Graduate Citizens? Issues of Citizenship and Higher Education

By John Ahier; John Beck et al. | Go to book overview

Chapter 5

Citizenship, mutuality and civil society

5.1

Introduction

In the previous chapters we examined and contrasted various models of citizenship and ways in which citizenship is seen as problematic in British society. We also indicated certain issues involved when treating citizenship as a 'problem'. We noted, for instance, that despite the apparent absence of a widely used language of citizenship, Britain in the period after the Second World War nevertheless developed an extensive welfare state that could be seen as embodying and operationalising a strong model of social citizenship. It can also be observed that certain social consequences that could be expected as resulting from a weak sense of citizenship are not apparent. In particular, the conduct of everyday life in British society continues, in comparative terms, in a relatively well-ordered and civil way. Admittedly there are periodic outbreaks of soccer hooliganism and rioting and moral panics about muggings and concerns about crime, but as historians have pointed out, such things are themselves part of a long English tradition. However, in terms of indicators such as crime statistics or in the simple experiences of walking the streets, travelling on buses, shopping in high streets, drinking in pubs, life in the public sphere is generally conducted in a safe, courteous and convivial manner for most people in most places most of the time. In these respects, Britain displays what might be termed a high level of civility in many aspects of its everyday life.

Given this wider context, it is worth noticing that many of the contemporary worries about citizenship tend to focus upon the relationship between citizens and what one of our interviewees called 'official politics': the instruments and institutions of

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Graduate Citizens? Issues of Citizenship and Higher Education
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgements vii
  • List of Abbreviations viii
  • Introduction 1
  • Chapter 1 - Citizenship in Britain 7
  • Chapter 2 - Prospects for Social National Citizenship in the United Kingdom 35
  • Chapter 3 - Citizenship and the Restructuring of Higher Education 62
  • Chapter 4 - Citizenship Themes in Students' Lives 99
  • Chapter 5 - Citizenship, Mutuality and Civil Society 132
  • Chapter 6 - Conclusion 157
  • Appendix 172
  • Notes 181
  • Bibliography 186
  • Index 197
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