Approaches to social policy

“Disagreements about the Nature and Causes of Social Problems lead to different attacks to Social Policy.”

The inquiry of the nature and causes of societal jobs brings in legion arguments including whether human demands are cosmopolitan and universally accepted, the societal constructionism of the labelling towards societal policy and how different political orientations recognise and attack societal jobs. The differences between groups in their attacks to societal policy are found basically in their different positions of demand, basic political orientation and are shaped by the model of the discourse environing societal jobs ( Lister, 2010, p.143 ) . The dissensions on the nature and causes of poorness and disablement are two current equivocal subjects.

It is of import to first see the argument environing cardinal human demands. There are legion theories of human demand and each influences the argument on the nature and causes of societal jobs and later the attacks to them. Maslow’s hierarchy of demands that highlights basic physical demands before either societal or psychological encourages cardinal appoaches towards merely the basic demands of persons ( Ibid, 2010, pp.170-172 ) . This can be seen in the societal job of poorness from the position of the right in the UK, Christopher Snowdon highlights the consequence revenue enhancement has on poorness, claiming that in 2011/12 the poorest 5th spent 29 % of their income on ‘indirect taxes’ and his decision was to cut down revenue enhancement as a societal policy to undertake the job ( Snowdon, 2013 ) . This signifier of societal policy is geared towards industrial and material concerns, it leads from Maslow’s hierarchy of demands that the cardinal demands of persons that must be met are chiefly physical.

Further to this is another article from Kieron O’Hara that emphasises the personal duty of persons and the limited function that the province should play in society, peculiarly refering poorness. He places the incrimination for poorness on the ‘faceless bureacracy’ of the system that does non understand the divergent demands of those in poorness. He calls for increased regard towards the hapless to authorise them to do the right determinations ( O’Hara, 2013 ) . Both of these articles come from an ideologically driven and socially constructed model. O’Hara’s accent is on a moral position on poorness instead than the redistributive position of Snowdon, both come from the same ideological background but propose different solutions due to their divergent positions on the nature and cause of poorness.

Linked to both of these is the construct of societal constructionism that influences the different positions on societal jobs by supplying multiple models for the dschotomy. Social constructionism is harmonizing to Clarke ;

‘A position that explores the premises embedded in the labelling of people and topographic points and emphasises the importance of societal outlooks in the analysis of taken-for-granted or seemingly natural societal processes’( Clarke, 2001 cited in Lister 2010, p.143 )

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O’Hara’s accent on the dependence civilization caused by the system is a signifier of societal constructionism and the phrasing of his article lead into the constructed statement of public assistance dependence ; the behavioural job that the province creates an environment where dependence is the job. When you contrast this to Snowdon you see that despite their ideological similarities, his attack focuses on redistribution and moral behavior. His calls for a decrease in revenue enhancement as societal policy for poorness purpose to redistribute wealth every bit good as terminal the moral behavior of dependence.

When you contrast the position of the right to poverty to that of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation which focuses entirely on the cost of life, instruction and the labour market as outlined in its most recent study on poorness ( Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 2013 ) . It highlights the 6.2 million people that are presently underemployed following Thursday e2007/8 planetary fiscal crisis and the attainment spread between those on free school repasts and those non, where 85 % on free school repasts fail to acquire 5 ‘good’ ( Grade C and above ) GCSEs. It concludes that the public assistance reforms being carried out by the current UK authorities have ‘cut the incomes of some of the poorest people in the country’ ( Ibid, 2013 ) . This is an wholly different attack to the societal job of poorness to the two articles discussed, it is embedded in a left wing ideological background that emphasises the redistribution of stuff demands that are highlighted by Maslow and its discourse is centred on absolute instead than comparative poorness every bit good as a holistic attack that encompasses non merely income but instruction and the mistakes of the labour market.

The solution proposed for societal policy towards poorness is based on a minimal income for all persons to populate a socially acceptable populating criterion ( Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 2013a ) . It stresses importance on income degrees that are based non merely on fulfilling basic stuff demands but travel farther to societal and psychological demands, such as underscoring persons take parting in society, that are highlighted by Maxfreed Man-Neef et Al that all human demands are interrelated and interact with one another so that all must be satisfied ( Max-Neef & A ; Elizalde, n.d. Cited in Lister 2010, p. 171 ) . But this is besides a socially constructed brace of studies, the rubric by including the phrase societal exclusion offprints those in poorness from the remainder of society doing poorness a peripheral job.

