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Driving up participation: Social inclusion

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The inequality that had grown since 1979 under four Conservative governments had been a source of campaigning and local policies in Labour-held large cities and became a major plank of the New Labour Blair government. Social exclusion was described, now famously by the new Social Exclusion Unit in the Cabinet Office in a report on the 3,000 most deprived estates as:
“a shorthand label for what can happen when individuals or areas suffer a combination of linked problems such as unemployment, poor skills, low incomes, poor housing, high crime environments, bad health and family breakdown (Bringing Britain Together).”
For the European Commission, Commins (1993) more analytically said it was a process leading to lack of access to one or more of four basic social systems;

  • the democratic and legal system, which promotes civic integration
  • the labour market, which promotes economic integration
  • the welfare system, which promotes social integration
  • the family and community system, which promotes interpersonal integration, and includes sport, arts and culture.

He argued (1993: 4) that when one or two (of these) are weak, the others need to be strong. And the worst off are those for whom all systems have failed. Berghman (1995: 19) spoke of a denial or non-realisation of citizenship rights. Thus social inclusion or as the French and the EU have it, insertion sociale, is the policy or act of overcoming barriers such that people have more opportunity to take part.

Elsewhere, I have argued (Collins 2003), and cannot repeat too loudly or insistently here, that poverty is the core of exclusion. Age, gender, ethnicity, (dis)ability, physical environment and location are all factors for some but most excluded people are also poor - for example 75% of disabled people are poor because they depend on state benefits which because of their low level in the UK mean they fall below the 60% of average income which is the EU benchmark. The poor grew from 7% in 1979 - after a period when old age pensions and sickness benefits had increased faster than inflation, to a whopping 24% of the population in 1994, with little in overall rural-urban differences, though the poor are spread more thinly amongst rural affluence in the countryside and make less impact than the urban concentrations. This is a major social divide; even more worryingly, 30% of children were in poor households. Thus poverty must be addressed, as well as the other active exclusionary factors, via ‘joined-up’ policies.



 editors comments   

Editor's comments - [  This is an academic review paper commissioned by Sport England as contextual analysis to inform the preparation of the Framework for sport in England and part of a series of desk studies called Driving up Participation: The Challenge for Sport.  See our Ruff guide to sport and social inclusion. ]  Reference this?Cryer, J. (Year). This page title in italics. Retrieved date, from <this page's full URL>

In the text: Cryer (year)


APA reference for this document


Reference : Collins, M. (2004). Driving up participation: Social inclusion. Loughborough: Institute of sport and leisure policy: Loughborough University

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Download this file (dupinclusion.pdf)dupinclusion.pdfCollins, M. (2004). Driving up participation: Social inclusion. Loughborough: Institute of sport and leisure policy: Loughborough University
Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 March 2009 13:24  

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