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Flying under the radar? Risks of social exclusion for older people in rural communities in Australia, Ireland and Northern Ireland

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Thomas Scharf



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Wiley-Blackwell, 2017.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


Risk individualisation is increasingly apparent in policy and practice discourses on social exclusion. For rural older people, potentially compounding risk factors emerge from the intersection of ageing and rurality. When linked to the diversity of individuals, rural settings, and national jurisdictions, this raises intriguing questions concerning how rural communities perceive and manage related risk. The article draws on comparable data from Australia, Ireland and Northern Ireland to explore rural community stakeholders’ perceptions of the construction of, and responsibility for, risk of old-age social exclusion. Data derive from interviews and focus groups with 84 stakeholders from 13 settings across the three jurisdictions. Analysis illustrates an almost universal narrative around the individualisation of risk of old-age social exclusion, where rural communities serve a role in risk mitigation more than construction. The narrative’s policy, socio-cultural and contextual drivers, together with its implications, are discussed with reference to the contrasting national contexts.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Warburton J, Scharf T, Walsh K

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Sociologia Ruralis

Year: 2017

Volume: 57

Issue: 4

Pages: 459-480

Print publication date: 01/10/2017

Online publication date: 23/05/2016

Acceptance date: 08/04/2016

Date deposited: 07/04/2016

ISSN (print): 0038-0199

ISSN (electronic): 1467-9523

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell


DOI: 10.1111/soru.12129


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