Which underlying problems pose the greatest threat to British society in the 21st century? A hundred years after its philanthropist founder identified poverty, alcohol, drugs and gambling among the social evils of his time, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation initiated a major consultation among leading thinkers, activists and commentators, as well as the wider public. The findings have now been brought together in this fascinating book.
Individual contributors range across the political spectrum but the book also reports the results from a web survey and consultation with groups whose voices are less often heard. The results suggest that while some evils - like poverty - endure as undisputed causes of social harm, more recent sources of social misery, such as an alleged rise in selfish consumerism and a perceived decline in personal responsibility and family commitment, attract controversy.
The Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) funds a large, UK-wide research and development programme. It seeks to understand the root causes of social problems, identify ways of overcoming them and show how social needs can be met in practice. The JRF has started a UK-wide debate to find out what are the social evils of the 21st century.
Contents: Introduction ~ Julia Unwin; Socio-historical chapter setting the scene ~ Josie Harris; The process ~ Charlie Lloyd; Part one: Public voices: The public debate ~ Author tbc; The unheard voices ~ Chris Creegan/NatCen; What ordinary people think are 'solutions' ~ Chris Creegan/ NatCen: Part two: Viewpoints: Introduction ~ David Utting; A decline of values ~ Anthony Browne, Anthony Grayling and Julia Neuberger; Distrust ~ Shaun Bailey and Anna Minton; The absence of society ~ Zygmunt Bauman; Individualism ~ Neal Lawson and Stephen Thake; Inequality ~ Chris Creegan, Ferdinand Mount and Jeremy Seabrook; Part three: Looking forward: A personal vision ~ Matthew Taylor; Conclusion: David Utting.