Public Perceptions of Poverty and Social Exclusion: Final Report on Focus Group Findings

Eldin Fahmy, Simon Pemberton and Eileen Sutton

This report describes the results of a series of fourteen focus groups conducted as part of the development work for the PSE: UK research that explored perceptions of poverty, social exclusion and living standards in the UK today. The focus group research uncovered little evidence of consistent variation in perceptions of ‘necessities of life’ across social groups, for example on the basis of household type, ethnicity or income status. The paper explores definitional issues with regards to the term ‘necessity’ and the extent to which contextual information is used in making decisions. It also discusses questions as to the extent to which the availability of public goods and services affects participants’ decisions.

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