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Family and kinship revisited

The financial squeeze on the state means that British welfare is returning to its roots in informal mutual aid. Michael Young and Gerard Lemos say that a virtue can be made of this necessity, especially in the field of social housing

By Gerard Lemos   February 1998

There is a variant of Gresham’s law in mass communication: bad news drives out good. We have been getting bad news about the state of neighbourliness and community.

In most ordinary use, the word “community” refers to place and the people who share some bonds by reason of living there. If you go to live in a new place for a short period, as a transient, you will be unusual if you develop any great attachment to the people who live there. But stay there over a number of years and you will be equally unusual if you do not…

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