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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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Thinking inside the box

Thinking inside the box

(p.167) Seven Thinking inside the box
Negotiating cohesion, inequality and change

Hannah Jones

Policy Press

This chapter brings together four key arguments of the book. Firstly, community cohesion policy is concerned with enabling citizens to behave in appropriate ways, and is a project of governmentality which includes processes of self-government by policy practitioners. Secondly, community cohesion policy easily slips into a language of ’celebrating diversity’ without necessarily considering why some types of difference are seen as important while others are not, and what power relations lie behind (and result from) that. I argue that more attention to these power relations, and how they act through emotional responses, is essential. Thirdly, there is a discussion of how the role of local government is imagined by those narratives and voices that we have encountered throughout the book. Finally, the chapter considers how the use of C. Wright Mills’ lens of the sociological imagination might lead towards a greater public sociology, accepting that changing the world might involve some uncomfortable positions – positions which might depart from imagining academia or academic research as separate from ’the real world’.

Keywords:   public sociology, governmentality, local government, diversity, emotion, sociological imagination

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