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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The Multifaceted Consequences of Labour Market Insecurity

EPDF and EPUB available Open Access under CC-BY-NC-ND licence.

Policymakers throughout Europe are enacting policies to support youth labour market integration. However, many young people continue to face unemployment, job insecurity, and the subsequent consequences.

Adopting a mixed-method and multilevel perspective, this book provides a comprehensive investigation into the multifaceted consequences of social exclusion. Drawing on rich pan-European comparative and quantitative data, and interviews with young people from across Europe, this text gives a platform to the unheard voices of young people.

Contributors derive crucial new policy recommendations and offer fresh insights into areas including youth well-being, health, poverty, leaving the parental home, and qualifying for social security.

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Participatory Child Protection Practice in Norway and the United States
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This book examines a participatory approach in child protection practices in both Norway and the United States, despite key organizational differences.

Križ explores ways that children can be empowered to participate in child protection investigations and decisions after removal from home. The author shows how children can be encouraged to develop and express their own opinions and explores tools for child protection workers to negotiate complex boundaries around the inclusion of children in decision-making.

She presents valuable insights from front-line child protection professionals’ unique perspectives and experiences within two very different systems, and evaluates the impacts of different organizational practices in promoting children’s participation.

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A Comparative Analysis of Policy and Place

Nuanced interconnections of poverty and educational attainment around the UK are surveyed in this unique analysis.

Across the four jurisdictions of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, experts consider the impact of curriculum reforms and devolved policy making on the lives of children and young people in poverty. They investigate differences in educational ideologies and structures, and question whether they help or hinder schools seeking to support disadvantaged and marginalised groups.

For academics and students engaged in education and social justice, this is a vital exploration of poverty’s profound effects on inequalities in educational attainment and the opportunities to improve school responses.

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Perspectives on Children’s Participation
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There is increasing pressure to involve children and young people in the decisions that affect them. Presenting new research on the extent to which parents and children participate in decision making when childcare social workers are involved, particularly in child protection conferences and Child in Care reviews, Diaz argues for a radical shift in existing practices.

Including a range of perspectives, this book highlights the systemic changes needed for social workers and other key professionals to ensure that children and parents participate more meaningfully in decision-making, which will improve the long term outcomes for children and their families.

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Re-examining Two Decades of Policy Change
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Drawing on unique access to prominent policy makers including ministers, senior civil servants, local authority directors, and the leaders of children’s sector NGOs, Purcell re-examines two decades of children’s services reform under both Labour and Conservative-led governments.

He closely examines the origins of Labour’s Every Child Matters programme, the Munro review and more recent Conservative reforms affecting child and family social workers to reassess the impact of high profile child abuse cases, including Victoria Climbié and Baby P, and reveal the party political drivers of successive reform.

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Aspiring to Survive

Child poverty is rising across affluent Western societies; how it is measured is vital to how governments act to prevent, alleviate or eliminate it. While the roots of childhood poverty are fiercely debated and contested, they are all too often misrepresented in policy and media discourses.

Seeking to redress this problem, Treanor places children’s experiences, needs and concerns at the centre of this critical examination of the contemporary policies and political discourses surrounding poverty in childhood. She examines a broad range of structural, institutional and ideological factors common across developed nations, and their impacts, to interrogate how poverty in childhood is conceptualised and operationalised in policy and to forge a radical pathway for an alternative future.

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Working-Class Kids’ Visions of Care
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Urban educational research, practice, and policy is preoccupied with problems, brokenness, stigma, and blame. As a result, too many people are unable to recognize the capacities and desires of children and youth growing up in working-class communities.

This book offers an alternative angle of vision—animated by young people’s own photographs, videos, and perspectives over time. It shows how a racially, ethnically, and linguistically diverse community of young people in Worcester, MA used cameras at different ages (10, 12, 16 and 18) to capture and value the centrality of care in their lives, homes, and classrooms.

Luttrell’s immersive, creative, and layered analysis of the young people’s images and narratives boldly refutes biased assumptions about working-class childhoods and re-envisions schools as inclusive, imaginative, and care-ful spaces. With an accompanying website featuring additional digital resources (childrenframingchildhoods.com), this book challenges us to see differently and, thus, set our sights on a better future.

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This book offers an analysis and summary of the uses, abuses and limitations of attachment theory in contemporary child welfare practice.

Analysing the primary science and drawing on the authors’ original empirical work, the book shows how attachment theory can distort and influence decision-making. It argues that the dominant view of attachment theory may promote a problematic diagnostic mindset, whilst undervaluing the enduring relationships between children and adults.

The book concludes that attachment theory can still play an important role in child welfare practice, but the balance of the research agenda needs a radical shift towards a sophisticated understanding of the realities of human experience to inform ethical practice.

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Emotions and the search for humane practice
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What role does emotion play in child and family social work practice?

In this book, researcher Matthew Gibson reviews the role of shame and pride in social work, providing invaluable new insights from the first study undertaken into the role of these emotions within professional practice. The author demonstrates how these emotions, which are embedded within the very structures of society but experienced as individual phenomena, are used as mechanism of control in relation to both professionals themselves and service users.

Examining the implications of these emotional experiences in the context of professional practice and the relationship between the individual, the family and the state, the book calls for a more humane form of practice, rooted in more informed policies that take in to consideration the realities and frailties of the human experience.

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Involving families in social care decision making

Family group conferences (FGCs) are a strengths-based approach to social work practice, empowering families to take responsibility for decision-making. It is a cost-effective service, which is currently used by the majority of local authorities.

This collection discusses the origins and theoretical underpinnings of family led decision making and brings together the current research on the efficacy and limitations of FGCs into a single text.

This insightful book also covers topics such as the use of FGCs in different areas of children and families social work, uses case studies to illustrate current practice, and explores whether FGCs should become a mainstream function of children and families social work.

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