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Inclusive equalityA vision for social justice$
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Sally Witcher

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781447300038

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447300038.001.0001

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Social exclusion

Social exclusion

(p.127) Five Social exclusion
Inclusive equality

Sally Witcher

Policy Press

Difficulties in pinpointing the meaning of social exclusion are particularly acute. Its relationship to poverty and inequality is explored to try to establish its distinctive features. Discourses of social exclusion (Silver 1994, Levitas 2005) draw on different strands of social theory, while Byrne attributes their origins to different responses to Capitalism. Others root their approaches in conceptualisations of society, its structures and operations. This includes systems and social integration (Lockwood 1992), the interaction between spheres (economic, political, social, etc) and systems, the nature of social relationships and relationship networks as the ties that bind society together. These may converge on institutions or events. The limits to inclusion and cohesion are then explored, noting that inclusion and ways of achieving cohesion may not always be desirable. The chapter concludes with discussion of inequalities – of resources, power and voice – as the cause of weakening the social fabric, to the point of ‘catastrophic rupture’, and the importance of access to relationship networks. It brings as back to the nature of distributive processes and the importance of accurate recognition if social justice is to be achieved.

Keywords:   Social inclusion/exclusion, Social cohesion, Integration, Redistribution, Engagement, Social relationships, Networks, Inequalities

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