Julian Le Grand and Liz Richardson
Published April 2002
The aim of this paper is to compare academic interpretations of the term social exclusion with the understanding of people with direct experience of the phenomenon. A pre-selected group of residents of deprived neighbourhoods were asked about various aspects of the concept and their responses compared with the definitions of social exclusion used by Burchardt, Le Grand and Piachaud in their 1999 article in the journal Social Policy and Administration. In general, the residents¿ understanding of the term corresponded well with the more academic definitions; however, in one or two key areas there were significant differences, for example, the importance of neighbourhood and ¿service poverty¿, and the need for action against aspects of social exclusion on the grounds of social justice. This confirms that it might be useful for more academic concepts to be tested against the views of those with experience of the phenomenon which the concept is trying to capture.