Poverty, Inequality and Social Justice

The issues involved in poverty, inequality and social justice are many and varied, from basic access to education and healthcare, to the financial crisis and resulting austerity, and now COVID-19. Addressing Goal 1: No Poverty, Goal 5: Gender Equality, Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities and Goal 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions, our list both presents research on these topics and tackles emerging problems. A key series in the area is the SSSP Agendas for Social Justice.

This focus has always been at the heart of our publishing with the view to making the research in this area as visible and accessible as possible in order to maximise its potential impact.

Bristol University Press and Policy Press are signed up to the UN SDG Publishers Compact. In Poverty, inequality and social justice, we aim to address the following goals: 

Poverty, Inequality and Social Justice

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Lessons for Reform from Aotearoa New Zealand

Exploring the current and historical tensions between liberal capitalism and indigenous models of family life, Ian Kelvin Hyslop argues for a new model of child protection in Aotearoa New Zealand and other parts of the Anglophone world.

He puts forward the case that child safety can only be sustainably advanced by policy initiatives which promote social and economic equality and from practice which takes meaningful account of the complex relationship between economic circumstances and the lived realities of service users.

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European Perspectives

In this much-needed text, leading international experts explore crucial aspects of people’s experience of long-term recovery from substance use.

Centred around the voices of people who use substances, the book examines the complex and continuing needs of people who have sought to change their use of substances, investigating the ways in which personal characteristics and social and systemic factors intersect to influence the lives of people in long-term recovery. With perspectives from Sweden, Norway, Germany, Belgium, Iceland and the United Kingdom, it also considers the role and needs of family members, and puts forward clear recommendations for improving future research, policy and practice.

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A Comparative European Analysis

During recent decades a strong interest has grown in actively involving service users in social work education, research and policy development. Drawing on a major European Social Fund project, this book presents an overview of inspiring collaborative models that have proven their efficacy and sustainability. Contributions from service users, lecturers and researchers from across Europe provide detailed case studies of good practice, exploring the value framework behind the model and considering their added value from a user, teacher and student perspective.

The book concludes with a series of reflective chapters, considering key issues and ethical dilemmas.

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Place, Time and Boundaries

Epdf and ePUB available Open Access under CC-BY-NC licence.

Drawing on place-based field investigations and new empirical analysis, this original book investigates civil society at local level.

The concept of civil society is contested and multifaceted, and this text offers assessment and clarification of debates concerning the intertwining of civil society, the state and local community relations. Analysing two Welsh villages, the authors examine the importance of identity, connection with place and the impact of social and spatial boundaries on the everyday production of civil society.

Bringing into focus questions of biography and temporality, the book provides an innovative account of continuities and changes within local civil society during social and economic transformation.

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How Britain Enriched the Few and Failed the Poor: A 200-year History
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The Richer, The Poorer charts the rollercoaster history of both rich and poor and the mechanisms that link wealth and impoverishment. This landmark book shows how, for 200 years, Britain’s most powerful elites have enriched themselves at the expense of surging inequality, mass poverty and weakened social resilience.

Stewart Lansley reveals how Britain’s model of ‘extractive capitalism’ – with a small elite securing an excessive slice of the economic cake – has created a two-century-long ‘high-inequality, high-poverty’ cycle, one broken for only a brief period after the Second World War. Why, he asks, are rich and poor citizens judged by very different standards? Why has social progress been so narrowly shared? With growing calls for a fairer post-COVID-19 society, what needs to be done to break Britain’s destructive poverty/inequality cycle?

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Learning from Feminist Anti-Violence Activists
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How can we reimagine the relationship between academia and activism to provide new opportunities for social change?

Based on an ethnography with an anti-violence feminist collective, this vibrant and vital book develops an interdisciplinary approach to activism and activist research, helping us reimagine the role of scholarship in the fight against social inequality.

With its reflections on novel tools that can be utilized in the fight for social justice, this book will be a valuable resource for academics in critical management studies, sociology, gender studies, and social work as well as practitioners and policymakers across the social services sector.

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Tackling the Crisis of Mass Higher Education
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Although higher education in the UK has expanded opportunities for much of the population, in many ways it remains stubbornly elitist.

In order to address this crisis in education, Peter Scott, a leading expert and unique voice, examines the development of mass higher education and proposes a ‘radical escape-forward’. He calls for more robust action to secure fair access at all levels and changes in the governance and management at both system and institutional levels to ensure more democratic accountability.

Setting out a clear and radical programme for reform, this book makes an important contribution to current debates in education in the context of the evolution of the UK economy and wider society.

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This article contributes to debates about the ethicality of foodbanks, a pervasive element of the UK welfare support infrastructure. Drawing on qualitative interview data, we use the concepts of ‘food poverty knowledge’ and ‘lay morality’ to analyse the narratives of those running a major Trussell Trust ‘foodbank-plus’ programme and explore inherent moral sentiments therein about how those who are in food poverty are understood. We identify a contradiction between foodbankers’ ‘structural’ understanding of poverty and the implicitly agential assumptions that underpin the programme. We suggest that this represents a precarious ethical position on which to base practice.

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Universal Credit (UC) entails an unprecedented expansion of welfare conditionality to those in work. Working-age adults (16–66) in the United Kingdom who are working part-time and on a low income will be subject to work related requirements until they earn the equivalent of 35 hours per week at national living wage. It is estimated that workers aged 50 to 66 will account for nearly a quarter of those claimants subject to in-work conditionality. A small-scale qualitative study was carried out with workers aged over 50 in receipt of Working Tax Credit (WTC) who are set to be migrated to UC. The researchers also interviewed employers who have people over 50 in their workforce. The findings show that there was limited awareness of UC and little support for in-work conditionality.

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