Social Work and Social Divisions

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This essay will discuss social divisions; social exclusion and social inclusion, of which there are many definitions and interpretations. Social divisions and Social exclusion has been around for many years. Social exclusion was first noticed in France in 1970s in relation to people who fell outside the range of the social insurance system, such as disabled people, lone parents and the young unemployed (Townsend and Kennedy, 2004). Before 1997 Social exclusion was referred to as ‘poverty’, which means where people lack many of the opportunities that are available to the average person (Palmer; 2010). However for the purpose of this assignment, it will focus on homelessness as a social division, the relationship between exclusion and inclusion, and how this relates to social work practice.

Everybody in society is part of a social division. Thompson (2010) states that social divisions are complex and people are not only part of one group they are often part of other groups, for a example a asylum seekers can be linked with social divisions such as poverty, unemployment and homelessness. Asylum seekers can also be marginalised by language barriers. Supporting Thompson (2010) is Armstrong (2006) who stated in 1997, 4.8 million adults suffered from five or more disadvantages of exclusion. Social divisions are: class, race, disability, identify, gender and geographical environment, they are often problematic to individuals, groups and communities. Each Government which has come into power has tried to eradicate poverty, poor health, poor communities, discrimination and prejudice towards certain individuals and groups (Alcock, 2008).

Social exclusion, which excludes people from society, can be categorised into people who are,...

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...them (Dalrymple and Burke, 2006). Homeless people as already stated may have a number of disadvantages, one maybe a language barrier, English may not be their first language, therefore the social worker would find it useful to use an interpreter, which shows they value their cultural and want to help and support them.

In conclusion the role of a social worker is increasingly significant when working with people who are socially excluded, due to multiple factors such as, poverty, homelessness, race, mental health and sexual orientation. The essay has shown how people are effected by how Government oversee the country and how they encourage social workers to follow laws and polices, they need to believe in social justice and have an understanding of social divisions, social exclusion and how it informs their practice and then how people’s lives are impacted.
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