Links for 2009 08 30

  • Is this the end of the age of our social cohesion? Decline of bonding social capital in Canada.
    Discrepancies in recent poll results may be a symptom of increasing fragmentation in Canadian society, rather than of any fault in the methods of data collection. It is harder to find a representative sample when people actually have less and less in common. (…) “We need a public life in common,” he writes, “some set of reference points and allegiances to give us a way to relate to the strangers among whom we live. Without this feeling of belonging, even if only imagined, we would live in fear and dread of each other. When we can call the strangers citizens, we can feel at home with them and with ourselves.” (…) "A nation is an imagined community", wrote Benedict Anderson. (…) “Society is always better when someone is trying to undermine your views. And particularly, social cohesion is better, because being challenged forces you to think through why you believe what you believe. It’s the stimulus for debate and discussion and a recognition of multiple others.”

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