Class divisions 3

August 24, 2007

Dr Chav's account of the snobbery of academia towards the white working class contains cultural imperialism of its own: crowning the "chav" as the defining icon of working-class culture.

Nearly 20 years ago, journalist Tony Parsons lamented that the Thatcher years had not just damaged working-class life, it had also wrecked its culture: the decent trade unionist being sidelined by the fat shell-suited lager lout. A Marxist might see this as the rise of the lumpenproletariat, historically the ally of fascism and strike-breaking. Dr Chav must not be surprised if what remains of the Left, proletarian or professional class, is unimpressed by lager louts, chavs and other impostors masquerading as true working class.

Emma Knightley

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