Social Inclusion Strategies: Endorsing Conformity or Promoting Diversity?

By Jillian Marchant.

Published by The International Journal of Community Diversity

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The enrichment of society is achieved through the encouragement and acceptance of social contributions from a diverse population of individuals. Within Australia, many socially diverse individuals inhabit the margins of society—a position that limits their social involvement. In 2008, the Australian government introduced a social inclusion initiative to strengthen society by improving social outcomes. This paper explores social inclusion through an understanding of foundational social concepts, social inclusion philosophy, and social inclusion initiatives. A consideration of the origin of social deprivation in Australia leads to an appreciation of the difficulties involved in generating social improvement. A contrast between the strategy in Australian social inclusion initiatives and a possible approach advocated by social inclusion philosophy suggests difficulties in realizing social development through existing initiatives. The limitations of social inclusion initiatives are particularly evident when considering the chances for recipients to express diverse social involvement. Revisiting the possibilities suggested by social inclusion philosophy is an orientation for possible practices to improve the social outcomes of individuals in a manner that promotes the benefits of social diversity.

Keywords: Government Policy, Social Citizenship, Community Development

The International Journal of Community Diversity, Volume 13, Issue 3, November 2014, pp.13-23. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 161.929KB).

Jillian Marchant

PhD Candidate, The School of Education, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland, Australia