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The Role of the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences in Forming and Informing Responses to Contemporary Social Change

Albertson, KV and Pateman, M and Albertson, KE and Barnes, A and Peplow, D (2016) The Role of the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences in Forming and Informing Responses to Contemporary Social Change. The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Civic and Political Studies, 11.

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Abstract

Modern, liberal societies face a number of overarching challenges: demographic changes, increasing inequality, unemployment and under-employment, political instability, austerity and ecological, social and economic unsustainability are challenging established paradigms of political-economy. Current political discourse emphasises market-based approaches to these stressors: we contend it is rather the disciplines of the social sciences, arts and humanities that have more to say about the resolution of these externalities. In the following we seek to broaden the discourse regarding the role of these disciplines in interpreting and beginning to address social challenges. Our consideration of human values as a complement of monetary values is illustrated practically by three indicative projects conducted by the authors. In each case, we focus on the qualitative impact of these disciplines’ approaches on the participants and their environment. We suggest these activities have transformative potential through providing a platform for reflexion, collaboration and the building of communities.

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