Analysis of statistical data
The research that has been carried out is aimed at determining the causes of social trust. There are three dependent variables in this study: 1) social capital or participation in social networks; 2) ethnic diversity; and 3) social deprivation. In each of these cases, one can reject the null hypothesis because P-value does not exceed 0, 01, and this fact suggests there is a statistically significant relationship between the variables. Overall, these findings indicate that people participating in social networks, especially volunteers have the highest level of trust toward others because this group has the highest value of t, 143.948; they are followed by people, who live in well-to-do areas (T=60.175). Finally, we need to speak those individuals, living in ethnically homogeneous communities; in other words, they are surrounded by people of the same ethnic or racial origin (T=14.306). These groups of respondents tend to put much trust in other people, at least according to the results of this empirical research.
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Judging from this, one can argue that people living in ethnically diverse communities have the lowest level of social trust. Additionally, we need to speak about people who live in low-income areas and those who do not participate in civic life. We should also note that in the first three tables standardized beta and t-value do not contradict one another and there is no discrepancy within the data presented in this study. Nevertheless, one should take into consideration the second hypothesis proposes a very loose interpretation of such concepts as ethnicity and race which are not synonymous. The researchers look at the density of the “white population” in the area, but this variable is in no way related to ethnicity. This confusion in the interpretation can be viewed as the limitation of the research.
Not all of this hypothesis stand up when we control social background factors, For instance, the assumption according to which, people living in ethnically diverse environments tend to trust each other less, becomes less valid. First of all, its p-value rises to 0.225, while the t-value diminished to 1.140. This data indicates that ethnic or racial diversity producers a smaller effect upon the level of trust. This argument is particularly when we are speaking about such social factors as education. The strongest support receives the hypothesis about the relationships of social capital and trust (t =9.603), the hypothesis about social deprivation and trust draws the second strongest support. Finally, the assumption about ethnic diversity and trust becomes less convincing. In part, this phenomenon can be explained by the fact that the authors have confused the notions of race and ethnicity. They mostly focused on the percentage of the white population in the area, yet whiteness refers to race rather than ethnic origin.
Thus, we have demonstrated that the pattern changes when control variables are added. The most significant variable is the age of respondents since it has the highest t (9,673,) and zero p-values. Then we need to speak about the level of education (t = 7,483). It is worth mentioning that the sex of the respondents does not significantly affect the level of their social trust. In this case, the p-value equals 0.961 and one can accept the null hypothesis, which means that there is little or no connection between sex and social trust. These are the key findings, we can derive from this data. We can also say that this study focuses only on three factors influencing social trust, while some other forces should not be disregarded, and it can be further extended.
Construction of a hypothesis
It is quite probable that some other factors are affecting the level of social trust. For example, it might be necessary to examine the relationship between the density of the population within a certain community (independent variable) and social trust (dependent one). The key hypothesis that we need to test is that people living in low-density communities (mostly rural and suburban areas) tend to trust each other more than the inhabitants of urban communities. Furthermore, we can argue that the increase in population density normally diminishes the level of trust. Certainly, population density is not the only factor affecting the level of social trust. One should not disregard such variables as income level, ethnic origin, or social capital but it is quite probable that they are not the most crucial ones. The study that has been discussed in the previous section of the paper refers to such a notion as social capital, or the connections existing between different social networks and its argument. The hypothesis which we have advanced implies that these connections are much stronger in low-density areas rather than in urban ones.
One can provide some speculative evidence supporting this assumption. First of all, people living in these areas, tend to have more contact with one another, because they may have similar employment opportunities and similar educational backgrounds, especially we need to speak about school education. Moreover, one should remember that the church plays a very important role in the life of rural dwellers and it helps to strengthen ties between community members.
In sharp contrast, people living in cities, usually different educational backgrounds, different jobs, different lifestyles, interests, and so forth. They are not always able to speak the same language. As a result, they know each other less well. When we are speaking about cities, we can recall a situation when people living in the same apartment block, hardly know each other’s names, while such anonymity is less typical of rural areas. This is of those cases, which confirms the hypothesis that we have suggested. Additionally, we need to point out that people living in rural areas for a much longer time, while in cities the level of mobility is much higher. It seems each of these circumstances can contribute to a higher level of trust among members of the community.
The key issue is that there are fewer bonds among urban dwellers. As a result, people may be less willing to know each other better. To some extent, these examples indicate that such a factor as the density of the population can influence a person’s level of trust. Yet, at this point, we have little verifiable evidence that can prove this conjecture. Ideally, this empirical research can increase our understanding of trust in different communities. Moreover, we will be able to better identify the factors which enhance or weaken social cohesion in a certain area. These results can better explain the origins of social problems faced by urban and rural populations.
