Young people in rural areas: socially excluded or not?


Pavis S, Hubbard G & Platt S (2001) Young people in rural areas: socially excluded or not?. Work, Employment and Society, 15 (2), pp. 291-309.

Tackling social exclusion is at the heart of current British social policy, yet the concept remains 'essentially contested'. Here we report on the transitional experiences (school to work, parental home to independent household, family of origin to family of destination) of young people (eighteen to twenty-five years) with low educational qualifications living in two areas of rural Scotland. Through in-depth interviews we explore: whether labour market participation always enhances social inclusion and, if so, in what ways; how young people experience and balance the relationship between labour market participation and demands (and their priorities) in other areas, such as family life, education and housing; and how age, gender, lifecourse stage and local opportunities affect labour market participation and social inclusion. The findings challenge the political rhetoric that all employment is broadly equivalent with respect to promoting social inclusion. We argue that to develop further the concept of social inclusion it is necessary to examine and promote 'opportunity', something which in turn rests upon the twin elements of available 'resources' and accessible 'arenas'.

Work, Employment and Society: Volume 15, Issue 2

Publication date30/06/2001