Exclusion, Discrimination and Marginalisation of Women in the Slums of Lucknow

Topics: Sociology, Discrimination, Poverty Pages: 15 (5582 words) Published: February 24, 2014
Exclusion, Discrimination and Marginalisation of Women in the Slums of Lucknow Saumyata Pandey (saumyatapandey@yahoo.com)
Research Scholar,

The term social exclusion is of relatively recent origin. Rene Lenoir (1974), is given the credit of authorship of the concept. The concept of social exclusion covers a remarkably wide range of social and economic problem. Even in the practical context of identifying the excluded in France Rene Lenoir as Secretaire d’Etat a l’Action Sociale of French Government spoke of the following as constituting “the excluded”- a tenth- of the French population: “Mentally and physically handicapped suicidal people aged invalids abused children substance abuses , delinquents, single parents , multi problems house holds , marginal a social persons and other social misfits [Silver (1995) pg 63]” The literature that has followed Lenoir’s original initiative has vastly added to this already bulging list of the socially excluded. As Silver (1995) notes, the list of few of “the things the literature says people may be excluded” from must include the following: “A livelihood, secure permanent environment earnings , property housing minimal or prevailing consumption levels , education skills and cultural capitals , the welfare state , citizenship and legal equality , democratic participants , public good , the nation of the dominant race, family and society, humanity , respect fulfillment and understanding.” The discourse social exclusion emerged in 1990s when the disciplines of sociology, social work, political science, economics and law began applying it to denote conditions of deprivations and binary opposition between inclusion and exclusion. Hence, an inherent problem with the term is the tendency of the practitioners who define it to suit their arguments. In broad sense, social exclusion is the denial of equal opportunities imposed on some people or groups which leads to inability of an individual or group of people to participate in basic social, economic and political functioning of the society. The Department of International Development (DFID) defines it as “a process by which certain groups are systematically disadvantaged because they are discriminated against on the basis of the ethnicity, race, religion, sexual orientation, caste, descent, life. Discrimination occurs in public institutions such as legal system or education and health services as well as social institutions like household” (DFID 2005.) Thus social exclusion is multi dimensional and encompasses social, political cultural and economic dimensions and operates at different social levels dynamically. The latest edition of Social Science Encyclopedia (2009) says that it is flexible and somewhat amorphous in use. Yet there are core features suggesting imperative of inclusion etc. that separate it from notions such as poverty and marginalization and frame it as an additive comprehensive concept. Marginalisation, disadvantage and discrimination are experienced due to poverty, and thus the concept of can play an important role in aiding the understanding of social processes such as conflict. Marginalisation (Dictionary of sociology, 1996) is a process by which a group or individual is denied access to important positions and symbols of economic, religious and political power with in any society. A marginal group may constitute a numerical majority and should perhaps be distinguished from a minority group, which may be small in number but has access to political and economic power. Anthropologists, in particular, have tended to study marginal groups. This stems in part from the idea that, by looking at what happens on the margins of a society, one can see how that society defines itself and is defined in terms of other societies, and what constitutes its key cultural values. Social inclusion in contrast to social exclusion is an affirmative action to change the circumstances that lead to exclusion. It is a strategy to combat...

References: Kuper, Adam Social Science Encyclopedia, 2009. 3rd Edition, Routledge & Kegan Paul
Lenoir, Rene.1974/1989. Les Exclus: Un Franciais sur Dix. Paris: Editions du Seuil.
Marshall,Gordon, 1996 Oxford Concise Dictionary of Sociology
Sen,G. and Baltimore (2000), Empowering Women for Reproductive Rights, New York: Oxford University Press.
Silver, Hillary.1995. Reconceptualising Social Disadvantage: Three Paradigms of Social Exclusion: Rhetoric, Reality, Responses, edited by Gerry Rodgers, Charles Gore and Jose Figueiredo. Geneva: International Institute of Labour Studies.
Sen, Amartya. 2000 ‘Social Exclusion: Concept, Application and Scrutiny’, Asian Development Bank Working Paper No.
Thorat, Sukhdeo 2003 ‘Caste,Ethnicity and Religion: An Overview Paper on Exclusion/Discrimination and Deprivation’ Concept Paper for DFID, Delhi May.
Thorat, Sukhdeo. 2007. Economic Exclusion and poverty in Asia. : The example of caste in India. 2020 Focus brief on the worlds Poor and Hungry People.
UNDP (2000), Human Rights and Human Development, Human Development Report 2000, Published by United Nations Development Programme, New Delhi: Oxford University Press.
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