Social Question

Bellatrix's avatar

To what extent do you think a loss of connection to community is responsible for the problem in the UK at the moment?

Asked by Bellatrix (21146 points ) August 11th, 2011

I have been watching the trouble in the UK and it occurred to me that part of the problem relates to our individual disconnectedness from our local communities.

When I was a child, neighbourhood women looked after me when my mother couldn’t. People knew each other, stopped to have a cup of tea with each other or dropped in to say hello. Now, I don’t know my neighbours.

Do you think this is at least in part responsible for the way these people are behaving?

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30 Answers

Cruiser's avatar

In part….yes. Hoolums who just let loose on the very towns and cities that raised them shows a serious disconnect and lack of respect for the very reason(s) they are there. Who is to blame?? Where do you start? They at least get points for letting the higher ups know they have essentially abandoned them and left them to fend for themselves the best way they know how.

Porifera's avatar

No. I think it has to do with the lack of understanding of the value of property, life, relationships, respect, s. It’s basically the lack of basic values and taking everything for granted.

CaptainHarley's avatar

Quit giving them excuses. That’s probably one reason they want everything handed to them on a silver platter… their parents and the schools gave in to them on everything.

Bellatrix's avatar

I don’t think I gave them any excuses @CaptainHarley. I asked a question. Perhaps you think our communities are healthy? I don’t and I wonder whether the lack of connection we have to other people in our communities is contributing to the prevalence of this sort of behaviour. I grew up in a poorer area of my city but I knew and cared about my neighbours. I don’t see how you could do the sorts of things that are being done to people you know and care about. No excuses being made. Just an attempt to discuss.

downtide's avatar

I think a lot of it is to do with the lack of discipline of kids. Pretty much anything that parents or teachers used to do, is now illegal, so kids grow up believing that they can do whatever they want and they won’t get punished.

Bellatrix's avatar

I think that is a large part of it too @downtide. Are things okay where you are?

Hibernate's avatar

Yes. People focus to much on their own persons and don’t evne bother interaction with neighbours. I feel good about getting along with mine.

harple's avatar

Somebody shared this with me yesterday, I think you might like it…

__If the young are not initiated into the village,__
__they will burn it down just to feel its warmth__
(African Proverb)

Bellatrix's avatar

Indeed @Harple, and I think that’s what I am getting at exactly. We have lost our connection to the village. Thank you.

augustlan's avatar

I think it could definitely play a role, but then I think of riots that happened during the civil rights movement (when people were closer to their neighbors, and destroyed their own neighborhoods anyway), and realize it doesn’t fully explain it. Sometimes, I think rage just overcomes reason… especially in a mob-type situation. Collective rage seems to feed off itself, you know?

the100thmonkey's avatar

No.

I think it’s got a lot more to do with deprivation and living in a society that tells them they are worthless, while rewarding the people who are responsible for the dire situation the country is in.

It’s amazing how simplistic the reporting on the riots has been, and how otherwise intelligent and thoughtful people have so readily bought into the “they’re scum” line.

Every attempt is being made to exclude them from their communities and the broader national community; to maintain the dehumanisation that has been a feature of broad attitudes towards the urban poor in the UK for decades.

Porifera's avatar

@downtide I agree with you. I have been a teacher for 25 yrs and the stuff students get away with now was unimaginable in earlier yrs.

@the100thmonkey …deprivation and living in a society that tells them they are worthless,... Can you provide an example of this? How are they deprived and how are they told they’re worthless? I live in a country with 70–80%poverty and I know what deprivationa an exclusion is here, but I fail to see how that is happening there.

the100thmonkey's avatar

@Porifera – I lived in London for twenty years. I’ve also lived in the North West of England – Greater Manchester. Both are areas with high levels of deprivation, often cheek by jowl with areas that are very rich. Take Islington, for example – Tony Blair and many other politicians live(d) there. In some parts of it, you can walk past a row of townhouses worth £500,000, turn a corner and be on the edge of a large council estate. The inequalities in the UK are staggering.

http://www.communities.gov.uk/publications/corporate/statistics/indices2010

Porifera's avatar

@the100thmonkey Thanks for explaining and the link. But still, inequalities happen in a lot of places and people don’t go out destroying everything on their path and taking it out on innocent citizens property and means of work.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@Porifera

