What is meant by "social exclusion"? discuss with examples from the U.K.

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 What is meant by “social exclusion”? discuss with examples from the U.K

There is a general consensus amongst key actors in the policy making process that poverty is a problem, thus it is a prescriptive issue-what are we going to do about it? It is a genuine problem that needs to be addressed properly as it is a social phenomenon central to a range of interconnected features.

One of the main problems in dealing with this issue is the lack of fixed definitions , thus there is not an identifiable method of measuring and dealing with this multidimensional issue. Researchers have tried to develop a  relative poverty level constant in order to chart data and make comparisons and interpretations more coherent and logical. Previous studies of poverty have been criticised for being too objective i.e. the personal view of the academic influencing the report rather than incorporating the subjective views of the people subject to the conditions.

Poverty awareness was present as early as the nineteenth century, Booths studies of deprivation in London in the 1880s, began putting pressure on government to try and alleviate the problem. One of the first recognitions of  poverty was “the poor law” 1601 however it aimed to classify and stemmed from notions of “deserving” and “undeserving” poor the later seen as detrimental to the fabric of society.

The twentieth century meant a more politically coherent and responsive approach to poverty ant the replacement of the Poor Law by insurance based benefits and welfare services.  There was a post war welfare consensus and the provision of social services was based on universalism as opposed to pre war selectivity. However fluctuating levels of poverty still existed and rose dramatically during the conservative reign and the “rolling back of the welfare state”.

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 The number of researchers and organisations actively campaigning has increased and today many groups such as the child poverty action group CPAG have active websites and regularly carry out audits to publish figures and highlight the issue.

 The Townsend reports published in 1997,which will be looked at later have highlighted the need to combat social polarisation. His studies showed the gap between the rich and the poor increasing at an unacceptable level for more economically developed country MEDC.

In Britain today despite the post war welfare consensus relative poverty still exists on a number of levels which ...

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