Social and Public Policy > Social Policy

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This concluding chapter reinforces and build on a key message of the book: the relevance and value of theory to the practice of social policy as well as to the study of it. To do this it explores how theory can be used to understand and analyse the recent COVID-19 pandemic. It then looks at the relationship between theory and the pursuit of social change. The chapter concludes with an exploration of the theorisation of hope and its place within social policy analysis and work.

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This chapter explores the concept of citizenship, which has been central to key social policy debates. It also introduces two concepts related to citizenship: community and human rights. As citizenship is closely connected to membership of a community, this chapter also explores the concept of community itself as well as the meaning of membership. The chapter also discusses citizenship rights, together with human rights and the notion of citizenship as an ideal.

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This book provides an introduction to the key theories and concepts that are important in the study of social policy. It fleshes these out with insight from contemporary events, drawing on examples to show how theory matters and helps us in understanding everyday life. This updated second edition includes a new chapter, which explores disability, environmentalism and sexuality.

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This chapter introduces some of the main theoretical perspectives that have provided critiques of dominant political ideologies as well as being critical analytical tools. It covers the main tenets of Marxist, feminist and anti-racist philosophies, which take social class, gender and ‘race’ respectively as their central analytical categories, and it explores theories that have sought to connect these approaches. It pays particular attention to what these philosophies say about the welfare state and their impact on social policy thinking.

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This chapter introduces three further theoretical perspectives that provide critiques of dominant political ideologies and analytical tools for change in social policy. It covers the main tenets of disability theory, sexuality studies and finally environmentalism. It pays particular attention to what the three theories say about the welfare state and their impact on social policy thinking.

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This chapter covers the ideological perspectives that have guided British governments over the past seventy years, shaping social policy developments. It summarises the key political philosophies and ideological perspectives that have guided British governments since the Second World War. These include liberalism, conservatism and the third way.

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This chapter introduces the book and sets the scene for the exploration of the core theories and concepts related to social policy analysis. It introduces core ideas of structure, agency and the nation state.

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This chapter introduces the concepts of liberty, equality and social justice. These are among the most prominent key concepts underpinning social policy and political theory. This chapter explores how they are understood and operationalised and shows how they can frequently stand in opposition to one another.

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This chapter is the first to look at key concepts in social policy. It starts with the concept of needs. An understanding of needs is critical in assessing the effectiveness of welfare policies and proposed reforms to them, as well as in the formulation of alternatives. This chapter explores how the concept of needs is applied to social policy analysis.

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This chapter explores and introduces readers to ideas of post-Fordism and postmodernism. These are both analytical frameworks that social policy has drawn upon in order to make sense of society and of policy interventions.

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