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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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Has there been a decline in values in British society?

Has there been a decline in values in British society?

(p.91) 7 Has there been a decline in values in British society?
Contemporary social evils

Anthony Browne

Policy Press

This chapter states that the growing sexual equality has made it possible for more women to leave abusive and unhappy homes. It also contends that there have been many moral improvements since the 1950s, but also distinct areas of decline. In addition, it is argued that the latter include family breakdown, drug and alcohol misuse, welfare dependency and violent crime; all linked to a loss of binding ‘social capital’. It starts by describing the growth of violent crime. There has been a collapse of the traditional nuclear family and there seems little doubt that there has, in recent years, been a decline in social capital. The two big questions addressed are: why have the values changed, and what should be done about it?

Keywords:   British society, social capital, family breakdown, drug misuse, alcohol misuse, welfare dependency, violent crime

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