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Contemporary social evils$
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Joseph Rowntree Foundation

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9781847424099

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847424099.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM POLICY PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.policypress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Policy Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PPSO for personal use.date: 17 September 2021



(p.1) 1 Introduction
Contemporary social evils

Julia Unwin

Policy Press

The concept of ‘evil’ appears to have led many people to look beyond commonly discussed social problems such as drugs, poverty or social exclusion, to express more fundamental, less tangible fears about the nature of society and how it is changing. The debate about contemporary social evils did not reveal any strong discomfort with modernity, or nostalgic desire to go back in time. Inviting contemporary views of social evil risked, as one commentator put it, ‘swimming in a sea of social pessimism’. Notwithstanding, the additional difficulties that the recession has created in people's lives, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF)'s inquiry into the nature of social evil demonstrates a desire to grapple with difficult issues, a commitment to identify the common good in shaping a better society and a passionate conviction that the unsustainable present offers an unreliable route map for the future.

Keywords:   drugs, poverty, social exclusion, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, contemporary social evils, social pessimism

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