Definition of a cohesive community:

  • There is a common vision and a sense of belonging for all communities
  • The diversity of people’s different backgrounds and circumstances are appreciated and valued
  • Those from different backgrounds have similar life opportunities; and
  • Strong and positive relationships are being developed between people from different backgrounds in the workplace, in schools and within neighbourhoods


Social, as distinct from the above notion of community, cohesion prioritises socio-economic inequalities (linked to item 3 above). It lends credence to the view that addressing more general social inequalities is a sine qua non in the quest for cohesiveness. This can be regarded as a necessary but not sufficient condition in that it would not in itself resolve many underlying tensions, not least because of entrenched racism, sexism, homophobia, and so on.