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Hidden solidarities

The death of solidarity in Britain has been greatly exaggerated. Most of us live in solid, long-standing "micro-social" communities

By Ray Pahl   September 2006

In his case for a “progressive nationalism,” David Goodhart argues that it may be “the last resting place for the communal commitments that the left holds dear.” He states, as if it were a truth universally acknowledged, that old sources of loyalty are in retreat and that the shared experience that “creates real communities” is being undermined by affluence, mobility and individualism.

It is a platitude among social anthropologists that “anthropologically speaking there is no ‘representative Britain.’ Likewise there is no necessary ‘whole’ to British life,” as Nigel Rapport remarked in his introduction to British Subjects (2002). Few would deny…

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