University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Department of Sociology Seminar Series > Can Tocqueville Karaoke or Sing Rule Britannia?

Can Tocqueville Karaoke or Sing Rule Britannia?

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A revolution is under way, yet it’s not just about class. Social scientists have barely considered these changes since our past conceptual tools overlook them. What is to be done? Quick examples are changes in British society and politics like the huge recent rise in non-voting by young persons, weakened legitimacy of leadership, rise of New Labour, Greens, and other party changes, mobilization of immigrants, powerful youth cultures (rock, Goths, etc.) Let’s consider interpretations of these changes, from class politics and its decline, how and why Tocquevillian participation has shifted, emergence of the knowledge economy, global cosmopolitanism.

We compare the British versions of these changes and interpretations with those in other European countries, North America, and Asia, using surveys of citizens, leaders, group activities, and more from original research.

Broader conceptual implications include infusing concepts such as globalization, class, race, and gender with more cultural meaning, incorporating lifestyle and consumption issues. More scenes, new new social movements, more buzz, more arts mobilization. The new concepts and processes join those from the past, seldom replacing, more often strengthening and complementing. They can help build a more articulated global social science.

Key policy levers: shifts in party programs, decentralization and more  “governance” (e.g. extending the Scottish experience), (re) empowering citizens through new activities and institutions (internet, civic groups, volunteering in the UK not just the Middle East), arts and culture engagement. Much more if we look.

This talk is part of the Department of Sociology Seminar Series series.

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