This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Why Has The Concept Of The Big Society Failed To Catch The Public's Imagination?

3532 words - 15 pages

Why has the concept of the ‘Big Society’ failed to catch the public’s imagination?
The concept of the ‘Big Society’ was developed as the flagship policy of the Conservative Party as part of the 2010 election campaign, an initiative designed to transfer powers from local government to the people of the community. The Big Society encompasses everything from free schools and libraries, to supporting local sports groups and repairing vandalised or damaged public property. Despite being championed as “the most important and radical part of the coalition government’s agenda” (Bishop & Green, 2011:30), the response from the British public has been underwhelming to say the least. ...view middle of the document...


Possibly the most significant reason as to why the Big Society idea has failed to catch the public’s imagination is because of more important and pressing issues, such as the rise in energy prices, the job shortage, the price of food, etc. In May 2010, the month of the General Election, an Ipsos MORI (2010b) poll found the highest level of concern about the economy they had ever recorded, with 71% of respondents saying it was one of the most important issues facing the country, a 16% increase from the previous month. 53% believed it was the single most important issue. Less than 7% considered public services or local government to be important issues. It is arguable that in tough economic times like this, a dominant proportion of people care more about looking after themselves and their families rather than taking time off work, therefore losing money, in order to help run a library or paint a bus stop. With food and energy prices soaring, earning and saving as much money as possible is on the agenda for every family. In short, taking time off work is just not a viable option for the average Briton. As Anna Coote (2010) said in her paper, ‘Ten big questions about the Big Society and ten ways to make the best of it’:
People with low-paid jobs and big family responsibilities…tend to be poor in discretionary time as well as in money…Committing time to unpaid local activity would put [unemployed people] at risk of losing benefits… In short, long hours and low wages undermine a key premise of the ‘Big Society’, which is that social and financial gains will come from replacing paid with unpaid labour.

Possibly summarised best by one particular Ipsos MORI respondent, “[the Big Society] favours those in society who have nothing better to do with their time, i.e. the rich upper class of Berkshire.” The Big Society has failed to catch the imagination of the public owing to its impracticality for both working and unemployed people. Not only is it terribly difficult to volunteer as part of the Big Society while earning enough to survive, but the focus of the people seems to be primarily on the state of the economy; many view the Big Society as smoke and mirrors, hiding the real issues facing the country.
Another very significant reason behind why the Big Society has failed to catch the public’s imagination is due to lack of trust of the Conservative party and, by extension, politicians in general. Satisfaction with Thatcher’s government in her final months as Prime Minister plummeted as low as 16%, rising only marginally at the beginning of John Major’s leadership, before dropping to an abysmal 8% satisfaction. Trust in Cameron as Leader of the Opposition rose at the outset of the recession, but has dropped significantly since he became Prime Minister. The current government has yet to meet a 50% satisfaction rating (Ipsos MORI, 1990-2013). The recent low rating could easily be from dislike of the coalition government, or...

Other Papers Like Why Has the Concept of the Big Society Failed to Catch the Public's Imagination?

The Sociological Imagination Essay

1118 words - 5 pages ). It is this that led Mills to define the sociological imagination as being able to see the relationship between the ordinary lives of people and the wider social factors and influences that affect them. Mills accentuates the fact that an individual is unable to really understand the self and is unable to understand their place in society without first grasping the concept of the connection between biography and history. Essential to the

The Concept of Elasticity Essay

1030 words - 5 pages Write an essay in which you discuss the concept of price elasticity of demand; explain how it can be calculated; and give the meaning of the elasticity co-efficient. Give three examples of goods that are price elastic, and explain why their buyers are not responsive to changes in the price of the good. The demand curve can be used to provide information about how much quantity responds to a given change in price. Economists use a concept called

The Concept of Conflict

3735 words - 15 pages EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The conflict has always existed in the teams and organizations at workplace for a long time ago. In many circumstances, conflict encourages the development of processes but sometime it also creates the undesirable outcomes. This raises the question “what is needed to minimize the effect of conflict in working environment?”. The aim of this report is to analyze the process of conflict within the project team member through the

Concept of the Kelantanese

689 words - 3 pages Kelantanses never try to refuse any of his requests, but instead never fulfill the request. Thus, " I'll see about it " means "forget it"; "I'll do it tomorrow " translates as "not in your wildest dreams"; and "soon" equals "never".      Kelantanese culture seems to have a big impact on their time concept. Kelantanese are more sensitive, conservative, and selfish. they tend to hide their true feelings. Such as Raybeck's neighbor who gave him

