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Causes of Social exclusion: The Underclass

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Causes of Social exclusion: The Underclass Social exclusion refers to inequality in society, where individuals or groups may be cut off in involvement with the wider society. Social exclusion can take a number of forms. An individual or group may be excluded due to their age cohert, gender, race, educational background, neighbourhood, class and more. A class in social terms can be defines as a large scale grouping of people who share common economic resources which strongly influence the type of lifestyle they are able to lead. (Gidden, 2001 p.282) There are mainly three types of classes in society today, the upper class, the working class and the underclass. The underclass population being structured at the bottom of society. In 1962, Mydral first described the underclass as being unemployed, but twenty years later, a New York journalist named Ken Auletta (1982) argued this view. Ken said that the underclass is a group of poor people who were not included in society due to dependency on state benefits, denial of work ethics, failed morality and rejection of family norms. Muncie J (1999). People who are likely to commit street crimes and be involved in urban riots also come into this group. Observers may say that the underclass is a group of society whom are not involved in production work or those that have been excluded from the labour market systematically. ...read more.


who believed that these children would be more likely to get involved in crime, as they would have no morality. He believed that families strengthen the bond to society. That without a stable family there is no sense of attachment to the rest of the community, which can lead to unusual behaviour. Youth without opportunities, such as no jobs around their area, would not be involved in any activities and would not have any interests are more likely to commit crime. Not having strong beliefs, without a sense of right and wrong may also get them youths involved in crime. This brings us back to Murray's perception of the underclass being a major cause for increasing crime. These were young people who did not want to work and preferred to live off benefits and the illegal economy. US reports with Freeman's (1983) indicates that the increasing crime rate is linked to the increase of unemployment. People that leave employment are more crime prone. Although a research in Britain for the home Office in 1982 shows that people are committing crime even though they are in employment and schooling, unemployment may not be the major factor in the causation of crime. A cycle seems to have been set since the 1970's where family composition and employment are the main factors to why an individual would get involved in crime. ...read more.


Upper class families are also often broken, for example, sending them to boarding school, children do not see their parents enough. Underclass is a collective term basically used to refer to a group of individuals. Stereotypical judgements may be made about these people, but they are not necessarily true. Overall, certain members of members do cut themselves off from the wider society due to their behaviour and attitudes, though there are still some that do not. Some are merely born more disadvantage than others like the disabled and the elderly. Both these groups are dependant on the state welfare, which is believed by Ken Auletta and Murray as being the underclass, and are excluded from society. It would take a lot more research to prove that these groups are in fact an underclass due to their behaviour and attitudes. The underclass have basically been portrayed as not wanted, a social residuum. A lot of research has showed that Charles Murray's view about lack of moral stability in the upbringing of children due to single parent families are the main reason for exclusion of the underclass and the state welfare dependency, backed up by Eysneck and Hirschi. Although Giddens view argued this believing that the underclass were the vulnerable people with no secure jobs and Picklington thought so too saying that they were the ethnic minorities who were under skilled for high paid jobs. ...read more.

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