Excellent answer! I’m sure there’s a disconnect between these young hooligans and their communities, just as I’m sure everyone from their parents to the police have made excuses for them and freed them from consequences for most of their lives. BUT… others have been in the same circumstances, with the same or greater disadvantages and have triumphed over those circumstances.

ucme's avatar

A teaching assistant, a young olympic contender & a millionaires daughter. An “elite” group of fine upstanding citizens invited for tea at Buckingham Palace? No! A trio of unlikely looters/destroyers of property? You bet your life! The disturbances witnessed across the country were more of a signature on how some folk, from any walk of life, buy into mob/herd mentality just for the sheer hell of it. Kind of a collective labotomy performed amongst the minority of otherwise law abiding folk. Sure some were mindless feral thugs, no good to themselves or anyone else, but the fact that others who behaved totally out of character is the most disturbing aspect to come out of this sorry business.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@ucme

People as individuals can at times be very rational. People in groups, however, are largely irrational.

ucme's avatar

@CaptainHarley You seem to be echoing my own thoughts on mob mentality there, which is nice.

RareDenver's avatar

@ucme is there an echo in here?

ucme's avatar

You’ll have to speak up, I can’t hear you..you…ou…ou!!

Porifera's avatar

Geez! Use one of these
I can’t follow you all over the place with all the gadgets that you need to get by ;)

ucme's avatar

Those are…......err, nice? I’d look like a big white mouse, but what the hell.

the100thmonkey's avatar

I see the echo chamber is in full effect.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@ucme

Nice to know that I’m not the only adult in here! [ huge grin ]

ucme's avatar

The Northern Echo is a well established newspaper, for adults. I read the Beano myself [gormless grin]

downtide's avatar

@Bellatrix everything is fine where I am. There was a bit of trouble in the city centre on Tuesday night but I was nowhere near at the time. Went into the city tonight and everything is totally back to normal.

Bellatrix's avatar

Good to hear @Downtide.

So I get that some of the people participating in these riots (and frankly I think the behaviour has gone beyond rioting) are from disadvantaged backgrounds but others as @ucme said actually come from very privileged backgrounds. I also don’t get that because you are disadvantaged and the people around the corner live in a nicer house and have been fortunate enough to have a better education that that somehow excuses burning down buildings, robbing businesses, robbing and assaulting your neighbours or people in train stations. I don’t see how one justifies the other. The thing that I am trying to understand is how society has reached the point that we care so little about those around us, that carrying out such crimes is every okay for us as individuals. That we care so little about those around us, the place we live, that we could behave in this fashion.

I think @downtide is right about the lack of discipline but I also think it is about a lack of respect for themselves and everything around them. And I again wonder if this isn’t because we are so disconnected from each other. When I was a kid and had a seat on a bus, if there was an older person standing, I was expected to get up and let them sit. My parents expected me to be considerate of the old lady next door and to treat her with respect. My neighbours also took part in this too though. When I messed up, the fact that my dad didn’t see didn’t matter because Mrs Thomas across the road did and she would pull me up just as quickly as my parents would. I still care about that women and her family. When my mother died, I had a whole street of mothers and fathers who rallied around my family to help. I don’t feel confident that would happen now and I wonder if that is part of the problem? We have lost our sense of connectedness to our community. And if you aren’t connected, if you don’t care, it won’t matter to you that you are hurting the people who live around you. You don’t care about them. We are seeing the effects of becoming a “me” society, rather than a “we” society.

These are just my thoughts but I think saying they are disadvantaged is yes true but not sufficient reason for this behaviour. There are many poor and disadvantaged people on this planet, but they don’t all behave this way. How did we get here?

CaptainHarley's avatar

Two ways:

1. We encouraged single parent families.
2. We discouraged parental discipline.

the100thmonkey's avatar

@Bellatrix – if you already know your answer, why did you ask a question?

Bellatrix's avatar

I am entitled to my view too @the100thmonkey and I can see merit in your point, but I don’t think it is the whole answer. Hence, I asked for debate about the topic. Just because you put forward an opinion, does not mean because I asked the question I have to accept it as being the correct or total answer.

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