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Experiences of neighbourhood exclusion and inclusion among older people living in deprived inner-city areas in Belgium and England



This article explores conceptual and empirical aspects of the social exclusion/inclusion debate in later life, with a particular focus on issues of place and space in urban settings. Exploratory findings are reported from two empirical studies in Belgium and England, which sought to examine experiences of social exclusion and inclusion among people aged 60 and over living in deprived inner-city neighbourhoods. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with an ethnically diverse sample of 102 older people in Belgium and 124 in England. Thematic analysis of interview data identifies four issues in relation to the neighbourhood dimension of social exclusion/inclusion in later life: experiences of community change; feelings of security and safety; the management of urban space; and strategies of control. The results suggest that neighbourhoods have a significant influence on shaping the experience of exclusion and inclusion in later life, with a number of similarities identified across the different study areas. The article concludes by discussing conceptual and policy issues raised by the research.


Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Tine Buffel, Adult Educational Sciences, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussel, Belgium. E-mail:


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Experiences of neighbourhood exclusion and inclusion among older people living in deprived inner-city areas in Belgium and England



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