"Rude boys”: the homosexual eroticization of class

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Since 2002, the`chav' has become a ubiquitous symbol of class difference in Britain. Simultaneously, a heterogeneous industry has appropriated `chav culture' in order to market a range of products and services orientated to gay men. In this article I explore some of the representations employed by this industry to argue that they function within a symbolic economy in which the chav is positioned as a subject lacking any intrinsic worth. However, while representations continually impute a lack of value to such subjects, it is precisely this lack which is converted into symbolic capital to be bought and sold.The effect of such representation is performative since it both constructs and inscribes subject positions in social space. In conclusion, I argue that a form of symbolic violence is created by such representation through the legitimacy it lends to normative conceptions about, what become imagined as,`real' people.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-82
Number of pages18
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2008

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