Diversity & Aspiration

Anne Hayfield introduces this article by Pam Farmer where she reflects on her thoughts on aspiration.

What’s the link between Diversity and Aspiration?

In simple terms, the left and the right have a different view on discrimination and disadvantage. The Left knows that there are women/black/disabled people who experience discrimination – we must try and help them. The Right, however, are fascinated by the one person who against all odds goes on to achieve. The working-class boy that gets into Oxford, the girl in Uganda who walks ten miles to school and then goes onto be a doctor or the person who despite being blind from birth goes on to a career as an industrial chemist.

Does this work have a practical application?

Yes, trying to understand diversity of aspiration can be useful. On a global level understanding aspiration may be key to alleviating poverty by encouraging economic development. On a local level Tory councillors may be more inclined to listen to the one disabled person who just become a millionaire from their own business then the local disability pressure group chaining themselves to the town hall doors after all – it’s about winning hearts and minds.

Anne Hayfield