Are low aspirations to blame for a decline in social mobility? According to Hazel Blears, a culture of worklessness and low expectations is holding some of the poorest communities back. Young people, she says, need to be taken out of the narrow confines of such localities and inspired to better themselves. Will inspiring young people revitalise poorer neighbourhoods, or does this approach with its behavioural focus risk pathologising communities that otherwise retain strong ties? Why do inner-city communities (of mixed ethnicity) appear to be more aspirational than the people of (predominantly white) traditional working class towns? Will the ‘Inspiring Communities’ initiative create a generation of young community leaders, or create introduce more bureaucracy into interpersonal relations?
Introduction by Dave Clements
Supporting Communities to Support Individuals, Department of Communities and Local Government, 13 January 2009
Aspirations and Attainment in Deprived Communities – Discussion Paper, Cabinet Office, 13 January 2009
Short summary can be read here
New Opportunities White Paper (Particularly the section ‘Supporting Communities to Support Individuals’), Cabinet Office, January 2009