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Negotiating cohesion, inequality and changeUncomfortable positions in local government$
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Hannah Jones

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781447310037

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447310037.001.0001

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Negotiating cohesion, inequality and change

Negotiating cohesion, inequality and change

(p.11) One Negotiating cohesion, inequality and change
Negotiating cohesion, inequality and change

Hannah Jones

Policy Press

Community cohesion policy is a collection of ideas, practices and texts which touches on a whole host of other subjects – difference, inequality and discrimination along lines of class, race, gender, religion, age and geography, conflicting values, questions of nationhood, community, belonging, trust, power and governance. Negotiating community cohesion policy’s meanings and resonances provides many opportunities to take up or avoid uncomfortable positions. Meanwhile, its supporters’ insistence that it should be considered in all areas of public services, and of life allows us to consider how far it morphs and changes in different contexts. This chapter provides an analytical framework for considering the practice of policy through the lens of community cohesion. It considers the political juncture at which community cohesion policy emerged in Britain, and sets out a theoretical framework for studying the negotiation of cohesion, inequality and change within UK local government bringing together theories of governmentality, emotion and power. It argues that a recognition of the blurring of roles and perspectives between academic sociologists and policy practitioners is necessary for an approach to public sociology inspired by the work of C Wright Mills on the sociological imagination.

Keywords:   governmentality, public sociology, sociological imagination, emotion, power, community cohesion, Third Way

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