ideas of what is "healthy" are social constructs' mean? Are there parts of the world where people don't value having limbs and organs that work properly?

john eden
08-09-2017, 02:01 PM
Then what does 'people's ideas of what is "healthy" are social constructs' mean? Are there parts of the world where people don't value having limbs and organs that work properly?

That ideas of what a healthy person looks like have varied historically and geographically depending on the social norms and culture which are dominant.

There are of course other factors, like our scientific understanding of the human organism. But these are less relevant to the point I am making.

john eden
08-09-2017, 02:13 PM
I don't doubt this happens a lot in certain industries but it has to be set against the considerable employment and other economic advantages that boomers otherwise enjoy in comparison to millennials (never mind the generation who are still kids or teens).

Do you not think millennials might eventually benefit from work which is done today to combat ageism?

Mr. Tea
08-09-2017, 03:57 PM
Do you not think millennials might eventually benefit from work which is done today to combat ageism?

Now you're doing it - did I say ageism didn't exist or wasn't a problem?

All the same, it's surely uncontroversial to say that people born in the 50s in developed economies are in general economically advantaged over people born in the 80s. Personally I hope not to be in the position of having to compete for work with much younger people when I'm, like, well old - but maybe I'm being the fantasist by saying that. Roll on the F.A.L.C., if it can be made to work.

vimothy
08-09-2017, 03:59 PM
The height study is interesting. I think it's intuitively a bit ridiculous that there's a direct causal relationship between height and income, although it's not hard to imagine that they could be related through another latent variable correlated with height.

OTOH a true meritocracy will feature stratification along whatever lines define the relevant variation in the population -- meaning those fortunate enough to have been born tall, or good-looking, or smart (or whatever), can expect to do well, whereas the less fortunate can eat cake (or whatever). So there's no reason to necessarily associate meritocratic and equitable outcomes.

john eden
08-09-2017, 04:14 PM
Now you're doing it - did I say ageism didn't exist or wasn't a problem?

All the same, it's surely uncontroversial to say that people born in the 50s in developed economies are in general economically advantaged over people born in the 80s. Personally I hope not to be in the position of having to compete for work with much younger people when I'm, like, well old - but maybe I'm being the fantasist by saying that. Roll on the F.A.L.C., if it can be made to work.

I'm not "doing it" because I have simply asked you a question to help me understand you position. I have not repeatedly ascribed words to you which you haven't said.

And yes generally the post war generation look to be economically better off than more recent ones, in the west at least.

I'm not sure why you brought that up? Perhaps you can explain why (or indeed how) ageism "has to be set against the considerable employment and other economic advantages that boomers otherwise enjoy in comparison to millennials (never mind the generation who are still kids or teens)."?

Do you think this sort of offsetting should be levied against any of the other protected characteristics?

john eden
08-09-2017, 04:17 PM
The height study is interesting. I think it's intuitively a bit ridiculous that there's a direct causal relationship between height and income, although it's not hard to imagine that they could be related through another latent variable correlated with height. .

What, like being considered more attractive or simply being a man?


OTOH a true meritocracy will feature stratification along whatever lines define the relevant variation in the population -- meaning those fortunate enough to have been born tall, or good-looking, or smart (or whatever), can expect to do well, whereas the less fortunate can eat cake (or whatever). So there's no reason to necessarily associate meritocratic and equitable outcomes.

Fair play for giving this a go, Vim, but this is pretty meaningless. Are you saying tall people get to do all the work and live in space skyscrapers while short people sit around eating cake in somewhere less pleasant or what? ;) Who gets to decide where the bar is set?

luka
08-09-2017, 05:51 PM
Vimothy is a proud boy

Mr. Tea
08-09-2017, 08:24 PM
But is he proud enough to like his own posts?

Mr. Tea
08-09-2017, 08:29 PM
BTW sitting around eating cake and not having to work sounds pretty lush to me, and I'm fairly tall, if not necessarily by Dissensian standards.

Leo
08-09-2017, 08:55 PM
none of it matters. harvey, irma and now jose, all just days apart, 190 mph winds and 25 inches of rain in south florida, all while mexico is hit with an 8.1 earthquake. biblical. it's end times. surrender.

vimothy
09-09-2017, 07:52 AM
Fair play for giving this a go, Vim, but this is pretty meaningless. Are you saying tall people get to do all the work and live in space skyscrapers while short people sit around eating cake in somewhere less pleasant or what? ;) Who gets to decide where the bar is set?

I'm saying that a meritocratic system is not necessarily equitable, despite what many people think.

john eden
09-09-2017, 08:08 AM
none of it matters. harvey, irma and now jose, all just days apart, 190 mph winds and 25 inches of rain in south florida, all while mexico is hit with an 8.1 earthquake. biblical. it's end times. surrender.

Peak whataboutery. :cool:

john eden
09-09-2017, 08:12 AM
I'm saying that a meritocratic system is not necessarily equitable, despite what many people think.

Sure. I don't think I'm arguing for a meritocracy particularly. Just a reduction in people being adversely judged for things they have no control over. I'd like co-operation rather than competition to be the basis for society as you know.

Benny B
09-09-2017, 10:48 AM
Interesting convo

My two cents: with social constructs, whether it's sexuality, what's considered attractive or healthy, gender, class, who counts as a chav etc etc, there are always some questions you have to ask. Basically, who is doing the constructing and why? Who does it serve? And why does one particular group get to decide? And so on...

Social constructs serve political goals and they are about maintaining power.

owengriffiths
09-09-2017, 05:51 PM
No matter what way you look at it, it's a great time to be a privileged chav. There's a chav in the white house, arguably every celebrity who uses twitter or talks to the press is a chav. With members of the Royal Family bending over backwards to get that lucrative Hello magazine photo shoot, clearly even the aristocracy has embraced chavdom. And lets face it, anyone who posts inane stuff on facebook and has a salary below 1 mil is a stone cold chav. I think it's time for all those who don't come from Essex to stand up and be counted, we can do this, we can be a chav, YES WE CAN. You tried to lock us out but we'll break down the door, there is no longer any glass ceilings that we can't drag our spray on tanned knuckles through

Mr. Tea
09-09-2017, 05:51 PM
none of it matters. harvey, irma and now jose, all just days apart, 190 mph winds and 25 inches of rain in south florida, all while mexico is hit with an 8.1 earthquake. biblical. it's end times. surrender.

Gotta feel sorry for your continent at the moment. If it makes you feel any better, I got positively drenched walking from my car to my front door just now.

Leo
09-09-2017, 08:44 PM
Gotta feel sorry for your continent at the moment. If it makes you feel any better, I got positively drenched walking from my car to my front door just now.

that's how it starts, tea.

btw, apologies, forgot to also include simultaneous hurricane katia in mexico and wildfires that have consumed over 30,000 acres in northern california.

100-year storms, flooding, raging infernos. next are the locusts.

Mr. Tea
09-09-2017, 09:32 PM
Dogs and cats living together, MASS HYSTERIA!

Leo
09-09-2017, 10:09 PM
apologies also for derailing this thread.

Mr. Tea
10-09-2017, 10:49 AM
It was pretty derailed already!

firefinga
10-09-2017, 11:18 AM
apologies also for derailing this thread.

On this forum, a non-derailed thread is the exception, not the norm ::

martin
18-09-2017, 02:13 PM
Anyway, back on topic, if the chavs gave us anything truly glorious, it's surely the goggle jacket. Makes the Black Bloc look like a bunch of fartsy stew-dunts whose mums knitted their balaclavas.

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