Silvio Scanagatta
Barbara Segatto

Executive Committee
Ursula Apitzsch, Jean-Louis Derouet, Luisa Ribolzi, Alison Taysum, Carlos Alberto Torres, Catherine Yan Wang

International Scientific Board

Management Staff
Managing editor
Anna Dal Ben


For Italian Law
Iscrizione n.2165 - 13.02.2009 - Registro Stampa Tribunale di Padova

Direttore Responsabile: Giulia Golo

Conceptualising tolerance: paradoxes of tolerance and intolerance in contemporary Britain

TitleConceptualising tolerance: paradoxes of tolerance and intolerance in contemporary Britain
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsKearns A, Bannister J
Secondary TitleItalian Journal of Sociology of Education
Date PublishedJune 2009
PublisherPadova University Press
Place PublishedPadova, IT
ISSN Number2035-4983
Keywordsethnic minorities, public policy, tolerance, young people

 This article uses the examples of young people and ethnic minorities to show how the political rhetoric of British tolerance sits alongside a growing public discourse of intolerance and calls for greater conformity. A conceptual model of tolerance is set out, elucidating how tolerance can have different types of objects, assessments and responses, the latter ranging from static disapproval to dynamic cognitive adjustment. We argue that public policy should consider these foundations of tolerance and appreciate the context-dependent nature of tolerance rather than setting out to tightly define the boundaries of intolerance; the latter strategy runs the risk of stimulating a downward spiral whereby people’s thresholds of tolerance are continually lowered.