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The Effects Of Social Exclusion

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Sociology
Wordcount: 1454 words Published: 10th May 2017

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The Concept of Social exclusion tends to focus on those who experience exclusion and diverts attention from the persistent poverty and increasing inequality which characterize contemporary British society.

In order to understand the affect of the concept of social exclusion in relations to persistent poverty and equality we need to first answer 1) what does the concept of social exclusion denote? 2) Does the process of overcoming social exclusion take into account dealing with persistence poverty and inequality or does it overlook these aspects in particular persistent poverty and inequality of children in the context of the contemporary British society?

Below, section 1 will outline the provenance of the social exclusion concept, its’ relations to persistent poverty and inequality in the contemporary British Society particularly children, section 2 outlines the status of children in persistent poverty and equality in the British society.

The concept of Social Exclusion and in it’s relations to persistent poverty and inequality

Social exclusion can be referred to industrialized countries (notably France in the 1970) and can be taken back to Weber, who identified exclusion as one form of social closure (Parkin 1979) It has been defined as “the process through which individuals or groups are wholly or partially excluded from the society in which they live”. Similar but in different light (Jordan 1996) highlights the continuous exclusion of one group by another group. The term social exclusion where it is believed France it was used to identify those who fell through the web of the social protection/social insurance system and were excluded by the state (Lenoir 1974, Duffy 1997) known as (Le exclus – the excluded) in the 1970 included disabled persons, lone parent and the unemployed especially young adults (Evans 1998). “Social exclusion is described as a shorthand label for what can happen when individuals or areas suffer from a combination of linked problems such as unemployment, poor skills, low incomes, poor housing, high crime environment, bad health and family breakdowns” (SEU 1997) Also Duffy (1995) suggests that it is the inability to participate effectively in economic, Social, political and cultural life, alienation and distance from the mainstream society, this in a way clarifies the link between persistent poverty and inequality in the society and in particularly the unemployed are both poor and not in the same stature as others in the society and thus placing them in the process/institutions put in place to overcome these problems and help these individuals live within a society even though not equal creates a persistent poverty for the children that rely on the adults benefiting from these processes. At the same time the process or institutions put in place to overcome these social exclusions are not specifically designed to overcome persistent poverty or inequality.

Child Poverty and Inequality in the contemporary British society

Persistent poverty is defined as occurring when children experienced poverty (severe or non severe) in three out of five years for which they were analyzed i

Children experiencing poverty were all more likely to:

Have been in no worker household for one year

Lived in rented accommodation for five years

Had adults in the household who were ill for between three and four years

Lived in midlands

Received benefits for three to four years and lived in household with an average of three or more children (Adelman et al).

Impact of poverty in children includes, deprivation of education, lack of proper health and children below the age of five die each day due to causes that can be prevented. Poverty is related to negative outcomes like ill-health and shorter life expectancy and this is true for relative (average income, lack of materials to fully participate in an accepted daily life) and absolute poverty (absence of enough resources to make complete someone).

World Health Organization (2008) reports shocking inequalities within the countries and cities also persist. The life expectancy of child born in Carlton in Glasgow, Scotland is 28 years less than that of a child born few miles away in Lenzi.

The 2007 UNICEF report on child wellbeing ranked the UK bottom out of 21 OECD countries.

Bradshaw J argues that child poverty is the inevitable consequences of economic restructuring, globalization, demographic transitions. But it s then the consequence of policy-successive Conservative government ignoring rising child poverty, committed as they were to trickle down theories and their aspirations to reduce public expenditure and cut taxation?

Levitas (1998) identifies three different discourses of Social Exclusion, First approach is a redistributive Discourse (RED) which derives from critical social policy, and which sees social exclusion as a consequences of poverty, thus Peter Townsend argued that poverty should not be understood in terms of subsistence, but in terms of people’s ability to participate in the customary life of society:” individuals, families and groups can be said to be in poverty when their resources are so seriously below those commanded by the average individual or family they are, in effect, excluded from ordinary living patterns, customs and activities”(Townsend,1979,p32).the indicator for social exclusion in RED is low income. She adds Social integration Discourse (SID) is participation in paid work, therefore young people of working age should participate in labor market. Unemployment or economic inactivity indicates social exclusion. The third approach is a moral underclass discourse (MUD), which social exclusion is used as a substitute not for poverty or non employment, but for the underclass .This discourse presents the socially excluded as the morally distinct from the rest of the society and does not address inequality.

Since the election, there has been increasing tendency to talk about ‘poverty and social exclusion’, a shift which can only be welcomed, since it puts both firmly back at on the political agenda. But opportunity for all (Blair, 29 January 1996)

A reduction in the proportion of children living in workless households, for households of a given size, over the economic cycle.

A reduction in the proportion of children in household relatively low incomes

A reduction in the proportion of children in households with low incomes in an absolute sense.

A reduction in the proportion of children in household with persistently low incomes.

Makes no separation between ‘poverty and social exclusion’ nor does the poverty and social exclusion (National Strategy) Bill, introduced in parliament under the 10- minute Rule on 10th February 1999. Mud posits strong connection between poverty and social exclusion, but sees the causes of poverty as lying in cultural and moral/self exclusion rather than the other way round. (Levitas, 1998)

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Referring back to the concept of social exclusion and it’s relation to persistent poverty and inequality, I would argue that although the concept of social exclusion concentrates on those excluded it does address the issues that lead to poverty and inequality but has not been designed to directly tackle the issues of persistent poverty and inequality in the contemporary British society and in particular the children.

Poverty is not only deprivation of economic or material resources but a violation of human dignity too. The UN provides a broader definition of poverty:

‘a human condition characterized by the sustained or chronic deprivation of the resources, capabilities, choices, security and power necessary for the enjoyment of an adequate standard of living and other civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights.’ (UN, 2001).

The UN definition brings together two important and related themes in contemporary understandings of poverty: the ‘capability approach’ of Nobel-prize winning economist Amartya Sen and the ‘human rights’ approach.

Inequality is sometimes seen as a form of poverty, and the capability approach to poverty shows us why. By definition, any society with inequality means that some people have less money, resources or power than others do. These people will often be described as ‘relatively poor’ but there are sometimes questions about whether they are ‘absolutely poor’ (Barber, 2008; p3)


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