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Housing Inequality - Essay Example

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The concept of Social exclusion is not new in Britain. The condition, which is today named as 'Social Exclusion' was called 'disadvantage' and 'deprivation' some thirty years ago in UK thereby responsible for creating the concept of 'underclass'. This 'underclass' concept gave birth to economic and social class systems in Britain based on racial inequalities in the ownership and distribution of wealth, housing, jobs, resources and power…
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Housing Inequality
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Housing Inequality

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From the 1970s, the emergence of rightwing neo-liberal governments in many capitalist nations including Britain, led to financial deregulation, the privatisation of some government industries and services, and tax-cutting in favour of more affluent groups. The result has been a marked polarization of wealth and income in the UK. Inequalities in the distribution of wealth increased significantly in the UK since the late 1970s (Joseph, 1995). Tax cuts and soaring stock market and property values, have allowed those who were already wealthy to accumulate their wealth massively. Wealth can be stored and accumulated in the form of investments or property and it is therefore more unevenly distributed than income. In the late 1990s, the top 10 percent of the population of Britain owned 50 percent of the nation's wealth, and during the 1990s the wealth of the most affluent 200 individuals doubled. (Savage, 2000)
While studying Marx theory of social exclusion it is obvious that Marx emphasised the material nature of class inequality, and the way that class interests polarised as capitalism developed. While the main race and class divisions are rather different to those that Marx himself discussed, in general terms Marx's arguments about the entrenched nature of economic class inequality are borne out by current trends. Those trends that highlight the main economic class differences between the service class on the one hand, and the working class on the other. The class divisions between employers and employees (particularly those who possess nothing) or between professionals or white-collar workers are the best examples in this case. Secondly, Marx predicted the development of class-consciousness as workers became aware of their class situation and sought to transform this through political action. Marx emphasized that the working class were the emancipatory force who had the potential to overthrow capitalism: this claim allowed Marxists to appeal to class in order to connect with practical political struggles in many different parts of the world. (Savage, 2000)
While analysing the causes of social exclusion, it is found that poverty is the main cause of social exclusion, which serves as the grounds for all fundamental societal dilemmas leading to racial and housing inequality. After poverty social exclusion is also effected by massive racial inequalities in cultural, social and economical diversified aspects, as well as huge inequalities relating to and reinforced by unequal access to information and education. It is not the case that people who are currently referred to as 'socially excluded' are financially poor, they belong to such social groups whose culture and identity holds the least amount of influence in British society. (Niace, 2000) Thus the influence of racial differences tends to be the greatest barrier in achieving a standard and quality of housing in Britain today.
According to Anderson (2002), the 1997 elections in the UK escorted the housing issue in the light of housing profession to the housing inequality, to embrace the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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