Though human societies, populations and cultures have always been in a state of flux, the contemporary historical moment, often characterised as the age of ‘globalisation’, has witnessed a dramatic compression of ‘time and space’ resulting in unimaginable social upheavals. It was David Harvey, in his book The Condition of Postmodernity (1989), who first coined this term to suggest how the joint forces of capitalism and technological advancement were leading to the destruction of spatial barriers and distances. Whilst for some this new epoch in world history has brought great rewards, tragically it has also resulted in a dramatic acceleration of all kinds of social inequalities both between and within nations, regions, cities and towns. A report published by the international charity Oxfam argued that the richest 1 per cent now have more wealth than the rest of the world’s population combined, that the wealthiest 62 people on the planet have more wealth than half the world population and that global inequality is worse than at any time since the nineteenth century (Oxfam, 2016).
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