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Journal section "Theoretical issues"

Exclusion as a Criterion for Selecting Socially Vulnerable Population Groups

Shabunova A.A., Kalachikova O.N., Leonidova G.V., Smoleva E.O.

2 (44), 2016

Exclusion as a Criterion for Selecting Socially Vulnerable Population Groups / Shabunova A.A., Kalachikova O.N., Leonidova G.V., Smoleva E.O.. Economic and Social Changes: Facts, Trends, Forecast, 2016, no. 2 (44), pp. 29-47. DOI: 10.15838/esc.2016.2.44.2

DOI: 10.15838/esc.2016.2.44.2

Abstract   |   Authors   |   References
The article considers theoretical aspects of a scientific research “The Mechanisms for Overcoming Mental Barriers of Inclusion of Socially Vulnerable Categories of the Population for the Purpose of Intensifying Modernization in the Regional Community” (RSF grant No. 16-18-00078). The authors analyze the essence of the category of “socially vulnerable groups” from the legal, economic and sociological perspectives. The paper shows that the economic approach that uses the criterion “the level of income and accumulated assets” when defining vulnerable population groups prevails in public administration practice. The legal field of the category based on the economic approach is defined by the concept of “the poor and socially unprotected categories of citizens”. With the help of the analysis of theoretical and methodological aspects of this issue, the authors show that these criteria are a necessary but not sufficient condition for classifying the population as being socially vulnerable. Foreign literature associates the phenomenon of vulnerability with the concept of risks, with the possibility of households responding to them and with the likelihood of losing the well-being (poverty theory; research areas related to the means of subsistence, etc.). The asset-based approaches relate vulnerability to the poverty that arises due to lack of access to tangible and intangible assets. Sociological theories presented by the concept of social exclusion pay much attention to the breakdown of social ties as a source of vulnerability. The essence of social exclusion consists in the inability of people to participate in important aspects of social life (in politics, labor markets, education and healthcare, cultural life, etc.) though they have all the rights to do so. The difference between the concepts of exclusion and poverty is manifested in the displacement of emphasis from income inequality to limited access to rights. Social exclusion is characterized by the situation and state of exception that is linked to social status and self-perception of human rights and expressed through the senses of inferiority, anger, fear, despair, depression, shame. The status of social exclusion has many criteria: poverty, limited opportunities for employment and education, lack of access to social and community networks and activities, inability to plan one’s own life. The explanatory concept of social exclusion is based on the construction of the attitude toward socially vulnerable layers as the devalued social status. The barrier of social inclusion consists in the formation of a negative image of a representative of this category of the population in the eyes of more secure population groups; and the reason for this phenomenon lies in individual characteristics of an individual: lack of purpose, apathy, laziness, low motivation to labor and training, and bad habits. The prevailing social stereotype contributes to the stratification of entire families, including children, who are in advance deprived of the most important economic, political and cultural resources of society, and have no opportunities for the upward mobility. If no measures are taken to overcome social exclusion, it can lead to the fact that part of the population will fall out of social development and slip into a state of stagnation and complete social dependence. The concept of social inclusion shifts the priorities of state social policy from the allocation of social transfers to actively changing the mindset in society

Keywords

social exclusion, socially vulnerable groups, the poor, poverty concept, social inclusion

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