Josette Combes, janvier 1998
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…the most visible signs of exclusion are those to be found in the economic sphere. A member of society is someone who is able to ensure independently his survival, and that of others dependent on him, by using means whose legitimacy has been endorsed by the social order in which he exists; denial of access to wealth generation places him outside the sphere of social intercourse.
However, this aspect is not sufficient to cover all situations and the notion of exclusion informing current debates refers to a process which tends to deny normal access, by an increasingly large share of the population, to the modes of integration prevailing in developed societies and, in the case under discussion here, French society. That exclusion is a process needs to be stressed since it covers both the social mechanisms at work and at the recognition of situations created earlier for which no solution has been found.