“Real Artists Ship”

Colin Johnson’s blog

Subcultures and Social Class (1)

There have been a number of articles, a book even, about the idea that the concept of the Chav is anti-working-class. I’m not so sure. The problem that I have with this is that it has in the background the idea that the Chav subculture represents the core working class culture, rather than being a fairly small subculture within working class culture.

It is a pity that the idea of the decent, hard-working working class has faded into obscurity over the last couple of decades. To a lot of commentators in the media, the term working class means feckless underclass; anyone who holds down a solid job and has a fairly stable family life is portrayed as being a member of the (perhaps lower) middle class. I feel that this rather misses out on a large chunk of the population, the “respectable”, hard-working, law-abiding working classes who don’t see being middle class as a necessary aspiration (but probably don’t mind if people do have that aim). As someone from such a background I find it particularly unpleasant that this group is more-or-less invisible in current British society.

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