The Road to Somewhere

The Road to Somewhere

Author: David Goodhart

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9781849047999

Page: 278

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David Goodhart's compelling investigation of the new global politics reveals how the Somewhere backlash is a democratic response to the dominance of Anywhere interests, in everything from mass higher education to mass immigration.

The political era one is living through always feels messy and fragmented from the inside. But looking back from the future, the first two decades of the 21st century will come to be seen as the moment when the politics of culture and identity rose to challenge the previous politics of leftand right. David Goodhart's searing analysis considers this shift through his novel paradigm of the "nowhere" class and the "somewhere" class.Members of the "Nowhere" class dominate our culture and society. They tend to do well at school, then usually move from home to a boarding university in their late teens and on to a career in the professions that might take them to a capital city or even abroad for a year or two. Such people haveportable "achieved' identities, based on educational and career success, which makes them generally comfortable with new places and people. The"Somewhere" people are by definition more rooted and have ascribed identities based on group belonging and particular places, which is why they often find rapid change disturbing. One core group of Somewheres are often "left behind" - mainly older white working class men with little education.They have lost economically with the decline of well paid jobs for people with little education and culturally, too, with the disappearance of a distinctive working-class culture and the marginalization of their social conservatism in the public conversation. However Somewhere ambivalence aboutrecent social trends spreads far beyond this core group and is shared by many in all social classes.The broad ideology of Nowhere people can be characterized as "progressive individualism." By contrast, the Somewheres are more socially conservative by instinct. This book will contend that the Nowhere people have counted for too much in the past generation and populist parties, such as the TeaParty, have emerged in part as a democratic counter-balance to that dominance. In a democracy the Somewheres cannot, however, be ignored.



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