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Is social exclusion still important for older people?

Kneale, D; (2012) Is social exclusion still important for older people? International Longevity Centre UK (ILC UK): London, UK. Green open access

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Abstract

The concept of social exclusion builds on the longstanding recognition of the relationship between material and non-material forms of disadvantage. Theoretically, the concept of social exclusion describes a detachment between the values and practices of the socially excluded and mainstream society, in part through the exclusionary practices of the socially included. While social exclusion for younger adults and children may revolve around the labour market, educational achievement and future potential, for older people the notion of social exclusion is grounded more in the preservation of independence and autonomy. Socially excluded older people are often those who are regarded as having lost their independence. Older people may be at risk of social exclusion because of (based on Philipson and Scharf, 2004): (i) age-related characteristics that are more likely to occur in later life, such as disability, low income and widowhood; (ii) cumulative disadvantage, where cohorts become more unequal over time due to, for instance, the impact of labour market experiences on pension outcomes; (iii) community characteristics (and the interaction with age and cohort characteristics) which make older people more vulnerable to changing conditions like population turnover, economic decline and crime, in their local areas; (iv) experience of age-based discrimination. In this report, we examine the concept of social exclusion among older people using data from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA). We adopt both a cross-sectional and longitudinal approach to analysing data collected in 2002 and 2008, building on earlier seminal work exploring social exclusion among older people by Barnes et al (2006). We recognise social exclusion as a multifaceted state, involving both material and non-material factors, and measure exclusion from the following domains: 1. Social Relationships; 2. Cultural Activities; 3. Civic Activities and Access to Information; 4. Local Amenities; 5. Decent Housing and Public Transport; 6. Common Consumer Goods; 7. Financial Products. We find that levels of social exclusion rose slightly between 2002 and 2008 among older people aged 50 and above. In 2002, 54.4 per cent were not excluded on any domain, reducing to 52.3 per cent in 2008. Between 2002 and 2008, becoming excluded from social relationships, civic activities and access to information, cultural activities, and local amenities was associated with a lower quality of life score; becoming excluded from social relationships and decent housing and public transport was associated with becoming lonelier between sweeps, while becoming excluded from social relationships was additionally associated with worsening self-perceived financial circumstances. These results suggest that the impact of being socially excluded influences outcomes reflecting both material and non-material circumstances.

Type: Report
Title: Is social exclusion still important for older people?
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: https://ilcuk.org.uk/is-social-exclusion-still-imp...
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the version of the record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Social exclusion, Ageing
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Social Research Institute
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1491321
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