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Friday, 21st September 2012

British Social Attitudes 29: 2012 Edition

Source: NatCen Social Research (UK)

From the Introduction:

Four years on from the banking crisis of 2008, Britain remains less wealthy than it was before the crisis began. Growth remains elusive at best. The coalition government has embarked upon a programme of cuts the size of which has not been seen since the Second World War (Chote, 2010). The result? The British public has been presented with a rude reminder of the potential fragility of its material wellbeing.
How are people reacting in this extended period of recession and austerity?...

The longevity and impartiality of British Social Attitudes puts us in a unique position to assess Britain’s reaction to austerity. The survey series was created by NatCen Social Research in 1983, shortly before Margaret Thatcher’s second election victory. Many key questions are repeated each year, and three decades of data now cover seven elections, five prime ministers and three recessions. This allows us to put current responses to austerity into a longer-term perspective. Perhaps what is happening to the public mood is little different from what has happened before – no more than a cyclical response to the ups and downs of economic activity. But if what we are seeing now differs greatly from the past then we may be uncovering evidence that the country wants to move in a different long-term direction.

We start by shedding light on how people view the role of the state, focusing on taxation and public services, the NHS, welfare and inequality. We then look at the extent to which austerity is drawing us together, or pushing us apart. Finally we look at what austerity means for families and explore the pressures that they are facing.

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Having begun his career in academic libraries, Adrian Janes has subsequently worked extensively in public libraries, chiefly in enquiry work as an Information Services librarian. In this role he has had particular responsibility for information from both the UK Government and the European Union. He wrote a detailed report on sources for the latter which was published by FreePint in 2007, and has contributed articles to FreePint and ResourceShelf. He is involved in training in information literacy and the use of online reference resources.

A Contributing Editor to DocuTicker, he also write reviews for Pennyblackmusic.

Adrian can be reached at adrian.janes@freepint.com

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