beyond child poverty.pdf - BEYOND CHILD POVERTY T H E...

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BEYOND CHILD POVERTY: T H E SOCIAL EXCLUSION OF CHILDREN EDITED BY ALFRED J. KAHN AND SHEILA B. KAMERMAN THE INSTITUTE FOR CHILD AND FAMILY POLICY AT COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY
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siWWJBw.. /i Copyright © 2002 by The Institute for Child and Family Policy at Columbia University ISBN: 0-9722589-0-6 Additional copies available at $15.00 prepaid, postage and handling included. The Institute for Child and Family Policy at Columbia University 622 West 113* Street New York, NY 10025-7982 Telephone: 212-854-5448 Fax:212-854-4320 Email: [email protected] Printed by Phoenix Color Cover by Lazarus Design
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Social Exclusion: A Better Way to Think about Childhood Deprivation? 1 Alfred J. Kahn and Sheila B. Kamerman
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"Social exclusion" is a multidimensional concept, involving economic, social, political, cultural, and other aspects of disad- vantage and deprivation (Lenoir 1974; Room 1995; Magrab 1998; Klasen 1998). It is often described as the process by which indi- viduals and groups are wholly or partly closed out from participa- tion in their societies because of low income as well as constricted access to employment, social benefits and services, and other as- pects of cultural and community life. A key component is the framing of the issue as social and community exclusion, rather than individual and personal culpability. While some policy schol- ars use the term interchangeably with income poverty—or income poverty and unemployment—it is increasingly distinguished from financial poverty and focused instead on the idea of restricted access to civil, political, and social rights and opportunities. Social exclusion is particularly devastating for children, because if they encounter it when very young, it deprives them of the experi- ences—including access to health care and preschool education— that they need for a good start in life (Bradbury and Jantii 1999). Since it was first developed in France in the mid-1970s (Lenoir 1974), the concept of social exclusion has been increasingly used in the international social policy literature—in studies carried out by the UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre in Italy; reports of the European Union (Commission of the European Communities, 1994; Eurostat 2000, 2001); and recendy in the work of the Or- ganization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), both through the Centre for Educational Research and Innovation (CERI) and at a high-level ministerial conference held in London 13
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Beyond Child Poverty: The Social Exclusion of Children on October 9-10, 2000. Social exclusion is a concept that goes beyond the limitations of income poverty as a measure of eco- nomic well-being, to include several additional social, political, and cultural dimensions. It could reframe the discussion of child and family well-being, from an emphasis primarily on the indi- vidual or personal responsibility of parents to that of societal—or social and community—responsibility.
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