This chapter examines the origins of the concept of social exclusion and its defining features. It then considers different approaches to measuring social exclusion. Social exclusion is defined as an individual's involuntary and somewhat catastrophic detachment from mainstream society owing to an accumulation of relational disadvantages. In order to operationalise the definition of social exclusion it is necessary to combine indicators of impaired participation from several dimensions of the child's life to capture cumulative, chronic disadvantage. The measure used in this study used indicators for: the labour market/education (economy); families (domestic sphere); various leisure and cultural groups (civil society); and the nation state (citizenship).
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