Posts in Society
coercive control

This is a pattern of behaviour exhibited by someone who wishes to dominate another person, usually one in a relationship with them.

ZG: 6

On the one hand it is good that we are recognising the subtleties of abuse and coming up with terms to identify them. On the other hand it does unfortunately seem to be a growth area of the language.

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concierge parent

The concierge parent differs from the helicopter parent in that, while the helicopter parent is hovering overhead to protect the child from any danger, the concierge parent is there to solve all of life’s problems for the child.

ZG: 5

Discussions of parenting styles can be relied on to surface in the media from time to time. This one may seem a niche term but it will probably pop up again.

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death clean

 We regard the Swedes as being responsible for introducing this concept, death clean being a literal translation of the Swedish name for it, but it is an idea that resonates. People are aware that when they die someone is going to have to clean up their belongings.

ZG: 5

Not a common practice yet but an idea that has a certain appeal.

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SocietySue ButlerComment
silver tsunami

This term was new to me although it has apparently been around in the US since the 1980s with reference to the aging population.

ZG: 7

Our population is aging so it is nor surprising that we have new terms to express this idea, some of them containing a sense of threat.

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consecrated virgin

We have been used to the idea of nuns taking the veil and becoming brides of Christ, but we need to go back to the practices of the early Church to get an understanding of this new role of the consecrated virgin.

ZG: 4

A niche word for a niche role in society, but a nun who gets out and about should be more visible to most of us than one in the cloister.

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SocietySue ButlerComment
consent guardian

We have witnessed the creation of the consent guardian, a person employed by a nightclub, bar or dance venue to oversee what is happening and be there to help someone who is feeling threatened in any way.

ZG: 7

The unicorn with the light-up help beacon is an appealing idea and an elegant solution to monitoring behaviour without being too much of a wet blanket. I suspect that we will have more consent guardians as owners and managers of venues do not want to be held accountable for the bad behaviour of attendees.

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begpacker

The backpacker has morphed into the begpacker, the backpacker who begs in the streets.

ZG: 5

The role that tourism plays in countries where both the economy and the culture are impacted by the visitors has always under question. The begpacker seems to be particularly upfront in taking advantage.

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antinatalism

The world is full of suffering. It is our duty to reduce suffering. The simplest most effective way to not increase the total world suffering is not to procreate.  It is better to stop the problem before it even starts. This is the fundamental tenet of antinatalism.

ZG: 4

I cannot believe that such a negative view of life will attract more than a fringe following.

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lifestyle designer

The lifestyle designer is the person you ask to reshape your life.

ZG: 8

The notion of finding suitable employment in life has changed so much over the last thirty years that I really feel I would like to start over again.  I think back to my first job taking the tea trolley around in an accountancy firm.  Such a job and such a workplace would be inconceivable to the lifestyle designers and their protégés.

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pinch point

This seems to have become popular in the jargon of business and politics where it means a point at which there is intense tension and conflict.

ZG: 5

A catchy bit of jargon but not hugely significant. Alliteration always gives a phrase staying power.

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plogging

Plogging is the combination of jogging with picking up litter. It began as a Swedish activity but has gone around the world.

ZG: 4

I have not seen a plogger yet on the track that I can see from my window. When I see one I will up my enthusiasm.

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vertical family

We have seen the rise of vertical family living, the increase in the number of families with small children occupying apartments in high-rise buildings close to the city centre.

ZG: 7

Anything to do with shifts in housing patterns is big news in Australia.

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social robot

The social robot robot of the future will have a pleasant smile and an urbane manner, and be sensitive to our moods and needs.

ZG: 5

Developments in robotics are happening at speed but, even if I do end up with a robot that smiles at me, I suspect that I won’t rate it highly.

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