Putting ‘the social’ back into social policy

Corbett, Steve and Walker, Alan (2016) Putting ‘the social’ back into social policy. In: Building Better Societies. Policy Press. ISBN 9781447332039 (Accepted for Publication)

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Abstract

As a result of the dominant neo-liberal approach to economic and social policy in the United Kingdom over the last three and a half decades British society is becoming increasingly fragmented with, for the first time since the 1930s, a generation of people set to experience worse living standards than their parents. With the marginalisation of the collectivist and humanitarian aims of the post-war welfare settlement and promotion of a strongly individualistic culture and politics, it is necessary to reconsider what ‘the social’ means and why it is important for societal progress. First, this chapter considers what ‘the social’ has meant for social policy in the post-war welfare state period. Second, the chapter examines how ‘the social’ aspect of policy has been downgraded over the last three and a half decades by the dominant neo-liberal approach. This has been achieved by a combination of policy change, the biased mobilisations of public discourse, and increasing individualisation and disempowerment experienced by citizens. Third, an alternative ‘social quality’ approach is proposed, which seeks to put ‘the social’ back into both social and economic policy. This alternative model, which focuses on humans as social beings and collective solutions to social problems, provides an as yet incomplete, but promising basis on which to oppose neoliberal policy and promote an alternative vision for social policy in the 21st century.

Item Type: Book Section
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Arts & Humanities > Social Work, Care and Justice
Depositing User: Steven Corbett
Date Deposited: 01 Feb 2017 11:29
Last Modified: 01 Feb 2017 11:29
URI: http://hira.hope.ac.uk/id/eprint/1823

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