One in eight middle-class children say they’re a ned
MANY teenagers welcome being called a ned or chav, despite associating the term with drugs, alcohol, antisocial behaviour and doing poorly in school, a worrying study has found.
• Glasgow University study finds that many teenagers are happy to be referred to as ‘chavs’ or ‘neds’
• Large number of respondents who identified with the terms were from affluent or middle class backgrounds
It is not just youths from deprived areas who embrace the counter-culture, but also those from middle-class backgrounds, according to Glasgow University.
The study could prove a blow to the Scottish Government’s hopes for reducing youth unemployment from record levels.
The Medical Research Council social and public health sciences unit, at the university, interviewed more than 3,000 15-year-olds in and around Glasgow.
They found 17.4 per cent of girls, and 12.7 per cent of boys, were happy to be known as a ned or a chav. Twenty-two per cent of youths from workingclass backgrounds associated with the term, compared with
13 per cent, or one in eight, from affluent ones.
Robert Young, lead researcher, said: “We were keen to find out if any young people would positively identify themselves with the terms ned or chav, which have been overwhelmingly used as terms of abuse for a particular section of society.
“We also wanted to pinpoint which aspects of the culture might appeal to them.
“It appears that, regardless of background or gender, a significant proportion of young people self-identify as neds, participate in stereotypical behaviours associated with the label – such as antisocial behaviour and alcohol and drug abuse – and share a lack of interest in education.”
He added: “There is a surprisingly low association between adopting a ‘ned’ identity and experience of deprivation among the young people we spoke to, certainly far less than popular assumptions would suggest.
“Those who identify as neds are not exclusively from disadvantaged areas. Instead, it seems that part of the appeal of joining such groups may be to attain a better social standing within their own peer-group, even for young people from more
“Neds or chavs are often respected by young people we spoke to for being risk-takers or rule-breakers and this sort of ‘cool’ transgressive behaviour may contribute to the appeal of joining these groups.”
The study found self-confessed neds were far more likely to engage in stereotypical behaviour. A third drank Buckfast in the last week, a fifth smoked cannabis on weekly basis, and a quarter had been in trouble with police within the last month.
Scottish Conservative justice spokesman David McLetchie said: “It is astonishing that a term intended to be derogatory is now regarded as a badge of honour. It doesn’t say much for the self-esteem of many young people who were interviewed.”
A Scottish Government spokesman said: “Young people should be out enjoying positive activities. That is exactly why we are investing so heavily – over £46 million so far through the CashBack for Communities Programme – in providing so many sporting and cultural diversionary activities as well as mentoring and intervention projects for young people.”
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 6 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 9 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: South west