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"Chav Mum, Chav Scum" : class disgust in contemporary Britain.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date03/2008
JournalFeminist Media Studies
Journal number1
Volume8
Number of pages18
Pages17-34
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

In the last three years a new vocabulary of social class has emerged in Britain. The word “chav,” alongside its various synonyms and regional variations, has become a ubiquitous term of abuse for the white poor. This article explores the emergence of the grotesque and comic figure of the chav within a range of contemporary British media focusing on the role played by disgust reactions in the generation and circulation of the chav figure through popular media. Concentrating on the figure of the female chav, and the vilification of young white working-class mothers, this article argues that the “chav mum” is produced through disgust reactions as an intensely affective figure that embodies historically familiar and contemporary anxieties about female sexuality, reproduction, fertility, and “racial mixing.”

Bibliographic note

The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Feminist Media Studies, 8 (1), 2008, © Informa Plc