LONDON Love&Hate 愛と憎しみのロンドン

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イギリス人は幸福な人々、それとも世界でもっとも不幸?

2012.02.22
2011年の9月、10月に掲載された記事ばかりなので、24時間前のことはすでに10年以上も前の記憶とばかりに次から次に大きな事件、社会問題にあふれる現代社会では古く感じられるかもしれません。でも、イギリス人ってどんな人たち、そして社会調査なんて参考程度にしかならないだろうとの参考例として。

 一つ目は、昨年10月中旬に掲載された記事。

Britons among happiest people, says satisfaction study
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/oct/12/british-happy-satisfaction-study-oecd

 「冗談だろう」と思われた皆さん、僕も冗談だと思いました。で、記事の内容も特段目を惹くものではないので、興味を惹きそうな部分だけ抜粋します。

The British are one of the world's most satisfied peoples, according to an influential economic thinktank's attempt to examine how happy humans are.

Andrew Oswald, professor of economics at the University of Warwick, said: "The advantage of measuring mental wellbeing is that it captures the real emotion of people.

"It's like a painting where health stats, income and welfare figures are the background and satisfaction measures are the colour."


 これに先駆けて9月下旬にはこのような記事が。

UK has 'worst quality of life in Europe'
http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2011/sep/29/uk-worst-quality-of-life-europe

 「そうそう、イギリス人は不幸ではなくては」、というこちらの期待にこたえるものです。

The UK has been named the worst place to live in Europe for quality of life, behind countries with damaged economies such as Ireland and Italy, according to the latest uSwitch quality of life index.

The UK emerged as having the second lowest hours of sunshine a year, the fourth highest retirement age, and the third lowest spend on health as a percentage of GDP.

As a result, more than one in 10 Britons (12%) said they are "seriously considering" emigrating, with "broken society" the biggest concern for 59% of those questioned, followed by the cost of living (49%), and crime and violence (47%). Just 5% of those questioned are happy in the UK.

The study examined 16 factors to determine where the UK sits in relation to nine other major European countries. Variables such as net income, VAT and the cost of essential goods were put under the microscope, as well as lifestyle factors such as hours of sunshine, holiday entitlement, working hours and life expectancy.


 日照時間が短いことをいまさら愚痴っても。イギリス人の不幸自慢は、日本人のそれと大差ないと思います。

 この二つよりも、現在の社会が抱える深刻な「格差」へのイギリス人の態度。

UK among Europe's worst countries for ageism
http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/oct/30/ageism-european-social-survey

Britain has one of the worst records in Europe on age discrimination, with nearly two out of five people claiming to have been shown a lack of respect because of how old they are.

The UK is also driven by intergenerational splits, with half of us admitting we do not have a single friend over 70. Only a third of Portuguese, Swiss and Germans say that they do not have a friend of that age or older.

And the statistics show that, while there is admiration for the elderly, more people pity than envy those they regard as old, suggesting a perception that age brings weakness and unhappiness.

"Even on the perception of when old age starts, the UK is the worst in Europe in a way," said Nicola Robinson from Age UK, who helped to analyse the data for 2009. "Britons thought old age started at 59, whereas in Greece they thought it started at around 68. There is a similar question about when youth ends. The UK thought that was 35, while in Greece they thought it was 52."

"We know it is a serious problem across Europe and it may be that we are ahead of the curve on the issue, that there has been some successful awareness-raising.
"That said, the statistics on intergenerational friendship show that we are a segregated society and there are definitely problems here.

"There is a segregation within work and social lives. The social spaces in the UK are generational specific, so people don't do things together.

"Generally, those in their 20s don't have contact outside the family with people in their 70s. In places like Cyprus or Portugal there are spaces, squares or bars where people of all ages mix. Ageism is a problem and it does need to be explored."


 あとで上手くまとめられたらと思っている別のトピックと共通しているように思えるのは、イギリス全体の傾向として、自分の生活に影響を及ぼすであろう社会要因にははっきりと白黒をつけて「黒」を切り捨てているのでは、という点。仮に自分がその「黒」には言ってしまったら、まるで人生が終わってしまうかのような根拠のない恐怖感。

 さらに、ここに上げた三つの記事だけで一般論にならないとわかっていても、社会調査、統計調査、そして心理学の調査の結果の無意味さ。心理学協会に属していながらですが、僕は心理学の調査ほど恣意的なものはないと感じます。結局、調査をする側が決めた質問要綱に沿う形でしか社会事象を測るだけに過ぎないのですから。

 で、最後。たまにはイギリスを誉める記事に賛同しないと。

Rude Britannia is a myth - we are among the world's most polite people
http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/oct/09/politeness-good-manners-english

 本文、読みやすいですがけっこう長いので、いくつかの段落を引用します。

But while the results of the work by social campaigners the Young Foundation showed a nation trying hard to mind its "pleases" and "thank yous", it also suggested that when courtesy breaks down, so do communities. People reported that rudeness in their neighbourhood upset them more than crime.

 イギリスで暮らして日常生活で常に感じるのは、Thank you とplease がどれほどコミュニケイションの潤滑油になっているかということ。

The research, published tomorrow, finds Britain ranks positively in international surveys of tolerance and politeness and by some standards behaviour is better than a generation or two ago.

