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Title: Diversity and social inclusion : a theoretical framework
Author: Witcher, Sally A.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2006
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This thesis examines the meaning of social inclusion and theorises what would be required to maximize the diversity that can be included into mainstream society while preserving social cohesion. The primary aim is to develop a coherent theoretical framework, identifying where scope to expand the mainstream may be found, as well as logical limitations and probable constraints. The implications for social policy design and delivery are then explored. The focus is on welfare goods and services as they play a pivotal role, either supporting social inclusion, or reinforcing social exclusion by confirming incapacity, unnecessary segregation and failure to promote wider social connections. Inclusion into mainstream society can thus be promoted by inclusion into appropriately designed and delivered mainstream welfare provision. The starting point is to examine theoretical literatures concerned with disadvantage. Key themes from social justice, poverty, discrimination and social exclusion theory are extracted; commonalities and differences identified. Social justice themes of fair distribution and cultural recognition fit well with themes to be found in poverty and discrimination literatures respectively. The framework is built by theorising firstly the macro-level structural and cultural environment, how it is and could be shaped to maximise inclusion. The meso-level processes through which this environment is expressed and through which attachment to it occurs are then considered. The final component of the framework concerns the nature of micro-level social relationships through which those processes are enacted, the transactional needs and identities of micro-level agents. Using the theoretical framework to identify implications for social policy indicates the existence of a new ‘inclusive’ model, distinct from liberal market, traditional public sector and radical models. The key features of the inclusive model are summarised and their implications for the direction of policy strategy illustrated.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available