A chav by any other name....

#1
New prog called Voices coming up on R4... first one discusses language and in particular 'what do you call a young person in cheap trendy clothes and jewellery'.

They're trobos and trevs, neds, spides and scallies, pikeys, chavs, wannabes and townies. In cities throughout the UK, from Newcastle to Newtonards, from Bradford on Avon to Bolton they know them - the Voices survey has brought to light a whole raft of names for a phenomenon that is now a fixture throughout the country.

For the Voices survey, the question was framed as: 'what do you call a young person in cheap trendy clothes and jewellery'. Each element of that is significant - young (these are not ageing swingers), trendy clothes (they make a point of dressing sharply) but their outfits are also 'cheap'. What they represent is a certain threat - a disaffected group who 'hang around outside McDonalds' according to the youngsters in Barrow in Furness; 'they stand around on street corners smoking their fags with skirts up to their arses' say the young fans of Leicester City football club.

In Newcastle, the students recognised them (here they're called 'charvers') as being people trying to cadge money and cigarettes from them outside the off-licence, while in rural Wiltshire, youngsters keep firm hold of their mobiles when the Trobos are in town (Trobos from Trowbridge, the county town). They represent 'the opposition' too - in rural Lancashire, just outside Blackburn, they're the town-dwellers who come and make trouble - they're called 'townies' here, though it's not just because they're not from the country that they carry this name.

We look at the way each area of the country has grown a word for this very particular figure of social distinctiveness; at the roots of the many words and their connection with other socially marginalised groups. 'Charver' is related to chava the Romany term for child and this association with travellers, viewed by the prejudiced as social undesirables, is seen again in another name for the young people Pikeys. Pikey is of course a thoroughly disliked and racist term (relating to 'turnpike') for the travelling community.

The programme investigates through the contemporary phenomenon and the words that have evolved to describe it, how such vernacular terms for the socially undesirable or marginalised have changed - in the Second World War they were 'spivs' and 'drones', in the 1920s, 'young sparks'. Word4Word searches the Archive to demonstrate the historical dimension and explores the way the contemporary language is being spread and fuelled by the constant flood of traffic on MSN and via the dozens of Internet chatrooms and messageboards where these young men and women are a favourite topic of conversation and dislike.

How has immigration and new diversity affected both terminology and attitudes towards these young people? The programme shows how, through Charver Central and the many other websites that celebrate their views, these youngsters are themselves making their voice heard. The programme is also able to illustrate (from recordings in the traveller community in Kent and Northern Ireland) how this sense of being marginalised plays out in both language (including traveller cant and Romany language) and lifestyle.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/factual/word4word_20050803.shtml
Due to be broadcast at 09.00 on 3 August
 
#2
I would appreciate some input from anyone who has experience of training young recruits over a period of years. I'm always hearing how useless the 'youth of today' is. However I suspect that this comment has rattled down over the centuries. The opinions of old sweats that slogged along the Somme with young Hal in 1415; NCO's with Wellington prior to Waterloo. The youngsters that went to the South Atlantic in 1982 seemed to acquit themselves well. I guess my question is what percentage of young recruits turn themselves around during basic training and become a credit to themselves and their units.
 
#3
Richierichcrx said:
I would appreciate some input from anyone who has experience of training young recruits over a period of years. I'm always hearing how useless the 'youth of today' is. However I suspect that this comment has rattled down over the centuries. The opinions of old sweats that slogged along the Somme with young Hal in 1415; NCO's with Wellington prior to Waterloo. The youngsters that went to the South Atlantic in 1982 seemed to acquit themselves well. I guess my question is what percentage of young recruits turn themselves around during basic training and become a credit to themselves and their units.
All true Richie, but there historical parallels are inaccurate. Today's chavs are the result of a social condition and atmosphere of tolerance that has never existed before. Kid's in the past grew up and went through a normal teenage rebellion, but their parents generally acted as a stabilising force, the kids matured, had to get jobs or starve and ended up being their parents twenty years later. That is has been the pattern since the stone age, society and communities have provided the boundaries.

Today you have the third or fourth generation of wasters who have never had to work. They have dropped kids like confetti and have had the luxury of ignoring them. Whole communities have lost the work ethic and kids growing up in those communities have no positive role models whatever. Everyone they know is on benefit, not because there are no jobs but because benefit is easier, especially if you have kids. If you are growing up, and parents and grandparents are out of work, sponging and taking drugs through years boredom, what chance do you have?

