As illustrated by the misuse of the Philpott case to support aspects of the current policy assault on the poor, social problems are framed both by government action and by the interplay of political and media rhetoric. In this context, the portrayal of social exclusion in two Guardian articles ('I didn't care whether the kids went to school'; Street violence is contagious. Its spread mimics infection, 8 April) was deeply problematic.

© Guardian News & Media Ltd

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