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Friday, 8th February 2013

Future Identities - Changing identities in the UK: the next 10 years

Source: Government Office for Science (UK)

Executive Summary:

Identity in the UK is changing. Over the next 10 years, people’s identities are likely to be significantly affected by several important drivers of change, in particular the rapid pace of developments in technology. The emergence of hyper-connectivity (where people can now be constantly connected online), the spread of social media, and the increase in online personal information, are key factors which will interact to influence identities. These developments need to be set within a wider context of demographic change: the shift of the large post-war generation into retirement, and the coming into adulthood of young people who have been immersed since birth in a digital environment. The increasing diversity of the UK’s population means that dual ethnic and national identities will continue to become more common, while the gradual trend towards a more secular society appears likely to continue over the next decade. A key message for policy makers is that identities can be a positive resource for social change, building social capital, and promoting wellbeing, but they can also have a role in social unrest and antisocial behaviour.

This Report was commissioned to provide policy makers with a better understanding of identities in the UK. It considers the most recent evidence on how identities in the UK might change over the next 10 years. It identifies key challenges for effective policy making and implementation in a rapidly changing, globalised, technology-rich, and densely networked UK. Specifically, the Report focuses on implications for: crime prevention and criminal justice; health, the environment and wellbeing; skills, employment and education; preventing radicalisation and extremism; social mobility; and social integration. The findings link into the Government’s wider interests in openness and transparency in policy making.

+ Direct link to Report (PDF; 1.3 MB)


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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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