From community to social cohesion: interrogating a policy paradigm

Peter Ratcliffe

in Promoting social cohesion

Published by Policy Press

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9781847426956
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447303084 | DOI:
From community to social cohesion: interrogating a policy paradigm

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This chapter first traces the historical and ideological backdrop to the emergence of cohesion policies. It then describes the concept of ‘community cohesion’ and the development of the associated policies and practices. The narrative then shifts to the relationship between the latter phenomena and the rapidly evolving equalities agenda. It is noted that the focus on ‘community cohesion’ is misplaced, and that policies should be driven by the much more fundamental notion of ‘social cohesion’. The earlier assessment of the social-capital approach casts considerable doubt on its efficacy. The vision of a future where ‘similar life opportunities’ are the norm is part of a much more extensive policy agenda. It appears that in social-policy circles, those at the helm find it difficult to resist the temptation to recycle earlier approaches.

Keywords: community cohesion; social cohesion; equalities agenda; policy agenda; social policy; social capital

Chapter.  9808 words. 

Subjects: Urban and Rural Studies

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