Media and class-making: what lessons are learnt when a celebrity chav dies?
FRITH, HANNAH, RAISBOROUGH, JAYNE and KLEIN, ORLY (2012) Media and class-making: what lessons are learnt when a celebrity chav dies? Sociology, 47 (2). ISSN 0038-0385
Official URL: http://soc.sagepub.com/content/47/2/251
Class is often overlooked in sociological studies of death just as studies of class overlook death. The controversial media coverage of the death of Jade Goody provides a useful focus for exploring contemporary class-making. Recent sociological analyses of class representations in popular culture have demonstrated how denigration and humiliation serve as mechanisms which position sections of the white, working class (chavs) as repositories of bad taste. We argue that these are not the only (or even the most prevalent) affective mechanisms for class-making. In this paper, we explore how cultural imperatives for ‘dying well’ intersect with what could be perceived as more positive or even affectionate representations of Jade to produce ‘good taste’ as a naturalised properties of the middle class. As such, we demonstrate that the circulation of inequalities through precarious and dynamic cultural representations involves more complex affective mechanisms in class boundary work than is often recognised.
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