The Concept of Outsiders

602 words - 3 pages “He was different and us kids don’t like anything different” Discuss this attitude in relation to your understanding of the concept of outsiders. “He was different and us kids don’t like anything different” is a view that suggests difference is unfavorable and disliked. Difference is perceived as unfavorable because it is misunderstood and kids don’t think for themselves. This attitude has implications that create insiders and outsiders

Promoting Imagination And The Desire To Care In The Classroom

1489 words - 6 pages democratic citizens; this happens by promoting imagination and the desire to care in classrooms. I believe that the aim of education is to create well-rounded citizens in a democratic society. This means that students are not only being taught just the academic standards by also being taught social skills. The students will be able to be a citizen that will improve their society and be a person who is diverse and who is open to the differences in

The Concept of 'the Other'

1173 words - 5 pages , and along with that her ability to belong. Likewise in TOM, women’s ability to speak is limited- but not for physical reasons. During this period of time women are subjugates to their husband and can be silenced, if needs be. Herod is confused as to why his wife has not been physically reprimanded from speech when she has displeased him. “Why stopp’d you not her mouth?” (5:1:37).[1] It is clear that, despite the fact that Mariam is royalty, she

Childcare and the Sociological Imagination

890 words - 4 pages Childcare and the Sociological Imagination In the past, working mothers were basically unheard of. The patriarchal nuclear family was what was viewed on television in shows such as Leave it to Beaver, Mary Tyler Moore, and My Three Sons. A mother’s role was to stay at home with the children, while the father went to work. In today’s society, things have changed very much. It is not unheard of for a mother to stay at home with the

The Concept of Ethical Obligation

1799 words - 8 pages The Concept of Ethical Obligations Strayer University PAD 500 Modern Public Administration Dr. Leah Raby 11.25.13 George Tenet served as the Director if the Central Intelligence Agency from 1997 to 2004 under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. His CIA tenure coincided with the 9/11 terrorists attacks the New York City

The Concept of Ethical Obligation

1343 words - 6 pages The concept of ethical obligation GEORGE Tenet and the Last Great Days of the CIA PADM 500: Modern Public Administration August 2, 2013 Identify four (4) cross-coded ethical dilemmas facing former CIA Director George Tenet and assess their impact on his leadership abilities. During George Tenet tenure as director of the Central Intelligence Agency, there were several ethical dilemmas he faced, among which most

Analysis Of The Sociological Imagination And Its Use In Sociology

1583 words - 7 pages Sociological ImagnationThe sociological imagination is the ability to look at the everyday world and understand how it operates in order to make sense of their lives. It is a state of mind, which enables us to think critically about and understand the society in which we live, and our place in that world as individuals and as a whole. C. Wright Mills, first wrote of the concept in 1959. His understanding of it being that it was "a quest for

Related Essays

Why Social Media Has A Negative Impact On Our Society

1030 words - 5 pages , Social media poses many threats in today’s society. It is accessible from any Computer, Phone, Tablet or IPod with an internet connection. This means that it is easier for children as young as 8 or 9 to connect to a social media site. This in turn exposes them to nudity, swearing and the worst of all; pedophiles and rapists. Rheana Murray of New York Daily News stated that a whopping one in ten profiles online are fake (May 2013). This means

To The Big Screen Essay

1592 words - 7 pages To the Big Screen Introduction I Who doesn’t like sitting in a big cool movie theater watching the newest action movie or the latest suspense thriller? It’s hard to believe though that the two hours you watch on the big screen took months if not years of hard work and preparation to make. II Movies aren’t just made out of thin air ready to be enjoyed. There is a process that every movie goes through in seeing that it gets made

Catch The Buzz Essay

727 words - 3 pages Talk to Your Customers! §Promotion: The coordination of marketing communication efforts to influence attitudes or behavior §Marketing communications purpose: –Inform –Remind –Persuade –Build relationships §Integrated marketing communication (IMC): Process that marketers use to plan, develop, execute, and evaluate coordinated, measurable, persuasive brand communication programs over time to targeted audiences –Consumers see the variety

Multidimensional Sexual Self Concept Of Graduating Students Of The Big Four Philippine Universities

2896 words - 12 pages life by having a positive attitude in regard to their future and accepting problems by adapting in various ways, such as active positive problem solving, redefining the situation in a positive manner, and using constructive emotional strategies like the use of humor.” (Puskar et al., 2010, p.191) Happiness has three aspects in which it can be defined in modern psychology. The first one is hedonic or pleasure. The second one is eudemonic or life