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.




Only occasionally catching a blurred glimpse of the location names on the platform signs, the express train driver speeds, station to station, without stopping. The approach taken in this book has been more akin to a train moving at a slower pace and pausing at a number of stations. Passengers – rejecting the term ‘customers’ – could amble around for a while and explore a few places that people talk about a lot, but rarely visit and really get to know. The seven stations punctuating the journey were the book’s ‘welfare words’: ‘welfare dependency’, ‘underclass’, ‘social exclusion’, ‘early intervention’, ‘resilience’, ‘care’ and ‘adoption’.

Writing at the beginning of the 1960s, the Swedish sociologist Gunnar Myrdal (1960: 122) claimed:

We have come a very long way ...

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