Cohesion as ‘common sense’: Everyday narratives of community and cohesion in New Labour’s Britain
This article engages with popular narratives of community and cohesion, explored through a series of focus groups in Bradford and Birmingham. This article argues that the participants interviewed used discourses propagated by government to make sense of these narratives in their neighbourhoods and communities. The use of these discourses constructs what Gramsci calls a ‘common sense’ position, which legitimises a specific and targeted notion of cohesion. However, participants can contaminate these discourses, which can lead to subtle changes or explicit challenges to dominant discourses on community and cohesion in the United Kingdom.