Life-styles, life-chances and radical politics: Giddens on the 'new egalitarianism'

Armstrong, Chris (2007) Life-styles, life-chances and radical politics: Giddens on the 'new egalitarianism'. Imprints: Egalitarian Theory and Practice, 9, (3), 191-210.


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The focus of this article is Anthony Giddens's work on equality as a key value of a renewed social democracy. The first section gives a brief account of the key normative arguments of Giddens's egalitarian vision. The second then introduces Giddens's distinction between 'emancipatory politics' and 'life politics', and shows how a concern to accord a proper place to the latter influences the description of equality in terms of self-realization and the acquisition of capacities. The third raises some critical questions about the practical implications of this focus on the acquisition of capacities. The fourth addresses some further political implications of Giddens's account, focusing on what he considers to be one of the most promising strategies open to those interested in securing egalitarian change: the phenomenon of 'life-style bargaining.' Finally, the Conclusion attempts a critical overview, and offers a judgement on quite what is 'new' about Giddens's egalitarian vision.

Item Type: Article
ISSNs: 1363-5964 (print)
Related URLs:
Keywords: giddens, equality, egalitarianism, social democracy, socialism
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HX Socialism. Communism. Anarchism
J Political Science > JC Political theory
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Social Sciences > Politics and International Relations
ePrint ID: 51813
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2008
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 12:30

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