The Concept of Social Exclusion and Underclass and Their Implications for the Poverty Policy in Korea

사회적 배제와 하층계급의 개념 고찰과 이들 개념들의 한국빈곤정책에의 함의

  • 박병현 (부산대학교 사회복지학과) ;
  • 최선미 (부산대학교 사회복지학과)
  • Published : 2001.05.30


The purpose of this study is to explore the concept of social exclusion and underclass and to find out their implication for the poverty policy in Korea. Social exclusion as a concept, on the other hand, offers a broader perspective in addressing multi-dimensional disadvantage, especially in relation to social policy. The term underclass offers a convenient metaphor for use in commentaries on inner city crises because it evokes three widely shared perceptions: novelty, complexity, and danger. Conditions within inner cities are unprecedented; they cannot be reduced to a single factor; and they menace the rest of us. Open debate on the underclass accelerated in 1977 when Time magazine announced the emergence of a menacing underclass in America's inner cities. Drugs, crime, teenage pregnancy, and high unemployment, not poverty, defined the 'underclass,' most of whose members were young and minorities. With the publication in 1982 of Ken Auletta's Underclass, the word secured it dominance in the vocabulary of inner-city pathology. As implications for Korean poverty policy of the concept of social exclusion and underclass, the establishment of multi-dimensional concept of poverty, development of multi-dimensional approach of social work, improvement of National Basic Life Guarantee System, research on employment policy in social welfare field, and research on housing policy for the poor were suggested.