Social Philosophy and Policy
Advocates of social equality need to develop an account of the society they favor. I have argued elsewhere that social equality should be conceived negatively: in terms of opposition to asymmetric and alienating relations such as hierarchy, domination and social exclusion, rather than in terms of a positive model of equality. This essay looks in detail at social exclusion, or rather “differential social inclusion,” and especially at the mechanisms that create exclusion and bind excluded groups together, and the consequent effects these mechanisms have on the reinforcement of inequality of opportunity and failure of social solidarity. Possible policies, such as improved social mobility, assertive self-affirmation, validation of subcultures, integration, and the creation of a large public sector are considered as possible responses to differential social inclusion in order to move closer to the idea of a society of equals.