One reason was that despite of all extensive lifetime redistribution of income through the social security and tax systems, there was a tremendous significant variation of average income levels, especially when women was considered as a reserve of cheap and docile labour and was expected to work eighty or ninety hour a week. (Tavistock Routledge)
A study carried out by the Christian Economic and Social Research Foundation (1957) pointed out the main reason for such patience in women bearing poverty, was poor housing conditions which caused many of the difficulties experienced by the women, and found a move away from cramped accommodation to a council estate, although welcomed, could mean renewed and greater anxieties, and caused considerable strain in the large number of cases where the higher rent could only be paid by skimping on food and other necessities. (Tavistock Routledge)
Women were expected to place on their family role and unlike men women were meant to do their 'double-shift' jobs paid work, plus work in the home which made possible the relative affluence of their family, while their capacities as mothers were hampered by poverty when their children were small, and while again in old age they were the ones most likely to be suffering, since the majority of old-age pensioners were women. (Tavistock Routledge) The pension-problem is worst for women, whose longer lives and interrupted careers mean lower savings and a greater threat of poverty in later life. (Rediscovery of poverty, 2006a)
What is meant by social exclusion Outline two important examples of exclusion in contemporary Britain.
The UK Government Social Exclusion Unit offers the following definition: "Social exclusion is a shorthand term for what can happen when people or areas suffer from a combination of linked problems such as unemployment, poor skills, low incomes, poor housing, high crime environments, bad health and family breakdown". (Alex Marsh) Social exclusion so severely restricts access to the services and jobs needed for a minimal standard of living that even when they are not the majority of the poor, the excluded typically constitute the poorest. Social exclusion affects an individual's opportunity to find good work, decent housing, adequate health care, quality education, safe and secure living conditions as well as their treatment by the legal and criminal justice systems. (Social Exclusion, 2006a)
Examples of Social Exclusion
Housing-related problems are the most common cause for concern towards social exclusion: high social housing rents causing poverty and benefit traps; poor physical conditions and overcrowding in parts of the stock; constraints on mobility barring households from improving their circumstances by relocating; and children living above the ground floor in flatted accommodation. The processes of residualisation, affordability problems and problems with the management of social housing have led to the poorest households having little choice but to live in adverse conditions. (Alex Marsh)
The absence of employment is another key example of 'Social Exclusion'. This is not the fact that work is absent from their lives. Many worked outside the formal labour market: caring for children in the home; in more informal, sometimes in illicit economic activities.
In many cases, interviewees had been