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>Social evils and regeneration

>TUESDAY, 30 JUNE 2009, Regeneration & Renewal blog

What do contemporary social evils have to do with regeneration? A huge part of regeneration is about change and a book by social policy research charity the Joseph Rowntree Foundation shows Britons are hungry for it – albeit in a more value-driven way rather than through bricks and mortar development. But arguably, one leads to the other.

If a group of individuals want to raise awareness of an issue, or erect a building where they can meet and offer services to other residents, there are many examples of where this has happened. Do local groups or residents need to do this on a larger scale to affect the change that is hungered for?

The book, which is the culmination of a two-year consultation among the public and leading commentators, describes the high levels of unease felt by the public as greed, consumerism and individualism have pervaded our way of life.

It says that people feel the idea of common good seems to have been lost and there’s a real will to reclaim it, bringing back the forgotten values of generosity, empathy and kindness.

It includes chapters on the views of people from disadvantaged backgrounds, an exploration of the absence of society and the stark inequalities between the poor and rich.

The book says some evils – such as poverty – endure as undisputed causes of social harm, but more recent causes attract controversy. These include an alleged rise in selfish consumerism driven by economic liberalisation and a perceived decline in personal responsibility and family commitment.

What do others think? Do we need to be a kinder, more generous society? How disillusioned are we?
POSTED BY HERPREET GREWAL AT 16:50
LABELS: COMMUNITY RENEWAL
2 COMMENTS:

Anonymous said…
See also “The Spirit Level” book (2009) which looks at the social harm done by the growing and unsustainable levels of inequality, based on international research. The final chapters suggest some remedies, such as co-operatives and employee-ownership schemes.

For regeneration, key findings are that solutions to poverty effects lie outside of the poorest areas, that everyone benefits from less inequality (this section is counter-intuitive for some and needs careful reading), and that less income inequality does not have to mean higher taxes (eg Japan).

The next question is, what is the smallest scale at which intervention still makes a difference? Their research suggests it is somewhere between a USA state and a neighbourhood, which might be a city or a city-region?

Tony Baldwinson
01 JULY 2009 16:06

kundhan said…
its good to se this…
enlightenment is good and very imp..
i have seen that in this…………..
kundhan
13 JULY 2009 15:54

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About Herpreet Kaur Grewal

Herpreet Kaur Grewal is a newspaper-trained journalist, editor and commentator. She formerly wrote and edited a section for the social policy and politics magazine Regeneration & Renewal. She has worked for The Times of London and her articles have featured in The Guardian, The Observer and The Daily Express. She specialises in social deprivation issues, gender, human rights , arts and culture.

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Herpreet Kaur Grewal is a journalist and commentator currently based in New York City.

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