New Labour has concentrated many of its social policy initiatives in reinvigorating the family, community and work in the paid labour market. But just how ‘new’ are the ideas driving New Labour’s policy and practice?
In this book, Simon Prideaux shows how New Labour has drawn on the ideas and premises of functionalism, which dominated British and American sociological thought during the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s.
The book provides an accessible overview of the theories that underpin the policies of New Labour, including the often labyrinthine theories of Talcott Parsons, Amitai Etzioni and Anthony Giddens; examines the ideas of Charles Murray and John Macmurray, philosophers publicly admired by Tony Blair; looks at the sociological origin of debates and controversies that surround the provision of welfare in both the US and UK and considers the alienating effects that New Deal schemes may have in Britain today.
Not so New Labour’s innovative approach to the analysis of social policy under New Labour will be invaluable to academics, students and researchers in social policy, sociology, politics and applied social studies.
On the margins of inclusion explores the notion of ‘social exclusion’ from the perspective of those deemed to be ‘socially excluded’ and provides a compelling and vivid portrait of lives at the insecure, low-paid end of the labour market.
The ethnography is used to illuminate key issues in sociology and social policy and to tackle debates and controversies that are central to current discussions on the appropriate role and function of state welfare. A thorough discussion of current policies to address social exclusion and area regeneration is woven into the fieldwork analysis.
On the margins of inclusion is essential reading for researchers, academics and higher-level students in sociology and social policy, and will also be of interest to policy makers in the field.
In the UK, both Conservative and New Labour welfare strategies have been influenced by American policies. British welfare reform has continued in recent years, while American policies appear to have stagnated. What now are the lessons of British reform for America?
The welfare we want? presents a detailed and unique comparison of welfare policies in the two countries. A team of international experts outlines, compares and contrasts the reform strategies pursued in each country and summarises the results to date. The editors argue that recent American reforms have failed to address key problems but that British ideas could refresh the American policy agenda. Moreover, both systems would gain from increased transatlantic policy dialogue.
Are living wages an unaffordable and unwieldy aspiration or a key progressive reform? Demands for fair minimum incomes have dominated national debates amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
This topical book addresses the rapidly shifting politics of minimum wages in US, the UK, New Zealand, Canada, Ireland and Australia, where workfare has compelled many to find low-income work and where neoliberal thinking about minimum wages has prevailed.
Analysing minimum wage policies within a political-economy narrative, this innovative book offers an alternative to the Basic Income narrative and identifies the success of Living Wage campaigns as central to welfare state change.
We are often told that mean welfare is what the public wants. Whether or not that's true, this book encourages us all to at least be honest about what that entails.
It explores how diverse welfare users navigate the personal and practical hurdles of Australia’s so-called social security system where benefits are deliberately meagre and come with strings attached. Based on ethnographic fieldwork in a region of Sydney known for ethnic diversity and socio-economic disadvantage, Emma Mitchell brings her own experience belonging to a poor family long reliant on welfare to her research.
This book shows the different cultural resources that people bring to welfare encounters with a sensitivity and subtly that are often missing in both sympathetic and cynical accounts of life on welfare.
The Global Agenda for Social Justice provides accessible insights into some of the world’s most pressing social problems and proposes practicable international public policy responses to those problems.
Written by a highly respected team of authors brought together by the Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP), chapters examine topics such as education, violence, discrimination, substance abuse, public health, and environment. The volume provides recommendations for action by governing officials, policy makers, and the public around key issues of social justice.
The book will be of interest to scholars, practitioners, advocates, journalists, and students interested in public sociology, the study of social problems, and the pursuit of social justice.
John Welshman’s new book fills a major gap in social policy: the history of debates over ‘transmitted deprivation’, and their relationship with current initiatives on social exclusion.
The book explores the content and background to Sir Keith Joseph’s famous ‘cycle of deprivation’ speech in 1972, examining his own personality and family background, his concern with ‘problem families’, and the wider policy context of the early 1970s. Tracing the direction taken by the DHSS-SSRC Research Programme on Transmitted Deprivation, it seeks to understand why the Programme was set up, and why it took the direction it did. With this background, the book explores New Labour’s approach to child poverty, initiatives such as Sure Start, the influence of research on inter-generational continuities, and its new stance on social exclusion. The author argues that, while earlier writers have acknowledged the intellectual debt that New Labour owes to Joseph, and noted similarities between current policy approaches to child poverty and earlier debates, the Government’s most recent attempts to tackle social exclusion mean that these continuities are now more striking than ever before.
Making extensive use of archival sources, private papers, contemporary published documents, and oral interviews with retired civil servants and social scientists, “Policy, Poverty and Parenting" is the only book-length treatment of this important but neglected strand of the history of social policy. It will be of interest to students and researchers working on contemporary history, social policy, political science, public policy, sociology, and public health.
This book examines views about what poverty is and what should be done about it. ‘Poverty’ means many different things to different people - for example, material deprivation, lack of money, dependency on benefits, social exclusion or inequality. In “The idea of poverty", Paul Spicker makes a committed argument for a participative, inclusive understanding of the term.
Spicker’s previous work in this field has been described as ‘entertaining and sometimes controversial’, and his new book certainly lives up to this. Some of the book’s ideas are complex and will be of particular interest to academics and others working in the field, but the book has been written mainly for students and the interested general reader. It challenges many of the myths and stereotypes about poverty and the poor, and helps readers to make sense of a wide range of conflicting and contradictory source material.
More than a decade on from their conception, this book reflects on the consequences of income management policies in Australia and Zealand.
Drawing on a three-year study, it explores the lived experience of those for whom core welfare benefits and services are dependent on government conceptions of ‘responsible’ behaviour. It analyses whether officially claimed positive intentions and benefits of the schemes are outweighed by negative impacts that deepen the poverty and stigma of marginalised and disadvantaged groups.
This novel study considers the future of this form of welfare conditionality and addresses wider questions of fairness and social justice.
This is the first book to challenge the concept of paid work for disabled people as a means to ‘independence’ and ‘self determination’. Recent attempts in many countries to increase the employment rates of disabled people have actually led to an erosion of financial support for many workless disabled people and their increasing stigmatisation as ‘scroungers’. Led by the disability movement’s concern with the employment choices faced by disabled people, this controversial book uses sociological and philosophical approaches, as well as international examples, to critically engage with possible alternatives to paid work. Essential reading for students, practitioners, activists and anyone interested in relationships between work, welfare and disability.