In the eighties everyone blamed Maggie and in the nineties everyone blamed Maggie's legacy. Today, people have to accept that when we have had full employment for a decade and these people still scrounge through instinct, that this is not an economic problem, it is a problem of personal responsibility.

These people are a waste of space because society now rewards them to be so. Would they take their place in the trenches? Not a chance.
 
#4
Thanks for your comment AWOL. God it's depressing, when I read it and I have to admit I've seen it in the flesh. I was thinking about the first series of 'Get some IN' where two or three of the subjects made good headway with the training and expressed a desire to join the Army or another of the Services. I'm certainly not an adovate for the re-introduction of conscription, though I'd back any process which allowed youngsters to achieve greater self respect and the respect of society as a whole. I'm no social worker type or 'do-gooder' it just seems such a bloody waste. Ok bleat over, thanks for reading.
 
#5
Richierichcrx said:
Thanks for your comment AWOL. God it's depressing, when I read it and I have to admit I've seen it in the flesh. I was thinking about the first series of 'Get some IN' where two or three of the subjects made good headway with the training and expressed a desire to join the Army or another of the Services. I'm certainly not an adovate for the re-introduction of conscription, though I'd back any process which allowed youngsters to achieve greater self respect and the respect of society as a whole. I'm no social worker type or 'do-gooder' it just seems such a bloody waste. Ok bleat over, thanks for reading.
I sometimes work with kids and they are individually fantastic. (Although admittedly I do only see the nicer ones). I think even the worst of the chavs would shine given the chance, but society over the past forty years has dealt them a shitty hand by handing everything to them on a plate. Ah...the irony.
 
#7
Listy said:
so the #answer is a steadily increasing insentive to work.

Say benfits cut every 6 month by a 1/4. That should get some results.
Yeah...More crime to pay for their tac, spesh, scratchcards, benny hennies and micro chips!

And it will be us who work and produce, who will be the victims. still, in the next world war, we call 'em all up, issue them with space hoppers and ammo boots and use them for mine clearance!

A win/win situation, whatever the military outcome!
 
#8
I run a Landscape Design business since getting out 7 yrs ago and find it very hard to find dent young staff that are prepared to go that extra mile. I myself have risen from a normal working class background and firmly believe that people should be given a chance. For a new "recruit" I will give em 30 quid a day cash in hand, enough for them to buy their cigs and white lightning lol but I am a stickler for punctuality, having a Yorkshireman as a father in law I have developed a policy if "If tha can't sup it!" i.e. that fine, work hard play hard but if you pi55 all your wages up the wall, fine I have no problem but be at the van at 0730 the next day and lets do some work!
At the moment I have a young lad on board who was begging for work, I have known him as a neighbour since he was about 12, he was a pain in the arrse to all the community, his parents .........well mum works p/t in a care home (fantastic people do need care,not being divisive) Dad (although not real dad) is on the "sick" fark all wrong with him like but he deals in cars from his own garden, buying damaged repairables and doing them up. Now the young chap would offend most, always decked out in boxfresh white trainers, designer clothes and sportswear and won't take his cap off ever lol. However over the past few months or so he has proven himself to be invaluable, sure he is as thick as mince in some ways, no qualifications or any aspirations so i thought, and to be fair I don't need scientists, I just point and say "dig" ! but since working with me he has learnt a bit about respect for himself and others, he has got rid of the cap and hooded top image, dresses smart casual when not working, has stopped this awful spitting allover the place, has opened a bank account, of which he has asked me to manage and also has said that he wants to go to college to do a motor vehicle course. Fair play to him I say, sure I will lose a good member of staff but I feel pride in turning the guy with little or no hope into a better person, yes it may not last but I think if people can get past the "all teenagers are chav no hopers" syndrome this country could pull itself round. Im no millionaire far from it, turnover aint even enough to be VAT reg'd but just think what larger companies and institutions could do for these young people if they wanted to!!!
 
#9
Well done Rapierman. I guess your payback is the satisfaction of making a contribution to your neighbourhood. One less disaffected youth and a role model to any others who want to follow him into his job when he moves on. I was invovled with Motor Vehicle trainees up until a year ago so I know his next move isn't going to be that easy. If he plans to get a qualification he will need to work for a suitable garage and not as an assistant to his dad. My advise would be for him to start to 'cultivate' a local garage and convince them if they take him on he will continue to perfom his duties as he has whilst working with you. Yours is a very positive outcome and I shall pass it on to my wife who works with Foundation Students at our local college.
 

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