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Today’s hot topic: Unhappy clappy


IN yet another example of the vast majority changing their behaviour to suit a tiny minority, students at Oxford University are banning applause in the form of clapping in favour of silent ‘jazz hands’, which involves waving both hands at shoulder height. 

The aim is to make events more accessible and inclusive for those with ‘anxiety disorders, sensory sensitivity and those who use hearing aids’. Evidently the blind do not figure in the logic.

Frank Furedi, emeritus professor of sociology at the University of Kent, commented that the move was evidence that many young people traded on their vulnerabilities rather than their strengths. ‘Cultivating and displaying vulnerability has become an integral part of the kind of identity that student activists celebrate,’ he said.

Has a sociologist got it right for once? Discuss!

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Edited by Kathy Gyngell

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