The Quality And Dignity Of Life As The Symptoms Of Social Exclusion Of Aboriginal Rural Population Aged 60+ In Poland
Wydawnictwo: SGH – Szkoła Główna Handlowa w Warszawie
Kategoria: Nauki humanistyczne
Political transformation and the Polish accession to the European Union are periods that encourage to undertake research aimed at understanding the positives and negatives of phenomena accompanying thisperiod.
Presented elaboration is in line with the scientific discourse on inequality in the social development of rural areas, the marginalisationof the elderly, the perception of the changes that have taken place since 1989 and their perception by people aged 60+ living in rural areas.
The areas of society's existence, who are villagers are rarely the subject of research in the European Union, particularly in Poland . According to the report of the European Commission Poverty and Social Exclusion in Rural Areas,rural areas require a specific approach (system of indicators) to studysocial exclusion. Research among the rural population is difficult to implement because of the still undetermined methodology for the study ofthese areas, even in the old EU countries. In the literature, there areno methodological standards.
Social exclusion does not have a one-dimensional character, on the contrary, it is a multi-faceted concept. In broad terms social exclusionrefers to a situation in which an individual or a social group do not participate or have limited opportunities to participate, in accordance with the law, in various areas of social, economic, cultural or political life, including the use of public goods and social infrastructure, resources gathering and acquiring income in a dignified manner.
For the purposes of this study, social exclusion is defined as a feeling of being "worse" than others, above all in terms of material status, limited/difficult access to public goods, health, loneliness, lack of social assistance. It is also the digital exclusion, which in the era of freedom of movement, migration and new forms of communication, is very important.
A.E. Woodward and M. Kohl stated that "Social exclusion is a term derived from the discussion of social problems. It covers all or nearly all the problems of modern societies, such as unemployment, discrimination, isolation, material deprivation, poverty".
An important aspect of the social exclusion is its relational character. It was therefore considered that in the study of social exclusion, rural area should have a special attention, because inhabitants of these areas are more frequently than urban dwellers amongexcluded, or at risk ofbeing excluded. The problem of social exclusion requires a multifaceted approach and empirical diagnosis.
Important elements that characterise the concept of social exclusion are: the excluding situation corresponding to the question of what/who excludes?, unit excluded, i.e. who is excluded? and what does the exclusion concern (what is the unit deprived of)? Social exclusion is not just about a lack of material resources and the inability to participate in a consumer society, but also refers to non-participation or inability to participate in other areas: social, economic, political and cultural.
The factors that pose the biggest threat to the exclusion include, among others: age above 60 years old, disability, loneliness (physical exclusion); living in rural areas, education below secondary level (structural exclusion); addiction to alcohol and drugs, troubles with the law and a feeling of discrimination (normative exclusion); poverty and unemployment (material exclusion), the digital exclusion. These types of exclusion were the subject of the studies. Attention was also paid to the importance of social exclusion for the viability and sustainability of development from the point of view of civilisation gapbetween the villages and towns in Poland.
For the purpose of the research two hypotheses have been formulated:
H1. The degree of social exclusion of "aboriginal" inhabitants of rural areas in Poland is getting worse, which is due to dependence on the low assessments of the quality and dignity of life.
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