A second order reflection on the concepts of inclusion and exclusion

Asmund Born and Per H. Jensen

in Changing labour markets, welfare policies and citizenship

Published by Policy Press

Published in print January 2002 | ISBN: 9781861342720
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447301660 | DOI:
A second order reflection on the concepts of inclusion and exclusion

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This chapter discusses the concepts of inclusion and exclusion from the level of second order observation. It does not attempt to question the political preferences of scientists, question the conclusions of specifics studies, rather, this chapter discusses the hidden logics that operate whenever observers use the dichotomic concepts of ‘inclusion’ and ‘exclusion’. The chapter first establishes the landscape that has been used by scholars to describe the forms, causes and effects of marginalisation and exclusion. This leads to a discussion of the political implications of the use of the concepts in terms of social integrative ambitions, instruments and means accompanying the concepts. The chapter then turns to the concepts themselves and their performance effects on researcher's analytical horizon. It is argued that due to their dichotomous structure, ‘inclusion’ and ‘exclusion’ tend to have profound effects on the possible insights and theoretical positions of the researcher. The chapter also contrasts the Durkheimian paradigm with the Mertonian paradigm, since the modern use of the concepts of inclusion and exclusion is associated with a Mertonian one rather than a Durkheimian approach. The chapter also introduces other ways to conceptualise and deal with marginalisation and citizenship. Another such approach is the Niklas Luhmann's perspective on ‘inclusion’ and ‘exclusion’, which reconnects these concepts with the conceptions of society. The chapter ends with a discussion on the effects of late modern society on citizenship. Among the important effects of late modernity on citizenship include: the ‘natural’ referentiality between citizenship and society disappears and is replaced by ad hoc and partial membership of floating communities emerging through actualised memberships; and rights no longer have the same effects that they had within high modern society, since the legal and constitutional system is but one among several systems struggling for hegemony over narrative about society.

Keywords: inclusion; exclusion; effects of marginalisation; effects of exclusion; Durkheimian paradigm; Mertonian paradigm; citizenship; late modern society

Chapter.  8841 words. 

Subjects: Occupations, Professions, and Work

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