WRAP.doc - Social Exclusion re-examining its conceptual relevance to tackling inequality and social injustice Purpose This paper rationalises the

WRAP.doc - Social Exclusion re-examining its conceptual...

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Social Exclusion: re-examining its conceptual relevance to tackling inequality and social injustice Purpose : This paper rationalises the continued conceptual utility of social exclusion, and in so doing addresses the prevailing question of what to do with it. This is relevant from social exclusion’s declining relevance in contemporary UK social policy and academia, where its consideration as a concept to explain disadvantage is being usurped by other concepts, both old and new. Design/methodology/approach : The paper analyses criticisms of limitations of social exclusion which have typically centred on the operationalisation of the concept, but I will argue that there are distinctive operationalisation and conceptual strengths within social exclusion which make it value-added as a concept to explain disadvantage. Specifically, there will be an analysis of both New Labour’s and the present Coalition government’s conceptualisation of the term in policy in relation to work. Findings : The analysis highlights the significant difference that a focus on processes rather than outcomes of social exclusion can make to our understanding of inequality and social injustice, and locates this difference within an argument that social exclusion’s true applied capabilities for social justice requires a shift to a conceptualisation built on the processes that cause it in the first place. Originality/value : The paper acts as a rejoinder to prevailing theoretical and political thinking of the limited and diminishing value of social exclusion for tackling disadvantage. In particular, the paper shows how social exclusion can be conceptualised to provide a critical approach to tackling inequality and social injustice, and in doing so foregrounds the truly applied capabilities of social exclusion for transforming social justice. Key words : social exclusion, conceptualisation, social justice, critique, relevance, policy analysis Article Classification : conceptual paper 1/25
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This paper rationalises the continued conceptual utility of social exclusion, and in so doing addresses the prevailing question of what to do with it . This is an important point to make because, considering recent changes of direction by both the previous UK government and the current one, social exclusion is evidently of declining relevance in contemporary social policy, with poverty making a significant comeback. This has also been evident in an academic context, as will be outlined below. But I will outline definitional differences between poverty and social exclusion which give make it value-added as a concept to explain disadvantage. Additionally, through an analysis of New Labour’s, and very briefly the current Coalition’s, conceptualisation of the term in policy specifically in relation to work, I will outline the significant difference that a focus on processes as opposed to outcomes of social exclusion can make to our understanding of inequality and social injustice, and in doing so articulate the
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  • Spring '16
  • Aryca Arizaga Marron

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