Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

Poor Mothers and Lonely Single Males: The ‘Essentially’ Excluded Women and Men of Australia

  • Roger Patulny (a1) and Melissa Wong (a2)

It is unclear how much gendered social exclusion and disconnection reflects a problem or a preference. Women may prefer market-disengagement despite the risk of exclusion from ‘normal’ social activities through financial incapacity, and men may prefer market-engagement despite the risk of disconnection from informal social networks. This article examines these issues amongst Australian men and women. It finds women, particularly single and low-income mothers, are more socially excluded, and men, particularly single middle-aged men, are the most socially disconnected, after preferences. Future policy should be cognisant of contact preferences, intra-household support dynamics, long work hours and prevailing gender norms.

Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

G. T. Barker (2005) Dying to be Men: Youth, Masculinity and Social Exclusion, New York: Routledge.

T. Burchardt , J. Le Grand and D. Pichaud (1999) ‘Social exclusion in Britain 1991–1995’, Social Policy and Administration, 33, 3, 2744.

H. Collery (2002) ‘Engagement mentoring for “disaffected” youth: a new model of mentoring for social inclusion’, British Educational Research Journal, 29, 4, 521–42.

R. Connell (2009) Gender: In World Perspective, Cambridge: Polity Press.

A. A. Fleming (1999) ‘Older men in contemporary discourses on ageing: absent bodies and invisible lives’, Nursing Inquiry, 6, 1, 38.

F. Fozdar (2011) ‘Social cohesion and skilled Muslim refugees in Australia: Employment’, Journal of Sociology, 48, 2, 167–86.

N. Gerstel , C. K. Riessman and S. Rosenfield (1985) ‘Explaining the symptomatology of separated and divorced women and men: the role of material conditions and social networks’, Social Forces, 64, 1, 84101.

T. Grahame and G. Marston (2011) ‘Welfare-to-work and the experience of single mothers in Australia: where are the benefits?’, Australian Social Work, 65, 1, 7386.

G. Hawthorne (2008) ‘Perceived social isolation in a community sample: its prevalence and correlates with aspects of peoples’ lives’, Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 43, 2, 140–50.

C. Jackson (1999) ‘Social exclusion and gender’, The European Journal of Development Research, 11, 1, 125–46.

T. E. Joiner , P. M. Lewinsohn and J. R. Seeley (2002) ‘The core of loneliness: lack of pleasurable engagement – more so than painful disconnection – predicts social impairment, depression onset and recovery from depressive disorders among adolescents’, Journal of Personality Assessment, 79, 3, 472–91.

I. Kawachi and L. F. Berkman (2001) ‘Social ties and mental health’, Journal of Urban Health, 78, 3, 458–67.

C. Lindsay (2009) ‘In a lonely place? Social networks, job seeking and the experience of long-term unemployment’, Social Policy and Society, 9, 1, 2537.

J. Millar (2007) ‘Social exclusion and social policy research: defining exclusion’, in D. Abrams , J. Christian and D. Gordon (eds.), Multidisciplinary Handbook of Social Exclusion Research, Chichester: Wiley.

K. Osborne , F. Baum and A. Ziersch (2008) ‘Negative consequences of community group participation for women's mental health and wellbeing: implications for gender aware social capital building’, Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology, 19, 3, 212–24.

R. Parks-Yancy , N. Di Tomaso and C. Post (2006) ‘The social capital resources of gender and class groups’, Sociological Spectrum, 26, 1, 85113.

R. Patulny and G. Svendsen (2007) ‘The social capital grid: bonding, bridging, qualitative, quantitative’, International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, 27, 1, 3251.

T. Rees , (1998) ‘Social exclusion and equal opportunities’, International Planning Studies, 3, 1, 1534.

L. Rosenman and W. Scott (2009) ‘Financing old age: why is there still gender inequality’, Australian Social Work, 62, 2, 287–98.

A. Shapiro and C. L. M. Keyes (2008) ‘Marital status and social well-being: are the married always better off?’, Social Indicators Research, 88, 2, 329–46.

S. Timberlake (2005) ‘Social capital and gender in the workplace’, Journal of Management Development, 24, 1, 3444.

S. Torezani , V. Colic-Peisker and F. Fozdar (2008) ‘Looking for a “missing link”: formal employment services and social networks in refugees’ job search’, Journal of Intercultural Studies, 29, 2, 135–52.

I. J. H. van Emmerick (2006) ‘Gender differences in the creation of different types of social capital: A multilevel study’, Social Networks, 28, 1, 2437.

N. Yuval-Davis (2006) ‘Intersectonality and feminist politics’, European Journal of Women's Studies, 13, 3, 193209.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Social Policy and Society
  • ISSN: 1474-7464
  • EISSN: 1475-3073
  • URL: /core/journals/social-policy-and-society
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 3
Total number of PDF views: 22 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 201 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 24th September 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.