* What does the term 'social exclusion' mean and who are the 'socially excluded'?* Why has there been such a significant increase in 'social exclusion'?* How can we attempt to tackle this and the problems associated with it?'Social exclusion' is the buzz phrase for the complex range of social problems which derive from the substantial increase in social inequality in Western societies. This timely and engaging volume examines these problems in societies where manufacturing industry is no longer the main basis for employment and the universal welfare states established after the Second World War are under attack. It reviews theories of social exclusion, including the Christian democratic and social democratic assertions of solidarity with which the term originated, Marxist accounts of the recreation of the reserve army of labour, and neo-liberal assertions of the sovereignty of the market in which the blame for exclusion is assigned to the excluded themselves.Drawing on a wide variety of empirical evidence, the author concludes that the origins of social exclusion lie with the creation of a new post-industrial order founded on the exploitation of low paid workers within Western capitalism, and that social policies have actually helped to create an unequal social order as opposed to simply reacting to economic forces. This controversial but accessible text will be essential reading for undergraduate courses on social exclusion within sociology, politics, economics, geography and social policy, as well as students on professional courses and practitioners in social work, community work, urban planning and management, health and housing.