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Experiences of social exclusion of the youth living in Altındağ, Ankara

Aksungur, Umut
In this thesis, the aim is to understand social exclusion of urban youth living in Altındağ, one of the most disadvantaged districts of Ankara. In this study, social exclusion is accepted as a process of long term non-participation in the economic, civic, and social spheres which integrate the society in which an individual lives. Therefore, the definition of social exclusion centered on the notion of ‘lack of integration’ is accepted as a background of the study. In this respect, social exclusion is accepted as an endpoint in a irreversible process of being placed in the margins of society. Furthermore, this thesis attempted to identify the dimensions and levels which can cause entry or exit from these processes and to understand how the multiple and cumulative disadvantage shapes experiences and feelings of young people in most disadvantaged conditions in order to be able to argue how closely do the experiences of the youth described in this study connect with popular and influential discussions of social exclusion. Also the consequences of social exclusion for young people living in Altındağ are analysed. Hence, the social exclusion of youth living in Altındağ is analyzed on the basis of three dimensions which are education, labour market, and social capital. Furthermore, in each dimension structural, local and individuals levels are also examined. Some major conclusions of the research are that there is not one single and uniform experience of social exclusion among young people; that a context of social exclusion does not generate just one way of getting by for young people; that exclusionary process can be experienced as a “vicious circle” or as a “spiral of disadvantage”; that social exclusion has a multi-dimensional character; and that family and community support is important for not being excluded economically and socially, but it also can create to dimension of exclusion when such support systems are the only support mechanisms of the disadvantaged youth.