Tackling Poverty and Social Exclusion : Promoting Social Justice in Social Work book cover
3rd Edition

Tackling Poverty and Social Exclusion
Promoting Social Justice in Social Work

ISBN 9780415742993
Published April 11, 2016 by Routledge
242 Pages 20 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

In our highly unequal Britain poverty and social exclusion continue to dominate the lives of users of social work and social care services. At the same time, spending cuts and welfare reform have changed the context within which services are delivered. The third edition of this unique textbook seeks to capture the complexity and diversity of practice relating to social exclusion as social workers adapt to this challenging environment.

Tackling Poverty and Social Exclusion prepares practitioners to engage directly with the social and personal circumstances facing excluded individuals and their families. The volume:

• Explains the development of the concept of social exclusion as a framework for understanding the impact of poverty and other deprivations on users’ lives and outlines five building blocks for combating exclusion in practice;

• Locates practice within social work values of fairness and social justice while acknowledging the many challenges to those values;

• Includes individual chapters on excluded children and families, young people and adults -- with chapters also on practice in disadvantaged neighbourhoods and rural communities;

• Discusses inclusionary practice in relation to racism as well as refugees and asylum seekers.

Throughout, the book encourages students and practitioners to think through the range of approaches, perspectives and value choices they face. To facilitate engagement each chapter includes up-to-date practice examples, case studies and specific questions for readers to reflect on.

Table of Contents

Introduction  1. What Social Exclusion Means  2. Social Work Values, Poverty and Exclusion  3. Tackling Exclusion in Practice  4. Working with Socially Excluded Children and Families  5. Tackling Exclusion of Young People  6. Social Care and Excluded Adults  7. Working with Disadvantaged Neighbourhoods  8. Social Work and Social Exclusion in Rural Areas  9. Racism and Social Exclusion  10. Learning in Practice

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John H. Pierson has taught at Staffordshire University for twenty years and is currently Visiting Lecturer in the Creative Communities Unit at Staffordshire University, UK. He is the author of Understanding Social Work: History and Context and has co-edited the Dictionary of Social Work, among other works.


In a thought-provoking book, Pierson convincingly argues that social exclusion remains the sometimes ambivalent construct which connects the great majority of welfare service users who come to the attention of social services. Through intelligent case studies, astute theory and meticulous evidence Pierson highlights that social workers need to think hard about the impact which elevated levels of poverty, gross inequality and stigma have upon the too often constrained life chances of many people who turn to an increasingly fragmented social services. This book is a must-read for all students hoping against great odds to meaningfully support people within the seemingly post–Welfare State.

Professor Malcolm Carey, Head of Social Work, University of Chester, UK.

An excellent guide to social work practice and analysis: for students, educators and practitioners. It highlights the impact of poverty and forms of social exclusion on service users’ lives. It takes account of the harsh current context of social work. It shows, nevertheless, how social work that addresses inequality and engages cooperatively with service users, can contribute to fairer shares of social and material resources. Throughout, a realistic grasp of practice informs helpful case studies and exercises.

Eileen McLeod, Emeritus Associate Professor, University of Warwick, UK