The concept of social quality has been operationalized in terms of four component dimensions: social inclusion, social cohesion, socio-economic security and social empowerment. This article argues that inclusion and cohesion are aspects of the same underlying social construct. Societies are cohesive to the extent that they are bound by relationships of solidarity; people are included when they are part of solidaristic social networks. Where there is cohesion, there is solidarity, and where there is solidarity, there is inclusion. It follows that the attempt to define social quality in terms of a formal distinction between inclusion and cohesion is doomed to failure. They cannot be treated as distinct elements, and the attempt to distinguish them has led to double-counting.
A Case Study of Taipei
Fen-ling Chen and Shih-Jiunn Shi
Since the late 1990s, the dynamics of welfare reform in Taiwan have gradually shifted to tackling new social risks emerging from economic globalization and labor market changes. This article analyzes these structural changes and the relevant institutional features of the labor market. The rise of atypical work has generated wide concern regarding its low wage income and insufficient social protection, triggering debates about which policy measures can effectively tackle the problem of the working poor. Drawing on the quantitative data from a social quality survey conducted by the Social Policy Research Center in National Taiwan University (NTUSPRC) in 2009, our analysis explores the social exclusion differences between regular and atypical workers for their objective and subjective experiences. The objective experiences include current financial situations, negative events, living conditions and political activities of the workers, whereas the subjective experiences refer to their feelings in family position, welfare assessment, discrimination, and autonomy. Our analysis helps explain the effects of work status on the degrees of social exclusion, both in the private and public spheres. The social exclusion experiences of working conditions shed light on social quality in Asia.
Anzac Day commemoration centers on the Anzac Legend, that volunteer Australian soldiers gave a sense of Australian nationhood a global presence. As such, it is considered an important institution in Australia. Largely absent, or at least uncomfortably present for some Australians, are the voices of aboriginal Australians. This exclusion needs to be fully understood if the Australian polity is to be considered an unrestrictive and representative democracy. This article considers a manner in which the uncovering of the means of exclusion of aboriginal voices from Anzac Day can be achieved. This depends on a radical democratization of research. The article discusses Actor-Network Theory (ANT) and new materialism as methodological perspectives that fulfill this imperative. The article urges a democratic research process that considers how many disparate entities participate in a commemorative network in order to contribute to broader questions of exclusion, citizenship, identity, and recognition.
In this essay I examine the dispute between the German Green
Party and some of the country’s environmental nongovernmental
organizations (NGOs) over the March 2001 renewal of rail shipments
of highly radioactive wastes to Gorleben. My purpose in
doing so is to test John Dryzek’s 1996 claim that environmentalists
ought to beware of what they wish for concerning inclusion in the
liberal democratic state. Inclusion on the wrong terms, argues
Dryzek, may prove detrimental to the goals of greening and democratizing
public policy because such inclusion may compromise the
survival of a green public sphere that is vital to both. Prospects for
ecological democracy, understood in terms of strong ecological
modernization here, depend on historically conditioned relationships
between the state and the environmental movement that foster
the emergence and persistence over time of such a public sphere.
Máiréad Nic Craith
This article examines changing discourses of exclusion/inclusion between writers of a non-German background and those whose families have traditionally lived in Germany. Referring to the Adelbert von Chamisso Prize, it critiques discourses of difference used in recent decades to describe “migrant” writers in Germany and evaluates some reactions to their writings by the German reading public. With reference to the concept of print-capitalism, the article explores the “new semantic vistas” opened up by migrant writers and the implications of their writing styles for both linguistic and national boundaries. Drawing on original ethnographic interviews with migrant authors, it queries the relevance of binary logic at the beginning of the twenty-first century and argues for greater recognition of the contribution of these writers to the literary landscape in Germany and beyond.