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Analysis and Debate in Social Policy, 2024

Available Open Access digitally under CC-BY-NC-ND licence.

Experts from across the globe review leading social policy scholarship in this new volume in the Social Policy Review series.

Specialists explore local and multi-level trends in social policy including government responses to the cost-of-living crisis in the UK and decentralisation in primary health care in Thailand. They also review policy responses to working age risks in England, Italy and Australia, as well as policy developments and transformations such as social protection in Japan and Australia and immigration resettlement schemes in the UK.

Published in association with the Social Policy Association, the latest book in this respected series will be essential reading for students and academics in social policy, social welfare and related disciplines.

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Emerging Trends and Challenges for Practice, Policy and Education in Europe

Written by leading experts from across Europe, this book provides a grounded exploration of innovation in the practice, research and education of social work. It focuses on the role of participation, collaboration and co-creation as key drivers of social innovation within these fields, providing practical examples of social entrepreneurship, people-centred design and participatory led innovation.

The positive outcomes of local social innovations are analysed in the wider European framework, with reflections and recommendations for advancing innovation in policy, service provision, education and research.

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Imagining Alternatives

Consumerism, unsustainable growth, waste and inequalities continue to ail societies across the globe, but creative collectives have been tackling these issues at a grassroots level.

Based on an autoethnographic study about a free food store in Aotearoa New Zealand, this book presents a first-hand account of how a community is organized around surplus food to deal with food poverty, while also helping the reader to see through the complexity that brings the free food store to life.

Examining how alternative economies and relations emerge from these community solutions, the author shows it is possible to think, act and organize differently within and beyond capitalist dynamics.

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Disadvantaged Students, Exclusion and Social Justice
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Why do disadvantaged students continue to get a poor deal as they progress through England’s education system?

Challenging orthodox thinking about school exclusion, this book powerfully advocates for a fairer education system for disadvantaged students. It argues that the current conceptualisation of ‘exclusion’ – physically removing the student from the school – is insufficient. This approach fails to recognise the layers of exclusion that these students encounter. Students can be excluded within their schools (inner exclusion), not just from school (outer exclusion).

Drawing on student experiences of exclusion and the perspectives of senior leaders, including the author who is a Head of School, this book demonstrates how we can create a fairer education system for disadvantaged students.

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Educational Stratification, Meritocracy and Widening Participation

Despite the high aspirations of young people from disadvantaged communities, they face barriers that are frustrating the realisation of their educational ambitions.

This book analyses the ‘left-behind’ phenomenon and shows how education has become the new divide in Western society. It explains how denied educational equality and frustrated opportunity are undermining social cohesion and what we can do about it. It challenges meritocratic thinking and the efficacy of widening participation as a policy for social inclusion.

Combining analysis of educational disadvantage at an international level and among Travelling communities with empirical data derived from fieldwork with parents, teachers and students in the European Union (Ireland), this book offers fresh thinking and new hope in relation to young people left behind in the opportunity structure.

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Theory, Context and Practice
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In dealing with individual problems and difficulties, critical social work (CSW) is an emancipatory practice which seeks to address social injustice. In this book the author draws on almost 40 years’ experience as a social worker to consider CSW in core areas of practice with children and families.

Fully updated to cover the impact of austerity, Brexit, the COVID-19 pandemic and cost of living crisis, this accessible textbook is essential reading for students, educators and practitioners of child and family social work. It features:

• clearly signposted ‘theory’ and ‘practice’ sections;

• over 10 case studies including those drawn from the author’s experience;

• end of chapter ‘Key points’ summaries;

• further reading suggestions.

With expanded coverage of race and intersectionality, contextual safeguarding and critical child protection, the book champions the development of resilient social workers working towards a more just and equal world.

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Integrated Conceptualisation and Measurement of Economic Poverty
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This book offers a holistic view of Julio Boltvinik’s vast and important work on poverty conceptualisation and measurement. While well known to Spanish-speaking audiences, this volume brings these works together to offer access for English-speaking audiences for the first time.

The book provides the foundations, application and empirical examples of Boltvinik’s Integrated Poverty Measurement Method, which could potentially transform poverty narratives globally as it has done in Mexico.

Deeply critical of available poverty approaches, it provides a challenging and radically new way of conceiving and measuring poverty, offering the only multidimensional poverty measurement method which includes time-poverty and allows all Aggregate Poverty Measures to be fully calculated.

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Lived Experiences of Benefit Sanctions, Work and Welfare
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Recent welfare reforms, based on austerity narratives and a gender-neutral rationale, have failed to recognise the ways in which women and men experience the different demands and rewards of paid employment and unpaid care.

This book draws on a wealth of qualitative longitudinal evidence to cast light on women’s lived experiences of welfare and work. Giving voice to social security recipients, this book uncovers the hidden gendered bias of conditional welfare reforms to challenge dominant political discourses, policy design and practice norms.

It combines and develops three interdisciplinary perspectives – feminist analysis, lived experience and street-level bureaucracy – to offer a new understanding of British welfare reform policies and practice.

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Breaking the Vicious Cycles Perpetuating Disadvantage

ePDF and ePUB available Open Access under CC-BY-NC-ND license.

The perpetuation of poverty across generations damages lives. It weakens social cohesion and the economy and undermines environmental sustainability. This book examines why poverty is carried on from one generation to the next and what needs to be done to eradicate it.

This book draws on a wide variety of sources and academic disciplines (social sciences, economics, law, community development, neuroscience and developmental psychology) along with the lived experience of people in poverty. Challenging the myths and prejudices about poverty that hinder progress, it calls for a comprehensive approach based on ensuring real equality of opportunity for all. It stresses the need to intervene early to combat child poverty and break the vicious cycles that perpetuate poverty and disadvantage.

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Lessons from the Crisis of Western Liberalism

What part do the values of growth and prosperity, freedom and justice, security and democracy play in social policy and human welfare? How can we judge the policies offered to us as the recipe for progress?

At a time of global ‘permacrisis’, Sebastian Taylor applies his extensive frontline experience working with health systems and healthcare in the Global North and South to assess the concrete impact of contemporary liberal values on our welfare, development and environmental survival.

Drawing on research from around the world, he uses health as an objective metric to assess how effective these policies are for individuals and society as a whole.

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