To understand the significance of the interrelationship of poverty and social exclusion, it is essential to comprehend the concepts by giving reference to meaningful discussions and readings. Therefore, in this paper, I will concentrate on which of those ideas is more impressive when discussing inequality. Hence, including the reasons for my resolution.
The concept of poverty can be described as the lack of the means to satisfy their fundamental needs to survive, such as health or education. At this point, it is necessary to reference Townsend (1979), who defines poverty as the inability of individuals to access resources, therefore being prohibited from usual living standards, customs, and interests.
In contrast, social exclusion can be explained as; likewise, it is indicated by UN (2016) as a multidimensional and context-dependent term. Also, it is a dynamic concept, meaning that it is not solely referring to the inequality between the top and the bottom of society; however, on the distance within the community between those who are forced towards the edges and who are active members. In general, the concept refers to being denied the chances of living the way other humans do. For example, individuals are left out of support systems, like people with disabilities, migrants, or rural women. As Levitas (2007) mentions, the idea of exclusion is a multidimensional set of issues, which can be identified in terms of the variates the center of attention towards relations. On the contrary, the framework of poverty establishes the main line of thinking with the focus on the issues of distribution. Specifically, social exclusion can be categorized in terms of resources, so material or economic resources.
Further, the absence of accessibility to private and public services can lead to exclusion. To provide an example of public service, one may put forward public transportation and, more essentially, healthcare or emergency services, as Martin (2004) efficiently declares. Nevertheless, the denial of those utilities drastically lowers the life standard, initiating the basis for poverty.
Therefore, I believe that poverty and social exclusion are significant in their perspective. However, the reality remains that it is more valid to highlight social exclusion when approaching the complex phenomenon of inequality. The reason for that is, as the UN (2018) underlines, social inclusion aims to solve challenges with the mechanism of monetary, wage, and social protection policies to lower the inequalities among humans. Consequently, the goal is to reduce poverty and stabilize a harmonious world. From an economic perspective, the primary point to highlight is that exclusion from the economy opens paths to different structures of exclusion. These means lead to the cycle of people being “locked-in” poverty.
In conclusion, I tried to reflect the conceptualizations considering the concepts of poverty and social exclusion. By providing a more dimensional insight, I supported my argument that social exclusion is more dominant when addressing inequality, with the relevant explanations from readings.
Levitas, R., Pantazis, C., Fahmy, E., Gordon, D., Lloyd-Reichling, E., & Patsios, D. (2007). The multidimensional analysis of social exclusion.
Martin, B. (2004). What is public about public services. Commissioned by the World Bank as a background paper for the World Development Report, 2004, Making Services Work for Poor People. Retrieved from https://www.publicworld.org/files/WhatIsPublic.pdf
Townsend, P. (1979). Poverty in the United Kingdom: a survey of household resources and standards of living. Univ of California Press.
UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (2016) Leaving No One Behind: The Imperative of Inclusive Development. New York: United Nations. (pp. 1-9)
UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (2018) Social inclusion: Addressing Inequalities and Challenges to Social Inclusion. Retrieved from https://www.un.org/development/desa/dspd/2018-expert-group-meetings-and-panel-discussions/social-protection.html