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Can Basic Income Combat Social Exclusion? An Investigation into the Potential Effects of a Basic Income

Flaherty, Colm LU (2015) WPMM42 20151
Sociology
School of Social Work
Abstract
In recent years, the welfare state has found itself unable to combat issues such as unemployment and poverty, forcing an ever-increasing share of the population to face an increasingly precarious existence. In light of this situation, a growing number of activists and academics have begun to embrace a new means for combating such issues, basic income. Basic income represents a radical departure from the current means of organizing welfare benefits, as an unconditional income granted to individuals without regard for means, age, or employment status. This thesis seeks to examine the potential effects of basic income with specific reference to the concept of social exclusion.

In order to investigate the potential effects of basic income... (More)
In recent years, the welfare state has found itself unable to combat issues such as unemployment and poverty, forcing an ever-increasing share of the population to face an increasingly precarious existence. In light of this situation, a growing number of activists and academics have begun to embrace a new means for combating such issues, basic income. Basic income represents a radical departure from the current means of organizing welfare benefits, as an unconditional income granted to individuals without regard for means, age, or employment status. This thesis seeks to examine the potential effects of basic income with specific reference to the concept of social exclusion.

In order to investigate the potential effects of basic income upon social exclusion, traditional quantitative or qualitative methods are not appropriate; therefore this thesis performs a conceptual analysis in relation to the concepts of basic income and social exclusion. To perform a conceptual analysis, a thorough understanding of each concept is first required. Basic income’s advocates justify the idea in many ways, ranging from arguments relating to its ability to provide true freedom to all to arguments viewing basic income as a means of challenging capitalism. Nonetheless, its critics remain, specifically in reference to its unconditional nature. Social exclusion, meanwhile, relates to the involuntary ability of an individual to participate in normal societal activities. Individuals become socially excluded through competition for resources and status within society, with the labor process playing the largest role in the creation of social exclusion.

The analysis of this thesis suggests that basic income has the ability to create a more inclusive society, in which fewer individuals suffer from social exclusion. Specifically, it appears to have considerable influence upon the labor process within society, and more broadly, the entire notion of work. Nevertheless, basic income does not seem to fundamentally alter the mechanisms that create social exclusion, leaving a small share of the population excluded even with a basic income. However, this thesis concludes by arguing that basic income appears to fulfill many of the goals of its advocates, and has the ability to combat social exclusion more effectively than current welfare policies. (Less)
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author
Flaherty, Colm LU
supervisor
organization
course
WPMM42 20151
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Basic Income, Social Exclusion, Welfare State, Welfare Policies
language
English
id
5467028
date added to LUP
2015-06-09 08:48:25
date last changed
2015-06-09 08:48:25
@misc{5467028,
  abstract     = {In recent years, the welfare state has found itself unable to combat issues such as unemployment and poverty, forcing an ever-increasing share of the population to face an increasingly precarious existence. In light of this situation, a growing number of activists and academics have begun to embrace a new means for combating such issues, basic income. Basic income represents a radical departure from the current means of organizing welfare benefits, as an unconditional income granted to individuals without regard for means, age, or employment status. This thesis seeks to examine the potential effects of basic income with specific reference to the concept of social exclusion. 

In order to investigate the potential effects of basic income upon social exclusion, traditional quantitative or qualitative methods are not appropriate; therefore this thesis performs a conceptual analysis in relation to the concepts of basic income and social exclusion. To perform a conceptual analysis, a thorough understanding of each concept is first required. Basic income’s advocates justify the idea in many ways, ranging from arguments relating to its ability to provide true freedom to all to arguments viewing basic income as a means of challenging capitalism. Nonetheless, its critics remain, specifically in reference to its unconditional nature. Social exclusion, meanwhile, relates to the involuntary ability of an individual to participate in normal societal activities. Individuals become socially excluded through competition for resources and status within society, with the labor process playing the largest role in the creation of social exclusion.

The analysis of this thesis suggests that basic income has the ability to create a more inclusive society, in which fewer individuals suffer from social exclusion. Specifically, it appears to have considerable influence upon the labor process within society, and more broadly, the entire notion of work. Nevertheless, basic income does not seem to fundamentally alter the mechanisms that create social exclusion, leaving a small share of the population excluded even with a basic income. However, this thesis concludes by arguing that basic income appears to fulfill many of the goals of its advocates, and has the ability to combat social exclusion more effectively than current welfare policies.},
  author       = {Flaherty, Colm},
  keyword      = {Basic Income,Social Exclusion,Welfare State,Welfare Policies},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Can Basic Income Combat Social Exclusion? An Investigation into the Potential Effects of a Basic Income},
  year         = {2015},
}