The Third Edition of this widely adopted textbook has been thoroughly revised and offers an authoritative and up-to-date coverage of the key theories, concepts, and issues in social policy. This lively and readable text has been designed to provide the essential tools to understand the main theoretical debates surrounding the discipline.
The book is organized into three sections:
Section One offers a detailed but accessible critique of major theoretical approaches such as neo-liberalism, Marxism, feminism and racism;
Section Two explores conceptual debates such as distributive justice and postmodernism;
Section Three engages with contemporary social policy issues such as children, pensions and the role of New Labor;
The new edition of also features newly commissioned chapters to reflect recent developments and current debates within social policy. New areas of consideration include citizenship; post-structuralism; the politics of food; and globalization.
Student exercises and reading lists feature throughout the text and practical examples are skillfully used to illustrate conceptual and theoretical material. Social Policy: Theories, Concepts and Issues is a core textbook for undergraduate social policy students, as well as those studying related welfare modules across the social sciences
Chapter One: Introduction
In this first section we introduce the main theoretical approaches that have structured debate within the social sciences in general and social policy and social welfare studies in particular.
The first three chapters in this section deal with the ‘grand theories’ of neo-liberalism, social democracy and Marxism. Each of these approaches attempts to grasp the broad and general features of social life and attempts to provide holistic interpretations of the social world and of historical development. As such they are not primarily concerned with the specifics of social policy or developments in welfare provision but, nevertheless, each includes social welfare (its causes, developments and consequences) within its remit.
Central to these approaches is a focus on concepts like equality, justice, freedom and class. Yet, ...