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Introducing social work: a starter kit
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2 Social exclusion

This is a photograph of London, England.
Figure 6

Poverty is not just about having limited economic resources, but it also relates to a lack of opportunity to participate at a reasonable level in society, for example, with regard to education, leisure and employment. This lack of opportunity to participate is encapsulated in the concept of social exclusion. Sheppard (2006) points out that people can experience themselves as ‘outsiders’, through a range of possible factors, not just economic disadvantage but through, for example, ethnic group, health, disability, age, and many other factors. The implication for social work practice is to draw attention to the emotional and material impact that labelling and stigmatisation have on service users, and to challenge discriminatory practices wherever possible.