In this article, we seek to provide a social quality–led analysis of some of the conditions that led to the UK population’s collective decision to leave the European Union in June 2016. We draw on interview data collected between 2010 and 2012 to argue that while not predictable, the seeds of the Brexit vote are well rooted in the conditions experienced by many of the working classes in Britain’s most deprived postindustrial communities. We argue that the ongoing decline in economic security, effective enfranchisement, social inclusion, and social empowerment have all had profound consequences for working-class communities and that the outcome of the Brexit vote was rooted, at least in part, in their subjective experiences and disenchantment forged in this ongoing decline.
Ian Mahoney and Tony Kearon
Richard York, Christina Ergas, Eugene A. Rosa and Thomas Dietz
We examine trends since 1980 in material extraction in China, India, Indonesia, and Japan—which together contain over 40% of the world's population—to assess the environmental consequences of modernization. Economic and population growth has driven rapid expansion of material extraction in China, India, and Indonesia since 1980. China and India exhibit patterns consistent with the Jevons paradox, where the economic intensity of extraction (extraction/GDP) has steadily declined while total extraction grew. In Indonesia, extraction intensity grew along with total extraction. In Japan, total extraction remained roughly constant, increasing somewhat in the 1980s and then slowly declining after 1990, while extraction intensity declined throughout the entire period. These different patterns can be understood to some degree by drawing on political-economic and world-systems perspectives. Japan is an affluent, core nation that can afford to import materials from other nations, thereby avoiding escalation of material extraction within its borders. China and India are rapidly industrializing nations that, although increasingly drawing on resources from beyond their borders, still rely on their own natural resources for growth. Indonesia, an extraction economy with less global power than the other nations examined here, exports its own natural resources, often unprocessed, to spur economic growth. The trends highlighted here suggest that in order to avert environmental crisis, alternative forms of development, which do not involve traditional economic growth, may need to be adopted by nations around the world.
Two quotations, two periods of history. While the lines were written a century apart, their divergent sentiments reflect more than just the passage of time. They also show how, in the space of a century, the very concept of speed has become more complex, mainly because different kinds of speed are available thanks to new technologies in communications and mobility. The juxtaposition of these two quotations show a rupture: it seems that we are slowly shifting from a status where speed was both wish and choice to one where limited movement may be forced upon us by declining fossil fuels and growing pollution.
The death of American environmentalism has recently been proclaimed by some commentators (Schellenberger and Nordhaus 2005). Such declarations tend to be limiting because they fail to explore and evaluate the historical context of international, national, and regional social forces and social changes that shaped the American environmental movement over the past century. In this essay, I propose to explore the important question of the decline of American environmentalism within the context of a recurring theme pursued by the American movement: the protection of places wherein we dwell. David Brower has called this the practice of Conservation, Preservation, and Restoration, or CPR (Brower 1995).
Whereas environmental and social impacts of urban sprawl are widely discussed among scholars from both the natural and social sciences, the spatial consequences of urban decline are nearly neglected when discussing the impacts of land transition. Within the last decade, "shrinkage" and "perforation" have arisen as new terms to explain the land use development of urban regions faced with demographic change, particularly decreasing fertility, aging, and out-migration. Although shrinkage is far from being a "desired" scenario for urban policy makers, this paper argues that a perforation of the built-up structure in dense cities might bring up many positive implications.
The making of Roma/Gypsy migrants in post-industrial Scotland
Drawing on research among Slovak Roma labor migrants to the UK, this article examines differentiated modalities of belonging and a crystallization of the category of Roma/Gypsy in one neighborhood in a post-industrial Scottish city. This originally working-class, predominantly white area has been transformed, through several waves of migration, into a multicultural neighborhood. Established residents of the neighborhood express a sense of growing crisis and blame for local decline is frequently placed on migrants and, in particular, Gypsy migrants from Eastern Europe. The article focuses on the shifting forms of ethnocultural categorization that mark Roma difference in Glasgow.
Well-being and coping strategies of women in the aftermath of the 2010 conflict in Kyrgyzstan
After the 2010 intercommunal violence in Kyrgyzstan, women in the city of Osh were exposed to many difficulties. Conflict eroded people's contentment, and satisfactory living conditions were supplanted by increased challenges—such as deteriorating health and education systems, declining communication and economic opportunities, and the loss of property. Men's deaths during the conflict and the increased labor migration of men after the conflict also resulted in increased numbers of single mothers. This article presents trends among women, examines their coping mechanisms, and explores the well-being of single mothers by considering what makes women's lives meaningful in a postconflict situation.
In nineteenth-century Britain, pulmonary tuberculosis – known as phthisis, decline or consumption – killed more people than any other disease. Furthermore, the social and ideological impact of consumption extended far beyond mere mortality. The common belief in an identifiable, hereditary ‘consumptive type’ of person, combined with the often chronic nature of tuberculosis, caused the disease to be regarded as a permanent, identity-conferring condition. Popular belief in the hereditary ‘consumptive type’ long predated the publication of Darwin’s theories of human evolution in 1871 and survived long after 1882, when the disease was proven to be contagious rather than hereditary, indicating that consumption carried a complex cultural significance independent of its scientific status.
Behaviour of Siberian regions on the alcoholic beverages market (1999-2003)
Grigorii L. Olekh
This article considers the recent declining fortunes of the Siberian liquor producing and retail industry. Cheaper vodka 'imported' from regions outside Siberia has led to a loss of revenue from local excise duties. Some firms have gone bankrupt, and others are in serious financial difficulties as a result of unpaid debts to the Inland Revenue. There is also evidence of malpractice and corruption. There are signs, however, that the current difficulties are causing Siberian alcoholic drinks producers to join together and unite in adopting measures to combat the cheaper vodka imports.
Corporatisation of universities and restructurings of K-12 schooling in the United States occurred during a period of broad economic, social and political restructurings, which have transformed the lives of middle-class Americans. Community and individual level investments in education are frequently represented as antidotes to increased insecurities confronting these subjects. This paper draws upon my interactions within both the school system and the university in which I work to explore how such practices continue to make sense to students, parents, and policy makers despite the lack of evidence demonstrating that such strategies overcome declining economic security and to suggest possibilities for alternative practices to produce collective mobilisations against inequality.