Insightful and engaging, Welfare Words provides a critical analysis of social work and social policy in its articulation and discussion of a number of significant words and phrases. Written by an authoritative voice in the field, Paul Michael Garrett makes sense of complex theories which codify everyday experience, giving students and practitioners vital tools to better understand and change their social worlds. Lucid and accessible in style, Garrett offers an innovative approach to the study of Social Welfare, encouraging readers to think critically about the key issues in social work and social policy, including welfare dependency, social inclusion and exclusion, underclasses, anti-social behaviour, and more.

Welfare Dependency

Welfare Dependency

Welfare dependency – (usually with negative connotations) dependency on welfare benefits provided by the state, as forming part or all of a person’s means of financial support. (Oxford English Dictionary)


As observed in Chapter 1, the phrase ‘social security’, once dominant in the UK in terms of the politics and administration of state benefits, is now rarely used1. The prevalent discursive alternative – welfare – is now purposely configured and often experienced by claimants as a heavily surveilled system of social insecurity. In neoliberal parlance, welfare is invariably tainted by the latent risk of dependency. Indeed, the spectre of welfare dependency furnishes the ...

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