Monday 17th October - 06:00 PM BST
Silver Spoons & Socials Status
"They f*** you up your mum and dad" said Larkin. However, following the baby boomer generation, if you're one of a lucky few, they might also leave you a house. From the privilege of the Royal Family to the destitution of the underclass, our fortune depends greatly on the accident of birth. Few would claim this fair or just. We accept it as the norm, but might it be that the family's central role in determining social status is a mistake?
Is something like family structure along with the hierarchies it embeds inescapable, or should we seek to limit family privilege? Curtailing inheritance and ending private education or more radically by raising children communally? Or is family the glue that holds society together, providing its core values and motiving action?
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Ashley Frawley is a sociologist and author of Semiotics of Happiness: rhetorical beginnings of a public problem (2015) and Significant Emotions: Rhetoric and Social Problems in a Vulnerable Age (2023). She is also commissioning editor at Sublation Press, editor-at-large at Sublation Magazine and contributing editor at Compact Magazine.
Sophie Lewis is a writer whose feminist criticism appears in the New York Times, The London Review of Books and Harper's. She is the author of ‘Abolish the Family: A Manifesto for Care and Liberation.’
A Conservative MP since 1983 and Cabinet Minister in the Thatcher and Major governments. A long-time proponent of cannabis legalisation and outspoken climate change sceptic.
Consultant psychiatrist specialising in risk, untowardness and media portrayals of mental distress
Mark Salter is a consultant psychiatrist based in London’s East End, specialising in risk, untowardness and media portrayals of mental distress.
Journalist, author, and Guardian columnist.
First place in Editorial Intelligence’s 2008 list of ‘opinion makers’ and ‘the queen of leftist journalists’ (The Independent), Polly Toynbee writes for the Guardian and was formerly Editor of Social Affairs at the BBC.