Poverty, Community and Health: Co-operation and the Good by V. Cattell

By V. Cattell

If we're turning into more and more disconnected from our neighborhood groups, are there implications for health and wellbeing, health and happiness, fairly for individuals on low earning? This publication seems on the interaction among negative humans, bad groups and bad well-being, with a selected specialize in social networks as key linkages.

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Abrams’ ‘Neighbours’ (Bulmer, 1986) provided a bridge between traditional community studies and contemporary approaches which have local involvement and volunteering at their centre. Today advocates of progressive politics in the main wish to see an expanded role for civil society, largely in the form of increased civic engagement. Approaches to the ‘good society’ or to the ‘big society’ for example are variant, but share a common language of empowerment (White, 2009). Community participation A recognition that the most vulnerable may have little influence in the political process is illustrative of one aspect of long term unease concerning the efficacy of systems of representative democracy.

There have been many constraints on the growth of universalistic values and commitment to others in recent decades, the dominance of free market neo-liberalism and the decline of countervailing forces in the form of Trade Union membership, for example, not least amongst them. But governments from Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s onwards have been especially adroit at creating perceptions of division and thus hindering the development of perceptions of interdependence. The ideological creation of a feckless ‘underclass’ for example has been a key weapon of cleavage.

Poverty, community and health’ suggests a pivotal role for social networks as key mediators and moderators between structural constraints and opportunities and individual’s health and well-being. By addressing these interconnecting issues the book makes a timely contribution to the present political and economic context. Rising unemployment, cuts to housing benefit and to local authorities’ budgets, changes in childcare credit, unemployment benefit and VAT, along with curtailment of initiatives like Sure Start, Educational Maintenance Allowance, and the Job Fund mean that life for vulnerable individuals and communities is becoming increasingly harsher.

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