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Housing Regeneration Sociology - Essay Example

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Housing Regeneration Understanding Society: Are Chavs Really What They Appeared to Be Introduction Obelkevich and Catterall write that “society is not just a lump of clay to be given shape by the master hand of the policy maker” (1994, p.7), but an interests- and forces-brimmed whole, with a life and will of its own, which might just as well resist or deflect state policies aimed at influencing and changing the very same society…
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Housing Regeneration Sociology Essay
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Housing Regeneration Sociology

Download file to see previous pages... Marxism, for example, whose influence is thought to have gone far beyond its natural audience a decade or two ago, despite some penetrating revelations, like the notion of society divisions, class differences, etc., generally failed to give a plausible explanation of what was actually happening in post-war Britain – whether in terms of the middle class growth, diversity and cultural fragmentation, or the change in the paradigm of working classes consciousness regarding their actual voting behaviour (having far too often voted for the Conservatives, rather than for Labour), as well as the relative failure of the welfare state, which fell well short of the high aims of the 1940s and 1950s (Obelkevich and Catterall, 1994). Even though many ideological cliches are still in circulation nowadays, at least in politicians’ minds and words, understanding society, with all its strands and meanders, has proved to be a hard case for ideology as a whole. Therefore, social sciences come into the equation, especially history and sociology, which, in spite sometimes being considered incompatible or even opposed ways of understanding society, are actually overlapping and complementary, and whose combined effort, according to both historians and sociologists, is supposed to produce a much better result (Obelkevich and Catterall, 1994). Historical and Statistical Background The social divide between rich and poor might as well be considered more or less as old as human civilization. For British society, however, some authors regard 1918 as a date of great significance, not only due to its political meaning, but also as a kind of watershed in working classes’ status, including their standard of living, quality of health and housing, political power of ordinary men and women, and their leisure pursuits (Hopkins, 1991). Others, like Royle, for instance, point out that many crucial developments occurred between the thirties and the fifties of the twentieth century, which are generally depicted as “an accelerating discontinuity with the past”, with the most significant of them, in terms of rapid social change, being in the post-war period, namely the 1950s (1994, p.9). Several aspects of that social change are considered particularly important in regard to the current discussion, as follows: the consumer ‘revolution’ and associated technological change, gender, class, and race, as well as education. Royle defines the consumer patterns of post-war British society as radically different from those of the pre-war years, with some twenty-five million people spending a few days on holiday each year in the early 1950s, seven million people taking their holidays abroad and a third of the population having been on holiday abroad in the 1970s, whereas in the late 1980s less than one third hadn’t done so (1994). The technologies boom, including electrical and other consumer commodities, motor cars, and most notably television with the targeting of programmes and products at the younger generation, appeared the development that have had extremely important impact on consumer culture in terms of the rise of consumerism as a widespread, if not domineering phenomenon within the society (Royle, 1994). On the other pole of the spectre, however, were those some 16 ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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