• Frank Furedi
  • Frank Furedi
  • Sociologist, commentator and author
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Populism and the European Culture Wars
 

Populism and the European Culture Wars

Concern and hostility towards populism has become a distinctive feature of contemporary political culture. In Europe such concerns are frequently directed at Eurosceptics, whose opposition to the European Union is often portrayed as a cultural crime. Ancient anti-democratic claims about the gullibility, ignorance and irrationality of the masses are frequently recycled through the anti-populist condemnation of people who vote the wrong way.

This book argues that the current outburst of anti-populist anxiety is symptomatic of a loss of faith in democracy and in the ability of the demos to assume the role of responsible citizens. Distrust of the people and of parliamentary sovereignty is reinforced by the concern that, on its own, liberal democracy lacks the normative foundation to inspire the loyalty and affection of ordinary citizens. Through focusing on the conflict between the European Union’s Commission and the Government of Hungary, this book explores contrasting attitudes towards national sovereignty, popular sovereignty and the question of tradition and the past as the main drivers of the culture war in Europe.

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Moral Crusades in an Age of Mistrust: The Jimmy Savile Scandal

Moral Crusades in an Age of Mistrust: The Jimmy Savile Scandal

Moral Crusades in an Age of Mistrust examines the sociological meaning of the sudden transformation of Jimmy Savile, the cultural icon, into the personification of evil. The epidemic of scandals unleashed by the Savile Scandal highlights the precarious status of relations of trust. The rapid escalation of this crisis offers insights into the relationship between anxieties about childhood and the wider moral order. This exploration of the emergence of a moral crusade explains why western society has become so uncomfortable with the exercise of authority.

This is a work of public sociology that seeks to explore the social dimensions of a cultural drama as it unfolds. Through situating this scandal in a wider historical perspective this study outlines the distinctive features of a twenty-first-century moral crusade.

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On Tolerance: In Defence of Moral Independence

On Tolerance: In Defence of Moral Independence

Outwardly, we live in an era that appears more open-minded, non-judgemental and tolerant than in any time in human history. The very term intolerant invokes moral condemnation. We are constantly reminded to understand the importance of respecting different cultures and diversities. In this pugnacious new book, Frank Furedi argues that despite the democratisation of public life and the expansion of freedom, society is dominated by a culture that not only tolerates but often encourages intolerance. Often the intolerance is directed at people who refuse to accept the conventional wisdom and who are stigmatised as ‘deniers’. Frequently intolerance comes into its own in clashes over cultural values and lifestyles. People are condemned for the food they eat, how they parent and for wearing religious symbols in public. This book challenges the ‘quiet mood of tolerance’ towards morally stigmatised forms of behaviors. The author examines recent forms of ‘unacceptable behaviour’. It will tease out the real motives and drivers of intolerance.

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Wasted: Why Education Isn’t Educating

Wasted: Why Education Isn't Educating

The valuation of education as something that is important in its own right is the precondition for it to flourish. One of the principal characteristics of education is its lack of interest in an ulterior purpose. That does not mean that it is uninterested in developments affecting children and society: it means that it regards the transmission of cultural and intellectual achievements of humanity to children as its defining mission. Once society is able to affirm an education system that values itself and the acquisition of knowledge, policymakers and the public can begin to envisage the practical steps required to go forward.

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Licensed to Hug

Licensed to Hug

This book argues that the dramatic escalation of child protection measures has succeeded in poisoning the relationship between the generations, creating an atmosphere of suspicion that actually increases the risks to children.

Children need to have contact with a range of adult members of the community for their education and socialisation, but as Frank Furedi and Jennie Bristow argue, ‘this form of collaboration, which has traditionally underpinned intergenerational relationships, is now threatened by a regime that insists that adult/child encounters must be mediated through a security check’.

In the UK, the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 requires that, from October 2009, 11.3million people - over one quarter of the adult population of England - must have their criminal records checked in order to work, even as a volunteer.

Instead of creating an atmosphere of fear and suspicion, Licensed to Hug suggests that we need to ‘halt the juggernaut of regulation’ and, instead, behave as if the majority of adults have no predatory attitudes towards children but, on the contrary, can be relied on to help them.

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Paranoid Parenting (second edition)

Paranoid Parenting (second edition)

Ever since Frank Furedi has drawn attention to the issue of ‘paranoid parenting’ this problem has gained widespread recognition from mothers and fathers and policy makers. This new edition argues that if anything – in recent years parenting has become more paranoid.

Paranoid Parenting is an important book that shows how parental fears have been stoked and families harmed. It ought to be read by every sensible individual interested in regaining a sane viewpoint that advances children’s well being. If you want to understand why adults act like children and children act like adults, in short if you want to understand why raising children today is harder than ever before, read this book.

Every day there is a warning about your children. Everything is dangerous; cot, babysitters, school, supermarket and park. We are told that children’s health safety and welfare and constantly at risk. Based on sociological research as well as dozens of interviews, this book will bolster your confidence in your own judgments and enable you to bring up self-assured, imaginative, capable children.

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