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Friday, 3 August 2018

Diversity and Solidarity: Two Controversial Articles about the "Anywhere-Somewhere" value divide in the UK

Questioning diversity. from Eurozine; David Goodhart and Christian Kjelstrup, July 2018

Too diverse? Is Britain becoming too diverse to sustain the mutual obligations behind a good society and the welfare state? David Hoodhart, Prospect Magazine, February 2004

As someone who is both "Somewhere" and "Anywhere", I question the questioning and the conclusions. Long live the small rural village and the 'Global Village'! As Christian Kjelstrup asks:

"Aren’t those notions to a certain extent blurred? For instance, Anywheres can work abroad and in general be orientated towards the world, and yet at the same time be rooted in a local community".

From David Goodhart's comments:

"The fundamental diversity/solidarity divide I pointed to in that essay is also of course reflected in the Anywhere/Somewhere value divide, indeed it is the central divide in the western political soul, maybe even in the human soul itself. It is expressed in many different ways : rights versus duties, freedom versus security, globalism versus nationalism, mobility versus roots" ..."The main value divide in our society is between the 20 to 25 per cent of the population I call the Anywheres (the people who see the world from Anywhere), who are well educated and mobile and tend to favour openness, autonomy, fluidity – and a larger group of people (about 50 per cent of the population) I call the Somewheres (the people who see the world from Somewhere), who are less well educated, more rooted and value security/familiarity, and place a much greater emphasis on group attachments (local, ethnic, national) than the Anywheres.

Anywheres are generally comfortable with social change because they have so-called ‘achieved identities’ a sense of yourself derived from your educational and career achievements which allows you to fit in pretty much anywhere. Whereas Somewheres have ’ascribed identities’ based more on place or group which means that your identity can be more easily discomforted by rapid social change" - David Goodhart.

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