Developing a Programme for Community Cohesion
The recent fractures in western democracies have generally been along ethnic and faith fault lines. However, the aim of community cohesion is to tackle the ‘fear of difference’ more generally and to enable people to be more comfortable with all areas of difference, including those based on sexual orientation, disability, social class and age. The community cohesion agenda can also be applied to all types of communities whether in towns and cities, or in suburban and rural areas, where ethnic minority and faith communities are very small. Indeed, the host community in monocultural areas may be far more intimidating for minorities, who feel that they are treated with suspicion and believe that they are unwelcome and even unsafe in such areas. This can also apply to people moving to them on a temporary basis, for example, for holiday purposes, and will certainly inhibit their wider freedom to live, work or even visit, them wherever they chose.
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