Skip navigation

The wicked problem of social cohesion: Moving ahead

The wicked problem of social cohesion: Moving ahead

Yassim, Mazia ORCID: 0000-0001-8835-7036 (2019) The wicked problem of social cohesion: Moving ahead. Journal of Social Marketing, 9 (4). pp. 507-521. ISSN 2042-6763 (doi:

PDF (Author's Accepted Manuscript)
24673 YASSIM_Wicked_Problem_Social_Cohesion_(AAM)_2019.PDF - Accepted Version

Download (329kB) | Preview


Despite the amount of attention given to social cohesion, divisions within many societies are becoming wider due to various factors including religious and far-right extremism and economic austerity. Given its ‘wickedness’, social cohesion has been researched from various dimensions. However, in order to develop an effective solution-based programme, these multi-facets need to be brought together for a clearer way forward. This research aims to bring together multiple disciplines in order to propose a way forward in the social cohesion discourse in two ways: by developing a common conceptualisation of social cohesion and identifying an effective approach to operationalise social cohesion. This research adopted a critical qualitative research approach and used three expert discussion forums consisting of academics and practitioners from multiple disciplines. The research identifies contact theory and participatory approaches as providing an effective way forward for social cohesion. Social cohesion is conceptualised in the form of factors needed to build a cohesive society as well as outcomes of a cohesive society. Using the social marketing approach of down- mid- and up-stream strategies and interventions, this research proposes a bottom-up approach to addressing the wicked problem of social cohesion. Social cohesion has been discussed by various academics and practitioners from multiple disciplines. This paper developed a common conceptualisation of social cohesion based on a review of multi-disciplinary literature combined with discussions with experts from academia and practice. Relating this to the down-, up- and mid-stream social marketing, this paper also identified participatory approach, based on contact theory, as an effective way in which social marketers can achieve downstream social marketing objectives.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: social cohesion, participatory approaches, contact theory
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Business
Faculty of Business > Department of Marketing, Events & Tourism
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 12 Nov 2019 13:04

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics