Calling out for a rejuvenated account of the study of social exclusion, Winlow and Hall offer a startling account of social disintegration and the retreat into subjectivity. Rather than meekly bowing to conventional wisdom, they suggest that, in many respects, 'the social' no longer exists as we are all increasingly excluded from its networks and obligations and that we are all increasingly denied access to the positive substance of a really existing social world. Winlow and Hall argue that social exclusion is deeply indicative of the way we live now. It is not that some individuals and groups are excluded from the social, but 'the social', properly understood, is excluded from the spaces we all inhabit. Thus, despite widening and deepening socioeconomic divisions, the reality of social exclusion is not simply seen in the North American ghettos or the sink estates of Britain, but also in exclusive gated housing developments that are now a feature of many Western cities, the vacuous non-places of the shopping mall, the deadening reality of low-level service work - and in the depressing uniformity of our political parties. Drawing upon current movements in radical philosophy and bringing the changing nature of capitalism and its domestication of democratic politics to the forefront of the discussion, Rethinking Social Exclusion has something new and important to say about a contemporary post-political order that appears comfortable with the hollowing out of the social, the severance of traditional social relations and the economic abandonment and cultural vilification of the poorest. This book will be essential reading for upper level students studying social exclusion, inequality and contemporary forms of social class.
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