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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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Opportunity and aspiration: two sides of the same coin?

Opportunity and aspiration: two sides of the same coin?

(p.181) 15 Opportunity and aspiration: two sides of the same coin?
Contemporary social evils

Chris Creegan

Policy Press

This chapter looks at the consultation exercises described in the previous section of this book that were designed to capture often ‘unheard voices’ of disadvantaged groups. Inspired by those experiences, it makes an impassioned case against pigeonholing people into categories like ‘hard to reach’, and states an opinion in favour of ensuring that their views are communicated to policy makers. It also develops the concept of ‘truncated opportunities’ to discuss the way that people's experiences of inequality, poverty and restricted life chances are threaded with stories of loss and waste at different stages of their lives. Additionally, some illustrative examples of opportunities lost, limited and wasted opportunities and an example of the role of aspiration in contemporary Britain are briefly presented. It has been argued very persuasively that what should be the concern is not falling turnout in elections, but unequal turnout.

Keywords:   truncated opportunities, aspiration, unheard voices, Britain, inequality, poverty, opportunities lost

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