How Social Differences Have Become Grounds for Social Exclusion

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[pic] The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate how social differences have become grounds for social exclusion. After a brief review of the definition of social exclusion, the paper will then show that social difference such as gender, social class, race and educational attainment have become grounds for social exclusion. The concept of social exclusion is relatively new, having been first introduced by Lenoir in 1974.There are many definitions of social exclusions. According to Levitas et al (2007) social exclusion occurs where different factors combine to trap individuals and areas in a spiral of disadvantage. Social exclusion is a dynamic process and can be transmitted from one generation to the next although not voluntary. It is due to the fact that some people do not get a fair deal in society because of social differences. Some sociologists have agued that it is a mechanism for poverty. There are two types of poverty. According to Townsend (1979) individuals or families can be said to be in poverty when they lack the resources to obtain the type of diet, participation in the activities that are at least widely encouraged in society. This is termed relative poverty. Absolute poverty occurs when a person’s life falls below a fixed standard, experiences complete destitution and can not meet minimum needs of food and shelter (Townsend, 1979). Gender difference is a significant factor that has caused social exclusion and it could be argued that this exclusion is socially constructed. Firstly although much has improved there still is discrimination and inequalities in the labour market. It is important to understand that income is the basis of an individual’s participation in society. According to Gender-Agenda (2009) women who work full-time earn, on average, 17% less per hour than men working full-time. For women who work part-time, the gap in pay 38% per

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