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A Critique of the Concept of Social Exclusion and its Utility for Australian Social Housing Policy


Arthurson, K and Jacobs, KA, A Critique of the Concept of Social Exclusion and its Utility for Australian Social Housing Policy, Australian Journal of Social Issues, 39, (1) pp. 25-40. ISSN 0157-6321 (2004) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1002/j.1839-4655.2004.tb01161.x


The paper reviews the usefulness of the concept of social exclusion for Australian social housing policy. We draw on recent theoretical and empirical research from Europe and the UK to develop a critique of the concept of social exclusion. It is argued that any assessment of social exclusion needs to distinguish between its utility as an academic explanatory concept and its political deployment to justify new forms of policy intervention. Policy targeting anti-social behaviour through increasingly more punitive means, for instance, is often justified on the basis that it ameliorates the problems of social exclusion experienced by tenants residing in public housing estates. We conclude that, in spite of the limitations of social exclusion as an analytical concept, for political and pragmatic reasons it is likely to become an important component of the emerging Australian housing policy agenda.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Sociology
Research Field:Sociology not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Other culture and society
Objective Field:Other culture and society not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Jacobs, KA (Professor Keith Jacobs)
ID Code:29633
Year Published:2004
Web of Science® Times Cited:26
Deposited By:Sociology and Social Work
Deposited On:2004-08-01
Last Modified:2005-03-23

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