The social inclusion policy agenda in Australia: A case of old wine, new bottles?

Dee, Mike & Marston, Greg (2015) The social inclusion policy agenda in Australia: A case of old wine, new bottles? Australian Journal of Social Issues, 50(2), pp. 119-138.

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Abstract

The election of an Australian Labor Government in Australia in 2007 saw ‘social inclusion’ emerge as the official and overarching social policy agenda. Being ‘included’ was subsequently defined by the ALP Government as being able to ‘have the resources, opportunities and capabilities needed to learn, work, engage and have a voice’. Various researchers in Australia demonstrated an interest in social inclusion, as it enabled them to construct a multi-dimensional framework for measuring disadvantage. This research program resulted in various forms of statistical modelling based on some agreement about what it means to be included in society.

The multi-dimensional approach taken by academic researchers, however, did not necessarily translate to a new model of social policy development or implementation. We argue that, similar to the experience of the UK, Australia’s social inclusion policy agenda was for the most part narrowly and individually defined by politicians and policy makers, particularly in terms of equating being employed with being included. We conclude with discussion about the need to strengthen the social inclusion framework by adopting an understanding of social inequality and social justice that is more relational and less categorical.

Impact and interest:

2 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 84994
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: social inclusion, social justice, income support policy, citizenship
ISSN: 0157-6321
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > POLICY AND ADMINISTRATION (160500) > Public Policy (160510)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > POLICY AND ADMINISTRATION (160500) > Social Policy (160512)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > POLITICAL SCIENCE (160600) > Citizenship (160602)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > SOCIOLOGY (160800) > Social Theory (160806)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 The Author(s)
Deposited On: 25 Jun 2015 23:13
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2015 04:19

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