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Poverty and Social Exclusion in the UK: Vol. 2The Dimensions of Disadvantage$
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Glen Bramley and Nick Bailey

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781447334224

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447334224.001.0001

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Social participation and social support

Social participation and social support

(p.137) Five Social participation and social support
Poverty and Social Exclusion in the UK: Vol. 2

Lisa Wilson

Eldin Fahmy

Nick Bailey

Policy Press

Townsend argued that poverty is a key barrier to social participation as it limits people’s ability to participate in social activities and to maintain social relationships or networks. The results in this chapter support this argument finding that poverty acts as a barrier to social contact, particularly with friends; that it constrains participation in a range of social activities, and; that it shapes perceptions of support and satisfaction with relationships. People experiencing social and material deprivation have less social contact than they would like, and attribute this to cost or affordability problems, although other factors such as health or caring responsibilities can play a role too. That said, the importance of contact with family in particular emerges clearly in this analysis. For those groups where there are likely to be additional needs for support as a result of poverty, caring roles or health problems, contact with family tends to be significantly higher - likely reflecting the importance of family as both the central source of financial resources and of practical and emotional support. Households in these groups who lack access to such family networks may face particular disadvantages. All in all, the study finds that people experiencing poverty are often in effect excluded from widely accepted norms of social participation in the UK today.

Keywords:   Support, Social contact, Participation, Relationships, Family, Friends

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