The evaluation of the argument
One can single out several details of David Cameron’s speech which immediately attracts attention; one of them is a continuous emphasis on the word “big”. This slogan “Big Society” helps the speaker to connect the argument to wider political contexts. On the one hand, this metaphor refers to the internal strengths of the United Kingdom. For instance, it may relate to the empowerment of the community, their ability to impact the decisions of the government. Moreover, this metaphor can associate with the idea of a cost-effective society. In this speech, David Cameron mentions the budget deficit of the United Kingdom. He connects the idea of “Big Society” with the attributes of a democratic and advanced society.
One of the key issues to which he refers is the interplay of government and local community, and one of the messages which David Cameron wants to convey to the readers and listeners is that shortly, local communities will gain more independence from the official authorities. Yet, we have to stress the idea that this text is constructed in such a way that negative message is carefully concealed, for instance, Cameron was very much reluctant to speak about the reduction of public spending.
Furthermore, one should pay more attention to the logical flow of the Prime Minister’s speech. He enumerates such notions as liberalism, freedom, empowerment, and responsibility. According to him, these concepts imply that businesses should be “helping people getting trained for work” and charities should be “working to rehabilitate offenders”. In this way, the Prime Minister tries to prove that the policy problems of Great Britain originate from a lack of people’s participation in the solution of social problems. The key problem with this argument is that such a task as rehabilitation of criminal offenders and providing training to the employees are the responsibilities of the government as well. Judging from this speech, one can deduce that shortly these responsibilities will be placed on the shoulders of individual citizens.
The major peculiarity of this text is that this idea is skillfully disguised. It is presented as some positive phenomenon due to the associations with notions of liberty, democracy, empowerment, and so forth. One may even assume that Cameron used these concepts in his rhetoric to appeal to the values of British people and their belief in liberty, self-sufficiency, and the ability to bring change into the life of society. Of course, this rhetoric device does not completely conceal the negative message of the speech, but it makes it less flaring.
Although, it is hardly permissible to draw inferences about David Cameron’s intentions solely based on this speech, yet we can make some assumptions. First of all, this speech indicates future cuts in governmental spending on public service. This may include such areas as education, healthcare, unemployment relief, and so forth. Apart from that, this speech suggests that shortly, the number of government workers can be reduced or to put differently, made redundant. In this speech, the Prime Minister employs such metaphor as “pouring money down the throat of wasteful, top-down government schemes” and this can be understood as his willingness to simplify or reduce the bureaucratic apparatus of the government. These are the core ideas which one can derive from this speech. The main property of this address is the strong reliance on pathos and attempts to appeal to the feelings and emotions of the listeners and readers rather than to their reasoning. This strategy is an inherent characteristic of political addresses that are intended for a wide audience and probably it is the most effective one.
Comparison with other speeches
It might be useful to compare this text with some other speeches of David Cameron as in this way we will be able to gain a better understanding of some issues in politics and international relations. For instance, we can refer to his speech at the Davos Annual Meeting in which he tried to explain his vision of British and European economic strategies. The first step that we need to take is to compare these two speeches in terms of transparency and openness. On the whole, the second speech is much more concise and revealing to the listeners: David Cameron explicitly states that one of the solutions to economic problems is the reduction of governmental spending. So, one can say that his rhetoric has become less evasive, and it does not rely on pathos very much. In part, this change can be explained by the fact that at the time when David Cameron was making his “Big Society” address, he was in the position only for a month, and it was not prudent to speak directly about cuts in governmental funding at that moment.
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Apart from that, the Prime Minister expressed his views upon international relations, namely, he mentioned the adoption of free trade agreements with South Korea, and the necessity to sign similar treaties with China, India, and the Middle East Countries (Cameron, 2011, unpaged). One should take into account that free trade agreements are based on the unrestricted movement of the labor force and capital. The thing is that this incentive may not be readily accepted by many citizens of the United Kingdom, and David Cameron would not have made such a statement while campaigning for the position of the Prime Minister.
We can also compare these two speeches in terms of how the Prime Minister views the role of individual citizens and the community. In the first cases, he primarily speaks about people’s empowerment, independence of the government, and self-sufficiency. He tries to show that British people are the only decision-makers who can shape the social and economic development of the country. In contrast, in his 2011 address, he attaches more importance to the role of the government. Very little is being said about people’s attitudes toward the policies of the government. This difference in rhetoric is very conspicuous and one can hardly overlook it.
Overall, this comparison of different speeches helps us analyze the arguments of politicians. Most importantly, such comparative analysis can give us insights into how the attitudes change over time and David Cameron is not an exception. By juxtaposing the two speeches, we have managed to identify David Cameron’s transition from the idea of people’s empowerment to a more firm belief in governmental authority. It seems that such a discussion of political addresses allow readers to better evaluate the integrity of political leaders as well as their true intentions and actions.
Cameron David. 2011 Speech to World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2011. Web.