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By Charlie Cooper

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Extra resources for Community, Conflict and the State: Rethinking Notions of ‘Safety’, ‘Cohesion’ and ‘Wellbeing’

Sample text

Progressive politics is impossible without a vision of what could be. We need to create a society based on the freedom of everyone to flourish. This requires that we all have the resources, time and political recognition to live our lives to the full. We want a culture that understands that humans are interdependent, social and emotional beings, fundamentally oriented towards, and dependent upon, other people. Such a society must have at its core social justice, environmental sustainability and quality of life.

In the aftermath the government repatriated hundreds of black people (600 by mid-September). (The National Archives 2007: 1) In 1920, the government passed the Aliens Order allowing immigration officers to refuse entry to an ‘alien’ considered unable to provide for their own support. The Home Secretary also gained powers to deport an ‘alien’ ‘whose presence was not considered to be “conducive to the public good” ’ (Solomos 2003: 43). Lastly, ‘aliens’ wishing to work in Britain were required to have a work permit from the Ministry of Labour.

However, ‘gender’ holds social and cultural meanings, and ‘appropriate’ definitions of ‘male’/‘female’, ‘masculinity’/ ‘femininity’ are social constructs which vary from society to society, within societies over time and within different social categories (Robb 2007). There are in essence different types of ‘masculinity’/ ‘femininity’, linked to ‘race’, class, sexuality, age and ability, and we therefore need to talk of ‘masculinities’ and ‘femininities’. At the same time, nevertheless, at any one period there will be dominant definitions of ‘gender’ (culturally preferred versions) held up as ideal models against which we will all be measured in that particular society (the hegemonic definition).

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