Consuming Chavs: The Ambiguous Politics of Gay Chavinism
journal contributionposted on 24.05.2010, 13:28 by Joanna Brewis, Gavin Jack
Paul Johnson’s (2008) article ‘Rude Boys’, published in an earlier issue of Sociology , scrutinizes critically the commodification of the male chav for consumption by middle-class homosexual men. This phenomenon, which Andrew Fraser (2005) calls ‘chavinism’, takes a number of different forms: pornography, sex lines, club nights etc. In part as a response to Johnson’s arguments concerning the ways in which chavinism ‘further devalue[s] the individuals and groups’ it depicts, creating a form of ‘symbolic violence’ (2008: 67), our article speculates further on the ambiguous implications of this minority consumer culture. To do this, we develop Connell’s (1992, 2002; Connell and Messerschmidt, 2005) concept of ‘hegemonic masculinity’ to discuss what gay chavinism might mean for ‘hegemonic homosexuality’.