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.
Conceptualising tolerance: paradoxes of tolerance and intolerance in contemporary Britain
Kearns A., Bannister J. (2009) "Conceptualising tolerance: paradoxes of tolerance and intolerance in contemporary Britain " Italian Journal of Sociology of Education, 1(2), 126-147. DOI: 10.14658/PUPJ-IJSE-2009-2-5
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Italian Journal of Sociology of Education
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