Social cohesion - Coyote - Issue # 15
What is clear is that Social Cohesion is inextricably linked with Social Inclusion – you can’t have one without the other. I quite like the term: Yes it is complex and yes it might sound like a piece of policy jargon, but it has the advantage of being forward looking.
John Whitmore, in his book “Coaching for Performance”, talks about setting goals which are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timed) – that is nothing new to many of us, but he also talks about goals which are PURE (Positively stated, Understandable, Relevant and Ethical). Social Cohesion has that sense of being positively stated – it’s a fight FOR something not against it; it’s about building something valuable and worthwhile.
The political commitment to this concept is demonstrated in the Institutional Perspectives at the front of the magazine: We then have several different perspectives on the issue and the complexity of the challenge starts to emerge. Social Cohesion is not straightforward and therefore the routes towards it will never be simple. One size - certainly does not fit all as demonstrated by our two contrasting examples of good practice.
The “Wide Angle” section of the magazine also contains articles which are relevant to Social Cohesion. Des Burke gives a practical challenge to make sure that young people are safe when they engage in activities designed to encourage social cohesion and Rita Bergstein helps us to make connections between non formal learning and that essential part of the glue of social cohesion – employment.