This is a book to set you thinking about how we live our lives. Starting in the fourteenth century, it tells the story of a 'middling' family over the course of 600 years, set in its work-a-day local contexts - social, economic, and political. Its story is used to unravel our 'Thread of Identity'. As well as the story of the Ram family, there are several other themes or strands. How community belonging is formed in individuals and local groups, and how the past can inform current concerns about weakness in community life are explored in depth. We do not realise today the key part small local communities and groups have played in shaping our current society. Another theme finds new ways of interlinking the disciplines of history, sociology, psychology and genetics. The Thread of Identity will appeal to those who enjoy reading about history or current affairs, to historians or sociologists who have a professional interest in its themes, and to administrators, policy makers and politicians who will be challenged by the ideas developed about community building. It will also provide encouragement to people researching and telling their own family stories.
Ronald Ram has studied history, theology, sociology and psychology and has a PhD from Birmingham University in the social sciences. He has published earlier articles on related subjects. He brings to the writing of this book considerable practical experience of working with small groups in a variety of contexts, including churches, industry, and the public sector. He is currently Organiser of the Association of Building Bridges Churches.