But the findings showed that people are quick to find incivility in others but are much less aware of how their own behaviour may cause offence. It warns that modern life presents particular challenges to civil behaviour including social mobility, technology and pressures on space and time. One of the report's authors, Will Norman, said technology was undermining strides being made in social interaction, with too many people unaware of how their loud mobile phone chats, music or simple inattention upset their fellow citizens.

"Taxi drivers and shop assistants really get offended at people acting as if they don't exist because they are on their phones," he said. "But a lot of people simply don't realise – a common reason for rudeness. I spoke to a man who ran a kebab shop and he had a customer who never ever said please or thank you. It drove him mad and one day he asked her why. She was embarrassed and from that day on was extremely polite – she just hadn't realised."


 スーパーのレジで、レジに進んでも携帯電話を切らない連中の頭を、後ろからはたき倒したくなります。如何に彼らの態度が酷いかに気づいてもらうためにも、やはり言ってあげないと。日本のように逆切れされることはまだ少ないように感じます。

Wherever they lived, most people agreed that civility is central to shaping life; many said it was the single most important factor to their quality of life. Most reported experiencing regular acts of politeness and felt they were treated with respect in their neighbourhoods.

The director of the Young Foundation, Simon Tucker, said civility was enormously rated: "Its importance is often only bought home to us when absent. Small acts of daily civility and incivility are often invisible, but play a vital role in helping societies to get by and flourish. We often only notice and appreciate the power of civility when it disappears – when estates become no-go areas or, as we saw recently, when high streets descend into violence.

The report found very high levels of civility in some of the most disadvantaged areas, as well as instances of serious incivility, in the form of intolerance and rudeness, in more prosperous areas. There seemed to be few regional differences, though Norman said it was clear that the stressful commuter jams of London were hotbeds of incivility. Kaliya Franklin, 35, from Liverpool – who blogs at benefitscroungingscum – who uses a wheelchair and says she finds people "unfailingly willing to help, delighted to have the chance", was at the Labour party conference in Liverpool.

"I asked someone for help with my wheelchair and it was immediately obvious he was from the south-east. A scouser would have pushed me all the way home and probably offered to buy me a new scooter. As it was, the guy looked at me as though I'd just ruined his life!"


 スカウザーというのは、リヴァプール地域出身者のことです。あえてロンドンの肩を持つとすれば、人々の間に共通項がなさすぎる、ということが考えられるのではないかと。生存本能の一部なのかもしれないですが、見知らぬ人から助けを乞われたとき、一瞬で認識できる共通項が一つでもあればコミュニケイションが生まれるかもしれない。でも、ロンドンのように、多人種、多文化、全く異なる価値基準を持った人が隣に不意に現れる場所では、災害時以外は助け合うという意識が日常生活では共有されにくいのではと考えます。

Civility is contagious and the research concludes that it can be nurtured by encouraging people to be more aware about how their behaviour impacts on others. As US linguistics professor Robin Lakoff wrote: "Politeness is developed by societies to reduce friction in personal interaction." In other words, smile and the world might just smile back.

 最近、こんな経験(http://loveandhatelondon.blog102.fc2.com/blog-entry-1551.html)をしたばかりですが、それでも、人を信用したいですし、イギリス人の道徳観は調査結果が言うほど酷くないと感じています。

 皆さんもイギリスに来たら、PleaseThank you は忘れずに。この二つがあれば、皆さんが思っているよりはイギリスは楽しい国だと思います。

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Comment

- ハマちゃん

smile and the world might just smile back.
ステキな言葉ですね。

>あえてロンドンの肩を持つとすれば、人々の間に共通項がなさすぎる

確かに、そういうのも影響すると思います。
ちょっと違う話になりますが、ウチにかかってくる迷惑なセールス電話、
インド・アクセントとか、英国南部のアクセントだったら
私はろくに返答もせずにガチャ切りしてしまいますが

それがスコットランド、しかも自分の居住エリアのアクセントだったりすると、絶対ガチャ切り出来ません。
一応丁寧に断ります。
それがコミュニティ意識というものなのかな、と思います。

英国の、「異世代の友人を持たない傾向」というのも、なんだか悲しい話ですし、だけど日本もそうなんですよね。

私はたまたま東京時代、何人かの異世代の友人を持つことが出来て
それは70代、80代、という年上の方々だったり
その方達のお孫さん(まだ幼児)だったり
そういう中で、よそ者として東京に住んでいた頃でも強いコミュニティ意識を持てたと思っています。
でも、私の友人間では、こういう関係を築くというのは珍しいこと、でした。

私は周りの人に、こういう関係を築くことを強くオススメしたいんですよね。
なんだか、幸せを感じることですし、それが共鳴し合って広がって行く気がするから。
2012.02.23 Thu 11:21 URL [ Edit ]

- 守屋

ハマちゃん さん

 一人で生きていくことは結構難しいことかもしれないのに、でも、コミュニティに入ってみると、それはそれでまた難しいこと、不満がたまることもある。一つ辛気くさいことを書くと、現代、自分の生き方を選べて実行できるのは贅沢なことになりつつあるように感じています。

 僕は、ホスト・ファミリィの交遊の輪に入れてもらえたことが本当に幸運なことでした。人種的には限られていましたが、幅広い年代の人たちとの交流は、自分が今いる社会のことを学ぶのにとても有益でした。おっしゃるように、世代の違う友人を持つことは、僕もすばらしいことだと思います。
2012.02.24 Fri 20:38 URL [ Edit ]

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