Personally, I don't think the chav thing is anything new. I think they're just a working class tribe like any other. They used to be spivs, or teddy boys, or skins, or kevs, or townies, or (a certain type of)ravers... there has always been an annoying, cheaply but snappily dressed, don't give a shit working class wide boy element to British culture.
And it's always been underrepresented by middle-class media.
I think the thing that really pisses most people off about chavs, after the anti-social behaviour, is that they're so fucking happy. And I think there's a certain middle-class sentiment that thinks relatively poor people shouldn't be that happy with their lot. Or that materialistic either.
I've had conversations before (with Katyha) about whether the word Chav is offensive or not. Hmm.
Alan, I've bet you've got something to say about this, if you're there too.
What does everyone think? Is Chav an offensive term? Should the whole concept of chavishness be wiped out in the UK today? Or is it to be encouraged? I'm interested to find out. And what americans think too!