Against the Big Society: a Durkheimian socialist critique

Dawson, M. (2013) Against the Big Society: a Durkheimian socialist critique. Critical Social Policy, 33(1), pp. 78-96. (doi:10.1177/0261018312439364)

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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 utilise the political sociology of Emile 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:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Dawson, Dr Matt
Authors: Dawson, M.
Subjects:H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HX Socialism. Communism. Anarchism
J Political Science > JC Political theory
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN101 Great Britain
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Sociology Anthropology and Applied Social Sciences
Journal Name:Critical Social Policy
Publisher:SAGE Publications
ISSN:0261-0183
ISSN (Online):1461-703X
Published Online:15 March 2012

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