Soundings

Articles from No. 38, Spring

A New Politics of Class: Jon Cruddas Talks to Jonathan Rutherford about Socialism, Class and the Labour Party
What brought you into politics? I was from a very political family, but not in terms of formal party politics. Ours were informed by Catholic social teaching and by liberation theology. We didn't have labour movement heroes as such, it was more...
Broken Connections
This collection of Ella Shohat's essays includes samples of her work on gender and cinema from the 1980s and 1990s as well as more recent essays on theology, identity and post-colonialism. All exemplify her gift for synthesis: for, as she herself says,...
Contradictions in the Contemporary Welfare State: Michael Rustin Engages with Some of the Issues Raised in Andrew Cooper's Article
Andrew Cooper is certainly right in his article in this issue of Soundings to identify major changes in the British welfare state. His characterisation of them, written from the experience of someone who has long worked in the public sector and who...
Cultures of Capitalism
As Jonathan Rutherford argues in his essay in this issue, since the 1970s we have seen big changes in the patterns of world politics, economics and culture. Manufacturing has massively shifted from the north to the south, while the workforce in rich...
England and the 'National-Popular': Andrew Pearmain Discusses the Question of Englishness
What does it mean to be English? Let's start with the fashionably confessional/genealogical. I am about the most English person I know. As far back as I can go - admittedly, like most ordinary English people, not very far - my forebears were unquestionably...
Happiness in a Society of Individuals: Zygmunt Bauman Looks at the Ways in Which Ideologies of Privatisation Shape Our Desires, and at the Reasons They Are Unlikely to Be Fulfilled
Nicolas Sarkozy, the newly elected president of France, declared in a June 2007 television interview: 'I am not a theoretician. I am not an ideologue. Oh, I am not an intellectual! I am someone concrete!' (1) What possibly could he mean by saying that?...
Inequality and Recession in the US and Britain: The 'New Economy' Model Pioneered in the USA and UK Is Leading to Global Instability, and to Increasing Levels of Inequality
There is now a voluminous literature on growing inequality, not to mention an avalanche of newspaper articles on City bonuses and fat-cat salaries. In Britain and the United States, income and asset inequality today has returned to levels last seen...
Modern Death - Who Cares? Allan Kellehear Argues That End of Life Care Is Lagging Behind Other Health Areas: The Process of Dying Is Poorly Understood and Frequently Unprovided for in the Modern Health Service
Recently Idecided to do a quick survey of my academic and civil service friends' views about the subject of death. Some thought that 'our societies' (meaning the Western affluent nations in particular) were death-denying societies. What came to mind...
Personalisation, Education and the Market: Michael Fielding Puts Forward an Argument for Person-Centred Education, Which Is a Very Different Thing from the Government's Current Personalisation Agenda
Evidence on the current state of public education in England suggests a substantial ambivalence - if not a deep unease - about some of the consequences of neo-liberal reform polices. Stories of discontent are increasingly common in the popular and...
Race in Neo-Liberal Times: George Shire Looks at the Ways in Which Processes of Racialisation Have Been Reworked in the Neoliberal Era
In this article I want to look at some of the ways in which current ideas about politics and culture - at the local, national and global levels - are intertwined with new and old forms of racialisation. My argument is that race today, while continuing...
Searching for the Left: Faced with a Labour Government Which Is Resolutely Set on Ensconcing Itself as a Centre Right Nationalist Party, It Is Time for the Left to Start Making New Connections
Compared with its counterparts in Continental Europe, the organised left in Britain has been unusually stable. Founded in the late nineteenth century, twenty or thirty years before the British Labour Party, most European socialist parties underwent...
The Culture of Capitalism: Jonathan Rutherford Looks at Contemporary Changes in the Practices and Cultures of Capitalism
We are living through an age of transition. The new co-exists with the old. We can identify political, economic and cultural elements of this change, but we do not yet have a way of describing the kind of society we are living in. The great explanatory...
Welfare: Dead, Dying or Just Transubstantiated? Andrew Cooper Argues That Welfare as We Have Previously Known It Is Being Dissolved; and Coming to Terms with the New Forms It Is Taking Requires a Serious Effort of Understanding
What has become of the welfare state in Britain? Is the post-war welfare settlement dead? Or has it metamorphosed into some new, as yet unnamed kind of phenomenon? News of the death of welfare, and of welfare states, has often been premature. But the...
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