Chavs - coming to a town near you?
Are You A Chav?
Do you like to wear a baseball cap under a hooded top? Do you like to turn old cars into flashy powerful machines? Do you own a ferocious dog?
If you do, you might be a chav.
Chavs are Everywhere
According to Wikipedia, a chav is ‘a derogatory slang term currently in popular usage in the UK. It refers to a stereotype lower-class youth or young adult perceived as uneducated, uncultured and/or violent.’
A stereotypical chav apparently wears brand-name sportswear, loves heavily modified cars and cares little for the non-chav world.
And chavs appear to be everywhere: the fashions can be seen in every town, the charts are full of music from singers and bands who fit the bill, and even celebrities are being mocked for their ‘chav-ness’ – including David Beckham and Britney Spears.
The Oxford English Dictionary‘s word of the year for 2004 was… yes, you’ve guessed, it: ‘chav’.
Chavs: the Dark Side
However, despite all the fun and games, the chav phenomenon has a sinister side.
Many people now associate the word chav with social problems such as public drunkenness, violence and teenage pregnancy.
In addition, many argue that this is just a new form of discrimination: unlike many social groups, people have had the name ‘chav’ imposed upon them by others.
So, is it all harmless fun or a frightening social trend? Gentle mockery or discrimination?
There is one group of people who never seem to be asked for their opinion: the chavs!
Is chav just another word for the UK‘s working class? Is it just a middle-class putdown of those who like to wear certain brands? Is it really bad to be labelled a chav?