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The Big Society - British Conservatism and its journey to modern, compassionate progressiveness?

Johansson, Tuva LU (2012) STVK01 20121
Department of Political Science
Abstract
This thesis is investigating the British Conservative Party’s focus on two concepts: the Big Society and the Broken Society. By using Norman Fairclough’s critical discourse analytical approach in analysing the language used in political speeches, the values and ideas constituting the Big Society was found. The Big Society is explained as a radical, yet compassionate agenda based on a redistribution of power from government to citizens. In times of economic hardship, the Big Society is argued to be the recipe for building a better Britain. The Big Society is a welfare reform agenda that is suppose to solve the Broken Society. What needs to be fixed is the growing underclass: irresponsible families that live off welfare dependency and... (More)
This thesis is investigating the British Conservative Party’s focus on two concepts: the Big Society and the Broken Society. By using Norman Fairclough’s critical discourse analytical approach in analysing the language used in political speeches, the values and ideas constituting the Big Society was found. The Big Society is explained as a radical, yet compassionate agenda based on a redistribution of power from government to citizens. In times of economic hardship, the Big Society is argued to be the recipe for building a better Britain. The Big Society is a welfare reform agenda that is suppose to solve the Broken Society. What needs to be fixed is the growing underclass: irresponsible families that live off welfare dependency and engages in a culture of poverty. The way poverty and inequality is discussed: as a symptom of cultural and behavioural problems – makes the compassionate agenda doubtful and raises the question whether it really means a better and bigger society for everyone. The results of the analysis shows that the Big Society – Broken Society narrative is nothing new and builds upon New Labour’s rhetoric which implies the domination of a discourse – where material poverty and inequality is seen as not so problematic. (Less)
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author
Johansson, Tuva LU
supervisor
organization
course
STVK01 20121
year
type
M2 - Bachelor Degree
subject
keywords
Big Society, welfare reform, underclass, critical discourse analysis, British politics
language
English
id
2543042
date added to LUP
2012-06-27 10:46:57
date last changed
2012-06-27 10:46:57
@misc{2543042,
  abstract     = {This thesis is investigating the British Conservative Party’s focus on two concepts: the Big Society and the Broken Society. By using Norman Fairclough’s critical discourse analytical approach in analysing the language used in political speeches, the values and ideas constituting the Big Society was found. The Big Society is explained as a radical, yet compassionate agenda based on a redistribution of power from government to citizens. In times of economic hardship, the Big Society is argued to be the recipe for building a better Britain. The Big Society is a welfare reform agenda that is suppose to solve the Broken Society. What needs to be fixed is the growing underclass: irresponsible families that live off welfare dependency and engages in a culture of poverty. The way poverty and inequality is discussed: as a symptom of cultural and behavioural problems – makes the compassionate agenda doubtful and raises the question whether it really means a better and bigger society for everyone. The results of the analysis shows that the Big Society – Broken Society narrative is nothing new and builds upon New Labour’s rhetoric which implies the domination of a discourse – where material poverty and inequality is seen as not so problematic.},
  author       = {Johansson, Tuva},
  keyword      = {Big Society,welfare reform,underclass,critical discourse analysis,British politics},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {The Big Society - British Conservatism and its journey to modern, compassionate progressiveness?},
  year         = {2012},
}