On 8th October Dr Andrew Wallace, Senior Lecturer, School of Social and Political Science, presented a paper called: ‘Scum, sluts and skivers: struggling over value in ‘austerity’ Britain’ to an audience over 80.
Andrew discussed the ‘workshy skiver’, ‘scum’, and ‘chav’ as examples of widespread class-based devaluation in ‘Austerity’ Britain. Referencing David Graber and Bev Skeggs, he talked about the culturalisation of inequality and the personalisation of structural failure. However, the efforts of left-inclined journalists and scholars to repudiate claims about worklessness and fecklessness and to engage in struggles over readings of human value and worth, Andrew argued, have left the central perameters of class devaluation in place. His hope is to pursue a resistance to and rethinking of categories of valuing and abjection – perhaps through an evasive gaze – and to ask who is doing the judging and why?