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A Study Into Social Deprivation

Redpath, Tracy (2018) A Study Into Social Deprivation. Doctoral thesis, Staffordshire University.

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Abstract or description

Individuals experiencing social deprivation are deprived of social interaction so unable to participate in society (Brownlee, 2013; Myck, 2015). This is important because it is economically advantageous for individuals to be active in society and to positively contribute as this promotes resilient, cohesive communities and relationships (Knight, 2007). This deprivation of social interaction can occur for a number of different reasons, some of which are known such as: poverty; exclusion; unemployment; crime (Myck et al, 2015) and others relating to living conditions, abuse and health issues. All of which, can lead to a person being disconnected from the rest of society and therefore unable to contribute in a positive way.

The research methodology encompassed a subjective ontology and the philosophical stance assumed for the research was interpretivism, placing the importance on the social world (Saunders and Lewis, 2012) and human beings as meaningful objects (Cassell and Symon, 2004). The aim of the research was to understand the root cause and impact of specific circumstances that cause individuals to experience social deprivation and was focused upon the historical nature of family issues (Sherrod, 2006), adopting a constructivist grounded theory approach. Semi structured interviews were held with a non-probability purposive homogenous sample of eleven participants, who were in prison custody. This sample was chosen specifically as it was felt that it would facilitate an understanding of the pathway that had led to offending behaviour and the circumstances that caused issues of social deprivation, which was of ‘central importance to the purpose of the research’ (Patton, p.169).

What transpired from the literature review was the majority of the theoretical concepts associated with social deprivation have previously focused upon structural and behavioural explanations. However, this research proposes that there is an emotional facet associated with the root cause of social deprivation. The research highlighted that in most cases subjects experienced an emotional response caused by certain circumstances that occurred in their lives, such as parental separation and witnessing domestic abuse as a child. Subjects were not equipped with the emotional resilience or appropriate support to deal with the circumstances or life events which then had an impact on them in later life. Therefore, the outcome of this primary research is that the root cause of social deprivation in the majority of cases is associated with the emotional response and the feelings caused by a specific circumstances that occur in life and the inability to cope and deal with them.

The research addresses a gap identified in the literature review of the need to conduct more qualitative research (Brown and Madge, 1982) and empirical studies (Wilson, 1985; Wilkinson and Pickett, 2007; Breheny and Stephens, 2008) in order to gain a greater understanding of social deprivation and this thesis develops this theoretical knowledge further. Tracing the circumstances back to the root cause has been effective, even though some of the issues identified were not new. The results of the research have been important and enabled the researcher to determine how local authorities could provide support to manage issues of social deprivation. During the course of undertaking the research for the thesis, in particular the data analysis, some of the findings have been utilised to inform a preventative project in schools in the Shire Borough. Although this was not part of the process of producing the thesis, this demonstrates how the research has contributed to praxis by demonstrating the applicability of the findings, and how it has already informed policy and practice.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty: School of Business, Leadership and Economics > Accounting, Finance and Economics
Depositing User: Library STORE team
Date Deposited: 09 May 2019 12:31
Last Modified: 09 May 2019 12:32

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