Rethinking Social Exclusion
The End of the Social?
- Simon Winlow - Social Futures Institute, Teesside University
- Steve Hall - Social Futures Institute, Teesside University
‘…classic Winlow and Hall – bleak, brilliant and unmatched in the art of rethinking crucial social issues. Enlightening, and rather scary.’
- Professor Beverley Skeggs, Goldsmiths, University of London
‘This superb book inhabits a unique theoretical space and demonstrates Winlow and Hall at their brilliant best as theorists of contemporary social exclusion.’
- Professor John Armitage, University of Southampton
‘…making exemplary use of critical theory, this book represents a powerful, rallying response to Benjamin's notion that "It is only for the sake of those without a hope that hope is given to us"’.
- Dr Paul A. Taylor, author of Zizek and the Media
‘… an intellectual tour de force. Winlow and Hall, outriders of a radically different political economy for our era, have done it again. Their latest book is the critical criminology book of the decade, and the best account of capitalism since the 2008 crash… A devastating critical analysis of the effects of neo-liberalism.’
- Professor Steve Redhead, Charles Sturt University
'I had long regarded "social exclusion" to be another zombie-concept that retained no analytic or political purchase whatsoever. This book has changed my mind.'
- Professor Roger Burrows, Goldsmiths, University of London
In their quest to rethink the study of ‘social exclusion’, Winlow and Hall offer a startling analysis of social disintegration and the retreat into subjectivity. They claim that the reality of social exclusion is not simply displayed in ghettos and sink estates. It can also be discerned in exclusive gated housing developments, in the non-places of the shopping mall, in the deadening reality of low-level service work – and in the depressing uniformity of our political parties.
Simon Winlow is Professor of Criminology at the Social Futures Institute, Teesside University.
Steve Hall is Professor of Criminology at the Social Futures Institute, Teesside University.
Winlow and Hall have now long proved to be amongst the most astute academic commentators on contemporary social conditions. In 'Rethinking Social Exclusion' they have once again produced a truly innovative, engaging and provocative text full of new insight and original thinking. This will no doubt become the guide for social scientists looking to heed their call and think anew on the blunt imbalances inherent in contemporary capitalism, and the stark marginalisation at the ever expanding social fringes that characterise these turbulent times.
Hardly any other criminologists have addressed the question of the end of the social with the range of creativity and imagination in today's epoch of the post-financial economic crash that Simon Winlow and Steve Hall can assemble. Rethinking Social Exclusion maps a precise route between and beyond the dual traditions of Europe - social exclusion as a phenomenon produced by the rise of neoliberalism - and the United States - social exclusion as an experience shaped by urban segregation. This superb book not only re-positions and, crucially, re-politicizes both producers and consumers but also inhabits a unique theoretical space and demonstrates Winlow and Hall at their brilliant best as theorists of contemporary social exclusion.
Rethinking Social Exclusion is classic Winlow and Hall - bleak, brilliant and unmatched in the art of fundamentally rethinking crucial social issues in a way that is simultaneously enlightening and, at times, rather scary. They nail down and fundamentally reconstruct the concept of 'social exclusion' with such intellectual flair, originality and precision that we must now wonder why we haven't been thinking about it like this all along. This outstanding book is more than simply 'ground-breaking', it shakes the conceptual foundations of the social scientific discipline. Over the years Winlow and Hall have been either badly misunderstood or ignored by far too many on the Left, but they have convinced me that we must reject many of yesterday's obsolete ideas and confront late capitalism's bleak landscape before we can move beyond the false optimism of the Blairite era and find genuine hope for the future.
I had long regarded 'social exclusion' to be another zombie-concept, a notion so inflected with the ideological baggage of the discredited New Labour hegemonic project that it retained no analytic or political purchase whatsoever. This book has changed my mind. The 'rethinking' of the concept offered here is so fundamental and done with such theoretical verve that I am sure many others will be similarly convinced.
Simon Winlow and Steve Hall, outriders of a radically different policial economy for our era, have done it again. Their latest book is the critical criminology book of the decade so far, and the best account of capitalism since the 2007/8 crash. Rethinking Social Exclusion: The End of the Social? is an intellectual tour de force. A must read for anyone interested in the reproletarianisation of the West and global capitalism’s rush to the cliff edge of catastrophe. Karl Marx’s notion of double freedom, that we have the freedom to sell our labour power to whoever we damn well please, but that most of us only have that labour power in our locker, has never been truer than today and the authors probe relentlessly what this means for contemporary capitalism and the old idea of the reserve army of labour. Castigating the liberal right and the liberal left, Winlow and Hall offer a thorough-going critical analysis and the possibility of a new politics to counter the deepening effects of neo-liberalism on all our lives, rich or poor, included or excluded, East or West.
Winlow and Hall make exemplary use of critical theory to tear down the Wizard of Oz-like curtain that normally shrouds social exclusion debates. By doing so, they highlight the cultural devastation enabled by myopic policy wonks and Fabian corporate quislings. This book represents a powerful, rallying response to Walter Benjamin's notion that "It is only for the sake of those without a hope that hope is given to us"
Rethinking Social Exclusion contains more than a radical message and an original and challenging theoretical framework. Expositions, discussions and critiques of 'social exclusion studies', 'underclass theories', cultures of consumerism, neo-liberal capitalism, markets and pro-social space (as exemplified by derelict city centres) are all interwoven... The authors handle their impressive range of philosophical reference with ease and they write with a verve and commitment to deconstructive analysis that I found simulating... I would enthusiastically recommend this book to criminologists at every level of study.
This is an uncompromising, and in places bleak, book that puts the concept of social exclusion on a new plane of understanding. It challenges the reader to consider whether we are facing the end of the social as a space of human existence. Anyone who wants a new understanding of social exclusion, who is concerned with the impact of social disintegration on people and communities, and is committed to the struggle for a just society, should read it.
This is particularly scary characterization of social exclusion... Instructors looking for a graduate-level text for a theory or policy-oriented class in sociology or criminology will not be disappointed. I hope that this vital contribution for understanding today’s world is read by many and debated vigorously.
The importance of Winlow and Hall's elaboration of this thesis should not be left understated... the book successfully engages with a broad range of sociological, political and criminological literatures, underlining the authors' ability to transcend disciplinary boundaries. Overall, this is a useful, insightful and engaging book which succeeds in its aim to provide a theoretical framework for thinking through possible opposition to the current neoliberal hegemony. In this respect Winlow and Hall suggest ways in which people might transcend the symbolic order of consumerism and collaborate to develop progressive politics organized to resurrect the social.
Sample Materials & Chapters
Introduction: Post–crash Social Exclusion