Social Welfare: Structure and Practice

Poverty, unemployment, limited access to health care: the litany of ills plaguing contemporary society seems endless, reflective of the pragmatic and philosophical battles waged to overcome what some perceive as insurmountable obstacles. What role has the state played in mitigating the effects of these harsh realities? Offering a comprehensive survey of past and present programs, Social Welfare considers the substance and results of government intervention. Shaped by the works of such distinguished figures as Martin Luther, Adam Smith, and Charles Darwin, this incisive text charts the progression of social welfare policy from inception to its current status. David Macarov links present policy to the convergence of five interacting motivations: mutual aid, religion, politics, economics, and ideology. In identifying these elements, Macarov assays the significance of each in determining the nature of social welfare and its future. Featuring chapter summaries and exercises, this intriguing introduction to social welfare policy and practice will involve and inform students of social work, political science, and sociology. “David Macarov has written a handy introductory social policy text for undergraduate that transcends the descriptive accounts of the social services that pervade the literature. Unlike many other introductory texts, Macarov does not seek to list the major social services and describe their functioning but focuses instead on the role of ideas and wider social forces in social welfare. The book is easy to read and thoroughly supported with recommendations for additional reading. It is a useful addition to the literature.” –Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare

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