Frank Furedi

Frank Furedi
University of Kent | KENT · School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research

About

129
Publications
42,246
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2,155
Citations
Citations since 2016
30 Research Items
1112 Citations
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2016201720182019202020212022050100150
2016201720182019202020212022050100150
2016201720182019202020212022050100150

Publications

Publications (129)
Article
Full-text available
Social distance has been a topic of interest in sociology for more than a century before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Whereas in the past it referred to the distance between groups in more recent times it signifies the space between individuals. The aspiration for safe space and personal boundaries in recent years indicated that social di...
Article
A reply to reviews of Furedi’s Why Borders Matter: Why Humanity Must Relearn the Art of Drawing Boundaries by John Hall, David Bartram and Férdia Stone Davis.
Book
Concern and hostility towards populism has become a distinctive feature of contemporary political culture. In Europe such concerns are frequently directed at Eurosceptics, whose opposition to the European Union is often portrayed as a cultural crime. Ancient anti-democratic claims about the gullibility, ignorance and irrationality of the masses are...
Book
The radical transformation that universities are undergoing today is no less far-reaching than the upheavals that it experienced in the 1960s. However today, when almost 50 per cent of young people participate in higher education, what occurs in universities matters directly to the whole of society. On both sides of the Atlantic curious and disturb...
Article
From its inception the medium of writing has been a source of moral concern. The growth of the printed media reinforced these apprehensions. Fears about the media effect on the behaviour of readers became recurring phenomena – in some cases provoking reactions characterised as a moral panic. These periodic outbursts of disquiet can be best understo...
Chapter
Universities have always faced pressure to fall into line with the world-view of dominant political forces. Until the 1980s, the main victims of attacks on academic freedom were university teachers who expressed controversial views and who fell foul of influential political and economic interests. Back then, the main threat to academic freedom was...
Chapter
The focus of this chapter is the transformation of the threat of paedophilia into a permanent focus of moral outrage. It explores the moral landscape that has turned the child predator into the principal target of moral enterprise. Through a discussion of the concept of a moral crusade it evaluates the impact of society’s obsessive preoccupation wi...
Article
Full-text available
Appeals to authority have always played a key role in the construction of social problems. Authority legitimates claims, which is why claim-makers have always sought its validation. An exploration into the historical dimension of the social construction of authority provides insight into changing foundations on which claims about social problems ar...
Chapter
The contemporary world is characterized by the loss of a web of meaning through which people make sense about who they are and where they stand in relation to others. The British sociologist, Ralph Fevre (2000) characterizes the feeble sense of moral reasoning as the ‘demoralization of western culture’. Instead of a moral code that endows experienc...
Book
The epidemic of scandals unleashed by the Savile Scandal highlights the precarious status of relations of trust. The rapid escalation of this crisis offers insights into the relationship between anxieties about childhood and the wider moral order. This book explains why western society has become so uncomfortable with the exercise of authority.
Chapter
Constant anxiety about childhood is based on the perception that children are defined by their vulnerability. This sentiment is fuelled by the unique emotional investment that adults make in their offspring, and leads to the sacralisation of childhood. The sacred child has emerged as one of the main foci of moral concerns. Those who assert that the...
Chapter
Despite the scandal surrounding Jimmy Savile’s exposure as a sexual predator there is little that is truly surprising about the revelations. The unending stream of revelations reflects society’s morbid fascination with the past and its tendency to reinterpret the 1960s and 1970s in light of current values. The focus on the misdeeds of the past is u...
Chapter
It is likely that the concerns unleashed by the Jimmy Savile affair will intensify the climate of mistrust and encourage moral crusaders to expand their activities. Although the promoters of such crusades are motivated by good intentions, the effect of their activities is to disrupt intergenerational relationships. Suspicion directed towards adults...
Chapter
Jimmy Savile’s betrayal of his fans converged with the crisis of trust that prevails in society. Since the 1970s most public institutions have experienced a loss of authority. However, this loss of trust is not confined to the way that the public relates to institutions. Mistrust also pervades the relationships between people. In turn those in auth...
Chapter
Abuse is a moralised concept that represents the functional equivalent of sin. The association of abuse with victimisation emerged as an idea in the 1970s and became a defining dimension of human experience in the 1980s. Since that time abuse has become normalised to the point that it serves as the cultural exemplar of evil. The narrative of abuse...
Chapter
The sudden transformation of Savile from a saint to a malevolent beast was accompanied by an explosion of allegations and rumours about his past. An analysis of Savile’s public performance of impression management indicates that he sought to cultivate the image of a classless entertainer who served as the voice of common people. His adoption by the...
Chapter
Revelations about Jimmy Savile’s past resonate with a climate hospitable to conspiracy thinking. Conspiratorial thinking has led to the development of a secular form of demonology that resembles phenomena usually associated with a witch-hunt. Since the 1980s the disposition towards conspiratorial thought has been mobilised in crusades against paedo...
Chapter
The Savile affair detonated an explosion of scandals which affected both individuals and key public institutions. Scandals usually play an important role in clarifying the moral issues preoccupying society. However, in the absence of moral consensus scandals breed uncertainty instead of restoring moral order. This is what occurred in the wake of th...
Chapter
Schools for the Future Europe brings together a team of leading academics, policy makers and education professionals to explore the emergence, development and application of European education policy up to the 2009 Lisbon Treaty and beyond. The book charts the historical development of a Europe-wide education policy, and examines how that policy ha...
Article
