The 'chav' phenomenon: consumption, media and the construction of a new underclass

Hayward, Keith J. and Yar, Majid (2006) The 'chav' phenomenon: consumption, media and the construction of a new underclass. Crime Media Culture , 2 (1). pp. 9-28. ISSN 1741-6590 . (The full text of this publication is not available from this repository)

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Official URL
http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1741659006061708

Abstract

This article argues that the decline of the ‘underclass’ discourse in the UK, and the rise of the ‘chav’, are not unconnected. We contend that there are numerous homologies between the meaning content, objects and tenor of these two terms, and suggest that the ‘chav’ represents a popular reconfiguration of the underclass idea. However, we are also keen to note the way in which the concept of social marginality is reconfigured in this substitution. Specifically, we argue that the discourse of the underclass turned crucially upon a (perceived or real) pathology in the working classes’ relations to production and socially productive labour. Its emergent successor, the concept of the ‘chav’, is in contrast oriented to purportedly pathological class dispositions in relation to the sphere of consumption. In a bid to highlight this shift we consider the emergence of debates upon social marginality and consumption practices, and attempt to locate popular media discourse surrounding the ‘chav’ within this frame, including the various ways in which purportedly pathological consumption practices serve to organise this form of social classification.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research > Sociology
Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research
Depositing User: Samantha Osborne
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2007 18:38
Last Modified: 22 May 2014 08:26
Resource URI: http://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/978 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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