Understanding Theories and Concepts in Social Policy: A Critical Perspective
Arcler Education Inc
The very nature of social policy is that it poses to be very simplistic if one aspect is considered but proves to be very complex if it is looked as a whole. To understand the complex concept of social policy, we have very limited sources. Here lies the relevance of this textbook.. As the name “understanding theories and concepts in social policy” suggests, this book explains the concept of social policy as a whole. Humans are constantly in pursuit of improving and developing their lives. This is clearly evident as man constantly reforms the areas of education, health care, labor, criminal justice, and social care among many others. This textbook outlines the broad scope of social policy as an area of study and introduces the reader to major theories and concepts within the discipline of social policy. It critically examines theoretical approaches such as Liberalism, Marxism, Social Democracy, neo-liberalism, post-modernism etc. as well as approaches from the perspective of social movements, especially feminism. In addition to that, the book also discusses sensitive topics, which are important part of social policy, like community and citizenship, equality and social justice, needs, liberty and freedom, and challenges and future directions. The central theme of this book is to develop an understanding of the links between social policy theory, ideology, policy, and politics and practice so that readers can see the relevance to their own lives. It also explores different perspectives and visions on social policy and their implications for understanding and addressing major social problems in society. Central to the current study of social policy is the recognition that society is divided by differences such as age, gender, income, ethnicity and so forth. The writing of this textbook has been truly a collective effort. It has been benefitted and blessed from the inputs received from various field experts and laureates in various sorts of forms, from university professors and school teachers and many other forces which are not mentioned here. In writing this textbook our sincere effort has been to address the concerns raised regarding the obsolete ideologies and stereotypes against social policy by various practitioners. We have tried to collect various suggestions by the experts in this field under one roof for the convenience of the readers and students alike. Furthermore, we have given points and counterpoints on the topics discussed, to engage the students and make the chapters lot more interesting. In keeping with the general guidelines, we have tried to reduce the load and attempted to make it as comprehensible as we can for the students and readers referring to this textbook. How far we have succeeded in our efforts, is left for the students and readers of this textbook to judge. We hope that students who go through this textbook will develop a proper scientific attitude and perspective for analyzing the social policy within the world around them.We take great pleasure in placing this textbook in the hands of students, readers and teachers and also express our sincerest gratitude to all those who have provided their unstinted support in its writing and production.
Dr. Sudha Menon is a freelance consultant, researcher, activist and NGO professional based in India with more than 17 years of experience in social sector documentation and public policy research. She holds MA and PhD in Political Science from University of Kerala. Since 2009, she has been working for the economic empowerment of informal sector women workers in South Asia. She is the author of 12 books and many research papers published in reputed journals and magazines. Currently she serves as the Trust Council Member of ‘Citizens Rights Watch’, an international NGO based in London.