• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Is Social Exclusion Simply Poverty By Another Name?

Extracts from this document...


Is Social Exclusion Simply Poverty By Another Name? . 'Social exclusion is a term that has gatecrashed the debate about the direction of social policy without paying the entrance fee of a definition. As a result, there is confusion about its exact meaning.' (Robin Wilson, 1995) To respond to the notion that social exclusion and poverty may be the same concept but with a different handle it is first necessary to define both of these terms. Although both widely known and used, there are many differences in the way the terms are used to categorise people and much debate about the 'true' meanings of the terms. The concept of poverty has always been contested, with many politicians, theorists, social policists and sociologists debating what the true definition of the term is. In this essay I will examine different opinions on what exactly constitutes poverty with a view to gaining a better understanding of the causes and effects of poverty. In recent years the concept of social exclusion has been at the forefront of government policy making in Britain. It was a concept first widely recognised in Europe, and was adopted by Britain in 1997 when Tony Blair's labour government set up the Social Exclusion Unit (S.E.U.). ...read more.


argues that the concept of the underclass 'presents a dichotomous division between insiders and outsiders, and thereby presents an overly homogeneous picture of mainstream society' and as the Rowntree poverty study (2000) comments: 'Even if full employment were achieved, poverty and exclusion would not disappear. Earnings can be too low unless there are minimally adequate child benefit and other allowances to complement them and unless minimally adequate benefits are available for all pensioners and all disabled people. People who cannot work require adequate incomes to meet their needs. High quality, affordable services in every part of the country will also be needed if poverty and social exclusion are to be eliminated.' Its focus on the paid labour market also serves to obscure the unpaid domestic labour (mainly of women) and therefore has the implication of an increase in women's workload. To put this in the simple terms of Ruth Levitas (1998) 'In RED they have no money, in SID they have no work and in MUD they have no morals.' In Tony Blair's belief social exclusion is a 'very modern problem, and one that is more harmful to the individual, more damaging to self esteem, more corrosive for society as a whole, more likely to be passed down from generation to generation than material poverty' Blair (1997). ...read more.


In a way they are right, it is a concept from the past. At the same time, it would be deceptive to view it as an old problem with a new fa´┐Żade. Changes in social and economic life cannot be underestimated in contemporary society and the term 'social exclusion' serves to emphasize the lack of effectiveness in using old responses to deal with a variety of new problems. Changes in the structure of society have brought different forms of poverties and inequalities requiring innovative solutions. It can be possible then to experience poverty without social exclusion for a brief space of time, for instance a well paid person recently made redundant may have very little or no income, making them statistically poor while still enjoying inclusion in society. It can also be seen that a person can experience social exclusion while not statistically poor, for example, the person who has recently acquired well paid employment may still the carry burden of debt, poor housing, material impoverishment and it can take many months or years to gain full inclusion into society. A wife of a well-paid husband may still be in poverty and/or socially excluded due to the assumptions that income is equally distributed within a household and that she is free to participate fully in society. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Sociology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Sociology essays

  1. ‘Gender Identity is not simply a matter of biology’

    Oakly also noticed how Wilson and Barash left out examples of animal behaviour where males were not aggressive and dominant. She believes sociobiologists leave out evidence that contradicts their view. Feminists believe it is excuses for an attempt to provide 'scientific evidence' for male power.


    The aim was to create a better organised structure of services, thus making it possible to use resources more efficiently. With the reform the municipalities received a great deal of financial autonomy, which created a strong incentive for them to expand their own housing and care facilities for older people.

  1. Sociology Essay - The History of Welfare and the Problem of Poverty in England.

    Popular writers of philosophy such as T H Green, J M Roberson and J T Hobhouse gave intellectual weight and popular support to the ideas of the progressive Liberals. In 1899-1902 young men in their thousands applied to join the 'British Army' for the Boer War and were rejected in their thousands.

  2. Causes of Social exclusion: The Underclass

    Illegitimacy has increased since 1979 and is still increasing. These births are not evenly spread throughout Britain; they are more common in the lowest social class. Murray's research has indicated that the larger the proportion of people whom wok at unskilled jobs and the larger the proportion who are out of the labour force, the higher the illegitimacy ratio.

  1. This assignment will examine issues around social exclusion and teenage pregnancy. It will explore ...

    As a result of this they have not had the opportunity to progress in life and has a result of this are trapped in the cycle of poverty, deprivation and social exclusion. Hence the S.E.U report say 'teenage pregnancy is often the cause and a consequence of social exclusion ...

  2. crime and poverty

    Also it is very subjective as to whom or what constitutes a 'criminal'. If we go by this idea it raises alarming concerns as it raises the question of well do people in Newham look like criminals? The psychological view by a man called Sigmund Freud says that the mind is to do with why people commit crime.

  1. What should be the role of social security in the eradication of poverty?

    Bridgen, lecture on social security, 2003) it was clear a new path was needed. The beginning of Thatcherism was born, which was the Conservatives adopt "neo-classical economics" or "freedman" economics from the United States with some new hard line policies of there own.

  2. To what extent do the concepts of 'inclusion' and 'exclusion' characterise the nature of ...

    This in effect is how our society runs today, via various orders of elements in society being juggled around every now and then showing; both inclusion and exclusion exist and there is no one without the other. An example of this is the Law, which says what is not allowed, thus implicitly implying what is allowed.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work