Looking over this question it seems easy enough but when thinking into it deeper it became a lot harder. Firstly the definition of a community, – being a place where a group of people may live close by in one district or a group with shared origins in interest. and secondly how do we define those who are different? A person who is different to me may be seen as normal to you. But then, what is normal? I’ve identified groups as best as possible which may be classed as different in my eyes and who may have difficulty fitting into an average community.
People are excluded when they are not part of the networks which support most people in ordinary life – networks of family, friends, community and employment. Others groups include poor people, ex-prisoners, people with AIDS, people with learning disabilities or psychiatric patients, homeless people, different religious groups, immigrants or refugees and even the elderly might all be said to be at risk of exclusion. All may have difficulty fitting in as the ‘not in my back yard’ view applies where nobody wants to live next door to these ‘different people’.
People believe these groups will make the area they live in less attractive to others, and devalue their houses which may have a knock on effect on businesses and services in the area. Social Exclusion is a major problem in the UK. One, which is being addressed by Tony Blair and the Labour Government. Tony Blair has said “The last government let poverty re-gain its hold in Britain, to an extent unseen since before the last War. … The Prime minister set up the Social Exclusion Unit or SEU in 1997 to help improve Government action to reduce social exclusion by producing – ‘joined-up solutions to joined-up problems’.
The SEU is staffed by a mixture of civil servants from a wide range of Government departments whose work forms part of the Government’s strategic approach to tackling social exclusion. They look for solutions based on three main areas Preventing Social Exclusion Making sure that mainstream services are being delivered to everyone Reintegrating people who have fallen through the net. If it all works this will become the first British government ever to eliminate poverty. In practice, the idea of exclusion is mainly used in three contexts. The first is financial:
exclusion is identified with poverty, and its effect on a person’s ability to participate in normal activities. This can involve many of the groups ive listed. The second is exclusion from the labour market: exclusion is strongly identified with long-term unemployment and can lead to poverty and further exclusion form the workforce as skills will become out of date and new technology will become unfamiliar and more training will be needed which they can not afford. Third, there is exclusion in its social sense, which identifies exclusion partly with alienation from social networks, and partly with the circumstances of stigmatised groups.
The government believes that to solve the problems of exclusion, benefits should not be increased but the answer is simply to get a job. It can solve poverty, and help get someone into social networks and back into society. Social exclusion can happen as a result of problems that face one person in their life. But it can also start from birth. Being born into poverty or to parents with low skills still has a major influence on future life chances. Furthermore Children in England are more segregated in their school lives than they are where they live.
Research by Bristol University into secondary schools found high levels of segregation by ethnic group. This was strongest in inner cities, where parents were choosing to send their children to schools where their race was dominant. Children whose families originated from South Asia were the most segregated, according to the data. It’s an age group where children are forming their views learning life skills and how to socialize with others outside of their own groups. Different groups grow up in different communities and meet each other less – that’s not good for social cohesion so schools should be a place where all can meet together.