British society is going through a period of rapid economic, social and cultural change. There is evidence of significant and far-ranging changes for the better as old hierarchies and divisions are challenged and eroded. But major new problems also threaten. Full employment is a thing of the past. The traditional family seems to be crumbling away. We are threatened by environmental disaster within a generation. The gap between the rich and the poor is widening. In spite of recent reductions in crime, the issue of law and order is seldom out of the news or far from our minds. This book gives a sharp, critical and highly readable appraisal of these five key aspects of modern Britain - what the situation actually is (based on a wealth of valuable empirical data), how and why it has been changing, and what the government response has been. It then explores and critically reviews a rich array of conventional and more radical policy proposals for tackling the problems.
The first and last chapters provide the essential context, exploring whether and why Britain seems to have become a less stable society in the last 25 years and analysing the nature and basis of a genuinely sustainable society. The issues expertly explored in this book are of central importance to all of us. They are about the quality of life in contemporary Britain, the society we shall pass on to the next generation and the future sustainability of our society.