`I would encourage undergraduates students to read it, for it does summarise well a classical Marxist analysis of social policy and welfare' - Social Policy The anti-capitalist movement is increasingly challenging the global hegemony of neo-liberalism. The arguments against the neo-liberal agenda are clearly articulated in Rethinking Welfare. The authors highlight the growing inequalities and decimation of state welfare, and use Marxist approaches to contemporary social policy to provide a defence of the welfare state. Divided into three main sections, the first part of this volume looks at the growth of inequality, and social and environmental degradation. Part Two centres on the authors' argument for the relevance of core Marxists concepts in aiding our understanding of social policy. This section includes Marxist approaches to a range of welfare issues, and their implications for studying welfare regimes and practices. Issues covered include: · Class and class struggle · Opression · Alienation and the family The last part of the book explores the question of globalization and the consequences of international neo-liberalism on indebted countries as well as the neo-liberal agenda of the Conservative and New Labour governments in Britain. The authors conclude with the prospect of an alternative welfare future which may form part of the challenge against global neo-liberalism.
‘People have Become Objects’: The Roots of Alienation
Power is a central theme in much current social welfare writing, particularly in the areas of critical social policy and anti-oppressive practice (Thompson, 1998). Reflecting the influence of post-structuralism (Bradbury, 1988; Callinicos, 1989; O'Brien and Penna, 1998), power within this body of literature is usually conceived of as omnipresent. The micro-relations of men and women, blacks and whites, gays and straights, are seen as being (in a frequently-used expression) saturated with power. It is a view of power which fits with ‘common-sense’ experience – after all, large numbers of individual men clearly do assault and abuse women, many whites do behave in racist ways towards black people. In this view, ...