The first of a trilogy of posts in which What Works Scotland’s guest blogger Patricia Anne Rodger explores the issues around those deemed ‘hard to reach’. The first blog looks at social shorthand and stigma.
Author: Patricia Anne Rodger
Date: 3 November 2015
‘Hard to reach’ probably originated in social marketing, but latterly it’s been normalised as term of reference applied to entirely disparate populations and communities.
In offices across the country, boxes are ticked—consigning entire sections of the population to the margins. It also leads to sweeping and problematic generalisations, for example, covering such a broad spectrum as ‘self-employed elderly farmers’ and ‘ethnic minorities’.
Those on edges, labelled, stigmatised and easy to ignore, need hope. Social inclusion, personal respect and participatory democracy can help.