9
Against exclusion:
the radical alternative

The last chapter of the second edition of this book has the same purpose as the conclusion to the first edition. First, it will present a summary account of the nature of social exclusion based on the ideas and data reviewed up to this point. However, we now have nearly seven years' experience of 'inclusionary policies' launched as part of New Labour's third way. This means that we have to understand social exclusion not only in terms of the character of flexible postindustrial capitalism but also in relation to policy regimes and political practices in the kind of post-democratic societies for which Blair's Britain can serve as a prototype. Second, it will examine what we might do about social exclusion, assuming that we want to do anything. We will begin with a consideration of the nature of the politics of social inclusion, with a review of just what political identities might contribute to the restoration of a social world of advanced capitalism which is at least as inclusive as Fordism was, and might even go beyond this both in terms of the internal degree of inclusion and of the extension of that inclusion on a global scale. The term political identity is used here really as a kind of label for political collectives defined by both common objectives and common principles as the joint bases for action. It includes consciousness, but goes beyond it. It is not just about material interest, but about the ideas collectivities of people have about what the future should be and why that future should be.

We will then turn to the practical prospects for a real inclusionary politics which challenges the reality of exclusion and of the economic system and political practices which give rise to it. Here we cannot attempt a discussion of organization without reference to the nature of 'inclusionary policy' at the level of the local. In other words, we have to take the sorts of practices which operate in specific places – whether in relation to education, urban regeneration, New Deal for Communities, cultural policy or whatever, and confront them with a radical practice. Participation has to be pushed to the

-169-

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Social Exclusion
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgements viii
  • Series Editor's Preface ix
  • Introduction 1
  • Part One 17
  • 1: Conceptualizing Social Exclusion 19
  • 2: Order, Solidarity and Transformation 33
  • 3: Conceptualizing Social Exclusion 52
  • 4: Dynamic Society - Dynamic Lives 67
  • Part Two 83
  • The Dynamics of Income Inequality 85
  • 6: Divided Spaces 115
  • 7: Divided Lives - Exclusion in Everyday Life 133
  • Part Three 149
  • 8: Including the Excluded 151
  • 9: Against Exclusion 169
  • Bibliography 183
  • Index 194
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