Concern with authority is as old as human history itself. Eve's sin was to challenge the authority of God by disobeying his rule. Frank Furedi explores how authority was contested in ancient Greece and given a powerful meaning in Imperial Rome. Debates about religious and secular authority dominated Europe through the Middle Ages and the Reformatio...
Article
During the second half of the19th and early 20th centuries the role of public opinion became a focus of debate for political and social theorists. Although sociologists disagreed whether public opinion was a threat to order they agreed that it exercised an important influence on the working of modern authority. Yet despite his interest in the subst...
Article
Full-text available
Although the idea of a celebrity has been around for a long time, its mutation into an important cultural force is a relatively recent development. In recent decades the meaning of a celebrity has altered and is now often applied to those who are famous for being famous. The ascendancy of the celebrity has been fuelled by society’s uneasy relations...
Article
Don't Touch! The Educational Story of a Panic. By Heather Piper and Ian Stronach. Pp. 167. London and New York: Routledge. 2008. £19.88 (pbk). ISBN 978-0-415-42008-2.
Chapter
Fear is one of the dominant emotions through which we imagine disaster. It also constitutes an important dimension of contemporary social reality. Public fear and anxiety play a crucial role in deliberations surrounding the environment, health, crime, children, new technologies, and recently and quite dramatically in relation to terrorism. Governme...
Article
Full-text available
The shift from probabilistic to possibilistic risk management characterises contemporary cultural attitudes towards uncertainty. This shift in attitude is paralleled by the growing influence of the belief that future risks are not only unknown but are also unknowable. Scepticism about the capacity of knowledge to help manage risks has encouraged th...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This literature review was written to help inform the design of a new study for the Food Standards Agency with the following objectives: • To assess whether infants under 6 months are being fed follow-on formula milk and if so, the reasons why; • To assess whether the new controls upon the ways in which follow-on formula milk are presented and adve...
Article
This essay questions Callahan’s criticism of people’s aspiration to extend their life. It argues that ideas about life are subject to historical variations and the question at issue is whether society can give meaning to aging. It also questions the claim that the radical extension of human life will jeopardize the welfare of future generations. It...
Chapter
This chapter explores the nature and character of radical politics today, by drawing out one central and overriding trend: the lack of a radical humanism. In one important sense the current economic crisis is different to any other that has erupted since the beginning of capitalism. In contrast to the past there is little in the way of any fundamen...
Article
The aim of this article is to explore the rise of vulnerability-led policy-making. It attempts to engage with the apparent puzzle of why the official rhetoric of promoting resilience frequently gives way to an orientation towards an emphasis on vulnerability. It contends that the current conceptualization of resilience assumes that vulnerability is...
Article
Revised manuscript received 25 April 2007 Adverse events such as disasters are interpreted through a system of meaning provided by culture. Historically, research into society's response to disasters provides numerous examples of community resilience in face of adversity. However, since the 1980s, numerous researchers have challenged the previous o...
Article
The focus of this study is the normalization of the state of vulnerability as the default response to an emergency in rural Britain in the late 20th century. It explores the construction of the phenomenon of rural stress during the bovine spongiform encephalopathy and foot and mouth disease outbreaks. It argues that during this period the image of...
Article
Full-text available
Through comparing the cultural representations of the floods of the 1950s with those of the year 2000, this article explores the changing conceptualizations of adversity in Britain.The focus of this study is the shift from a narrative of resilience in the 1950s to a narrative of vulnerability in the early 21st century.This shift is paralleled by a...
Article
Abstract From the perspective of imperial propaganda Britain's colonial emergencies of the forties and fifties have straightforward, even self-evident explanations. In the case of Malaya the state of emergency declared in June 1948 was a response to an international communist plot designed to seize power. In Kenya, an underground conspiracy of trib...
Article
Industrialised development and the suburban megalopolis are commonly regarded as a threat to nature, contributing to the increasing frailty of the planet and its delicate ecosystems. Here, Frank Furedi, Professor of Sociology at the University of Kent, looks beyond the immediate environmental factors and assesses the root causes of our ensuing sens...
Article
Cultural and political interest in people's emotional well-being encourages the idea that education should play a prominent role in fostering students' emotional intelligence, self-esteem and self-awareness. This resonates increasingly with a broader therapeutic ethos that supporters claim promotes better personal relationships and democratic proce...
Article
Businesses claim to revere intellectual capital but treat workers like children, says the University of Kent's Frank Furedi.
Article
The troubled white consensus early warnings - presentiment of racial conflict the new racial pragmatism reversing the problem of racism crossing the boundary - the marginal man the Second World War as race war as an international issue the silent fifties - redefining the issue of racism.
Article
Introduction. 1. The Numbers Game. 2. Does Population Growth Matter?. 3. Population and North--South Relations. 4. Forging the Connection between Population and Development. 5. Development and Population Growth. 6. Influencing Fertility: Modernization without Development. 7. Targeting Women. 8. Environmentalism to the Rescue. 9. Conclusions: Popula...
Article
Full-text available
This article starts with a personal perspective written by Stephen Rowland. This is responded to in each of the four contributions which follow. In order to stimulate debate from a wide basis of experience, Catherine Byron, Frank Furedi, Nicky Padfield and Terry Smyth were invited to respond as academics from very different disciplinary backgrounds...
Article
This article focuses on a debate on victimhood in Great Britain. Recent events in Great Britain indicate that the cult of vulnerability goes beyond the terms of the existing debate. This cult has emerged as a key element in a moralizing project that touches upon every aspect of social life. The events surrounding the death of Princess Diana showed...

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