Social exclusion: licence through ambiguity

Authors

  • Robert Doherty

Abstract

In this paper I discuss some of the implications for state education that arise from what I argue is the ambiguous and flexible nature of the term ‘social exclusion’. I briefly consider the conceptual relationship between social exclusion, poverty and deprivation. Using the metaphor of story, I explore the operation of the term in the New Labour project, with particular attention to some of its implications for education. In the final section of the paper I consider some issues arising from New Labour’s social inclusion imperative in relation to educational policy and practice in a Scottish context. The potential of a state-sponsored discourse of exclusion to influence the conceptual backdrop to teachers’ reflections is briefly explored. Such considerations would seem relevant to other contexts in which the educational state realigns social policy within the margins of a new political narrative.

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Published

2009-06-26

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Section

Articles