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The Inclusive Society?

Social Exclusion and New Labour

The Inclusive Society? by Ruth Levitas
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The idea of social exclusion is part of a new political language about social cohesion, community, stakeholding and inclusion. The New Labour government launched its Social Exclusion Unit to pursue this central theme. But what exactly does social exclusion mean? This book identifies three competing meanings of the term in contemporary British politics, in turn emphasising poverty, employment and morality. It examines arguments by Will Hutton, John Kay, Amitai Etzioni and John Gray as well as the rhetoric and policies of New Labour, and shows how all of these neglect the role of unpaid work in society. It argues that there has been a shift away from understanding social exclusion as primarily a problem of poverty, towards question of social integration through paid work, and moral regulation - a combination which reflects the concerns of the sociologist Emile Durkheim, but expresses them in ways which have very ambiguous consequences for social policy. This second edition adds a new chapter evaluating New Labour's record between 1997 and 2004.
Palgrave Macmillan; April 2005
294 pages; ISBN 9780230511552
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Title: The Inclusive Society?
Author: Ruth Levitas
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