Against the Big Society: a Durkheimian socialist critique

Dawson, Matt (2011) Against the Big Society: a Durkheimian socialist critique. Critical Social Policy. ISSN 0261-0183

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Abstract

This paper is an attempt to take a critical sociological look at the UK government’s flagship ‘Big Society’ policy. To do this I utilize thepolitical sociology of Émile Durkheim, specifically what I call his ‘socialist theory’. This overlooked aspect of Durkheim’s sociology contains a strong normative critique and alternative project concerning the role of the State, private property, economic regulation and inequality. By applying this to the Big Society it is argued that the latter will result in: increased moral fragmentation, the furthering of economic inequality and the development of a ‘postcode lottery’. Instead, Durkheim’s advocacy of functional representation in the form of the ‘corporations’ seems to hold some contemporary relevance.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Online First Article
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Sociology
Depositing User: Matt Dawson
Date Deposited: 23 Jul 2012 12:55
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2012 12:55
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/37216
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