Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


Social exclusion is not merely a specific single problem, rather it is a complex and multifaceted phenomenon. Being poor, or unemployed, or belonging to an ethnic minority group living in a segregated neighbourhood are not conditions which, in isolation, provide evidence of social exclusion. Individuals can, despite these hardships, very well be part of a mainstream society. Having rich networks of relationships and taking part in a wide variety of social activities, individuals can have rich social and cultural lives.
Further the concept social exclusion is distinct in comparison to previously used concepts, such as poverty and marginalisation, by its strong emphasis on process rather than condition. These processes are of both individual and societal nature. Thus, privations of specific social or economic conditions does not necessary mean that an individual or group of individuals are excluded. However, it means that they become more vulnerable to social exclusion. The focus of process is also relevant by the fact that current structural changes in the economy lead to parallel processes of change in socio-economic conditions.

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