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The Rise and Fall of Social Cohesion
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The Rise and Fall of Social Cohesion: The Construction and De-construction of Social Trust in the US, UK, Sweden and Denmark

Christian Albrekt Larsen


The book explores how social cohesion can be established and demolished. Examples given are the US and UK, where social cohesion (measured as trust in unknown fellow citizens) declined in the latter part of the 20th century, and Sweden and Denmark, where social cohesion increased. The book provides a social constructivist explanation. It demonstrates the importance of public perceptions about living in a meritocratic middle class society. The decline in trust is explained by Americans and British developing the perception that most other citizens belong to an untrustworthy, undeserving and dan ... More

Keywords: social cohesion, social constructivism, United Kingdom, United States, Sweden, Denmark, meritocracy, middle class, moral norms, civil society

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2013 Print ISBN-13: 9780199681846
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199681846.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Christian Albrekt Larsen, author
Centre for Comparative Welfare Studies, Aalborg University, Denmark