Interrogating Social Inclusion: Preliminary Notes on Micro-Credit Institutions and the Quality of Living in South Africa

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 6:30 PM
Room: F203
Distributed Paper
Kolawole OMOMOWO , University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa
The notion of social exclusion has featured prominently in poverty and social reproduction discourses. Perhaps there is a sense that its obverse, social inclusion could ameliorate the deprived conditions and improve the quality of living of the excluded. However, the notion of ‘unfavourable inclusion’ suggests that inclusion does not necessarily translate into an improved quality of living. Therefore, there seems to be a skewness of emphases on employment as important for inclusion and improving the quality of living of the included. This thinking has led to the neglect of other institutional structures that may be imperative for the quality of living of different categories of people within a society. This paper looks at the implications of the activities of micro-credit institutions as a mechanism of deprivation, even when people are included in the form of being actively employed. In fact, employment has become a conveyor belt that drives people to these institutions in the South African context. We will argue that identifying the social institutions that propagate deprivation of capabilities and functioning as the target of social policy transcend the limitations of social exclusion and inclusion debate.