13 March – Social cohesion agenda: a critique; Prof Mary Hickman

  • Wed 13th March (1-2.30 pm) Committee Room 2, Town Hall Building

In 1990s Britain a constrained form of multiculturalism became an acceptable discourse for discussing alterity. By the turn of the 21st century however multiculturalism had become identified as part of a problem of social cohesion, and post 11th September 2001 this was reinforced. Multicultural societies can only function now, it was argued, on the basis of some minimal convictions shared by all its members. In Britain this led to a renewed emphasis on the role of Britishness in achieving a workably diverse society. In the nationalist rhetoric and practices that characterized this agenda the complexity of social cohesion is rendered redundant and it is conflated and equated with ‘community cohesion’. The taken-for-granted relationship between migration, cohesion and society that shapes most of these political and policy debates largely stems from Durkheimian notions of solidarity. In contra-distinction to this we propose a definition of social cohesion that conceptualizes it as an individual and social ability to navigate or negotiate inequality and difference.

If you plan to attend and for further information please contact Dr Elena Vacchelli.
Phone: 020 8411 4103

We look forward to seeing you there!