Marginalized Groups

Notes that i made in class, a little bit lengthy

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Lack of affordable housing, Kingsbridge, south Devon
The lack of affordable housing for people who live and work in rural communities has been a serious
problem for many years. Residents of Kingsbridge in south Devon value the fact that they live in an
area of outstanding natural beauty, and appreciate that the area's qualities means that people are
attracted to live and holiday there. However, there is growing resentment of the increasing number
of people owning a second or holiday homes in the settlement, who are perceived to be pushing up
local property prices and limit the housing stock available to the local people.
The local economy is sustained mainly through tourism, which primarily offers low-paid and seasonal
employment. As house prices go up, few local people earn enough to buy or rent one. The median
household income in the local area is £20,103 (2006 data), while the average house price is
£330,068. In Kingsbridge, there is a great sense of frustration over the lack of progress on
extending affordable and appropriate housing to all. Many local people fell that they have been
working on possible solutions for a long time, but that they have not received enough support to
implement them from the authorities who influence funding and policy.
Exclusion and polarisation in urban areas
At one end of Canon St road, London E1, you can pay £4 for a two course meal. At the other end of
the street, less than 500m away, the same £4 will buy you a small cocktail in Henry's Wine bar.
Marginalised groups in the suburbs
Suburban residential areas often have a certain character and profile. They are associated with
respectability and stability. People who do not conform to these characteristics tend to be regarded
as `out of place' in the suburbs. Examples of people who may feel marginalised are transient
population, such as students, whose lifestyles and behaviour are sometimes seen as conforming to a
different set values from those of other suburban households.
Yet these `place identities' are rarely descriptions of the truth. Such myths about the character of the
place can be used to justify exclusionary behaviour, as happened in Selly Oak, Birmingham. The myth
about Selly Oak was that its resident population was well thought of and steady. When, in the
1990's, tensions developed between students and other residents, the newspapers held the
students responsible, even though the area had a long history of transient student populations
(Birmingham and nursing students from the nearby hospital). The accusation that students did not fit
with the character of Selly Oak was a myth but was being used as the basis for exclusion
The danger with the simplistic notions of place identity is that they can result in exclusionary
behaviour. They tend to support the conservative values associated with white, middle class society.
Groups which do not share these characteristics and values tend to be treated as outsiders, and
action may be taken to exclude them, even though they have a legitimate claim to inclusion.
Segregated Schooling in the UK
A 2007 government report described how segregation of schools along racial lines is happening, as
many towns are developing schools which are overwhelmingly white, Asian or black.

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The majority of pupils in some areas of the country ­ particularly in deprived former mill towns in the
north of England ­ have little contact with students from different ethnic backgrounds, even though
they live in close proximity. There are towns where social, ethnic and religious divisions are aligned,
dividing the population and creating enormous tensions. Schools in these towns are becoming more
and more segregated.…read more

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Figure 26.1
Social Polarisation
In any town or city, the standard of living and quality of life vary between different areas. Social
polarisation describes the way in which people are segregated into different social groups: the
`haves' and `have-nots'. It occurs because of differences in income which affect which affects where
people can afford to live and therefore what amenities and opportunities (e.g. Jobs and schools) they
have access to.…read more


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