Informalisation: An Introduction
The concept of informalisation was developed as a more adequate rival concept to ‘permissiveness’. Whereas both in fact refer to the same social changes of the 1960s and 1970s, ‘permissiveness’ only emphasises the ‘relaxation’ in the standards of behaviour. As such, these changes were welcomed by many as an increase of ‘liberty’, while others saw them as a decline of moral standards. The concept of informalisation provides a synthesis beyond this moral opposition. It acknowledges the increase of options and varieties but does not interpret this increase as a ‘relaxation’ on the self-steering capacity of individuals. On the contrary, living up to the demands of the relaxed standards of behaviour is not easier; it is more difficult. It involves a rise of demands on self-steering capacity, not a decline.
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