Disability is likewise a societal job that is viewed from a figure of different positions and as such societal policy has changed as each position has taken penchant by societal policy shapers. Disability in itself is a contested construct and is really much socially cosntructed, the definition chosen will impact the point of view, the Oxford English Dictionary defines it as ‘lack of ability ( to dispatch any office or map ) ; incapableness, incapacity ; weakness.’ ( Dictionary, 2013 ) . In direct contrast Fulcher takes a more nonsubjective significance of the word, explicating it as a ‘category which is cardinal to how welfare provinces regulate an increasing population of their citizens.’ He besides emphasises that it is a societal building in itself in order to modulate society ( Fulcher, 1989 ) . The cardinal discourse environing the definition of the construct of disablement is of import to understand because it is the first differentiation when nearing the nature and causes of the societal jobs that come with disablement.

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The societal construtionism is good presented by Gordon Hughes who lays out the multiple attacks to disablement. The traditional position position of disablement is that put frontward and still to an extent used by charities of commiseration, that disabled people are separate from society, have different demands and where the object of necessitating aid in itself is a disablement ( Hughes, 1998 ) . This separation from society in a socially constructed manner means that their demands are besides really separate from society and that it is the paternalistic duty of ‘normal’ persons to move in their best involvements. It is a similar discourse to that of faith, peculiarly Catholicism, that passes a moral opinion that it is a penalty by God. This has led to a modern twenty-four hours call by Christians for good plants towards and positions them untainted by the philistinism of modern life ( Anon. , n.d. ) . The spiritual position throughChristian Parents: Particular Childsaccents that it is single wickedness that has caused the disablement and that no attack towards the societal job is necessary beyond the religious wellness of a handicapped individual.

But the most prevailing position is from the medical profession on the apprehension that medical intercession must be taken into history, it accepts biological determinism which in bend justifies the societal subordination of handicapped people ( Hughes, 1998, pp.68-72 ) . There is a displacement towards integrating into society where the nature and causes are medical issues that can be solved with medical solutions. The attack still separates handicapped persons from society by sorting them as a separate group but seeks to be more inclusive within society.

Returning to the original discourse of definition, Fulcher provides a entirely different position on the nature and causes of disablement and later thoughts for the societal policy towards it. His accent on a socially constructed construct leads into the accent that the constructions of society are the true ‘disability’ , that limit the persons where able-bodiedness is the norm ( Ibid, 1998, p.77 ) . This mentality emphasises the dictatorship of the bulk that demonises disablement and so societal policy should be geared towards the individualism of alleged ‘disable people where the accent is on a linguistic communication and rights struggle for handicapped people. This is seen in the new PIP ( Personal Independence Payments ) introduced by the authorities in 2013 (, 2013 ) whereby those with a disablement can claim up to £134.40 a hebdomad. This societal policy attack places the accent on the single make up one’s minding their ain demands and is more accepting of their liberty.

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Disagreements environing the nature and causes of both poorness and disablement are based basically in the societal discourse and societal constructionism of the constructs every bit good as political orientation and the argument on human demands and rights and there are many attacks that I have non covered. The different attacks towards poorness scope from behavioral to structural issues to be addressed as highlighted by the illustrations given ; likewise, positions on disablement are distinct by their attacks from moralistic opinion to issues in structural norms of society. The societal constructionism in society is cardinal to the apprehension and subsequent societal policy of authorities and societal polciy might be better suited to the demands of persons without the negative discourses environing poorness and disablement.


Anon. , n.d.Christian Parents: Particular Kids.[ Online ] Available at: hypertext transfer protocol: // [ Accessed 17 December 2013 ] .

Clarke, A. , 2001. Social Constructionism. In: A. McLaughlin & A ; J. Muncie, eds.The Sage Dictionary of Criminology.London: Sage, pp. 266-8.

Dictionary, O. E. , 2013. [ Online ] Available at: hypertext transfer protocol: // redirectedFrom=disability # eid [ Accessed 13 December 2013 ] .

Fulcher, G. , 1989.Disabling Policies? A Comparative Approach to Education, Policy and Disability.Lewes: Falmer., 2013.Personal Independence Payments.[ Online ] Available at: hypertext transfer protocol: // [ Accessed 18 December 2013 ] .

Hughes, G. , 1998. A Suitable instance for treaatment? Constructions of disablement. In: E. Saraga, erectile dysfunction.Embody the Social: Constructions of Difference.London, New York: Routledge, pp. 43-90.

Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 2013.A Minimal Income Standard for the UK in 2013,York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 2013.Monitoring Poverty and Social Exclusion 2013,York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

Lister, R. , 2010.Understanding Theories and Concepts in Social Policy.Bristol: The Policy Press.

Max-Neef, M. & A ; Elizalde, A. , n.d. Human Scale Development.Development Dialogue,Volume 7-80.

O’Hara, K. , 2013.Conservatism and an End to Poverty.[ Online ] Available at: hypertext transfer protocol: // [ Accessed 13 December 2013 ] .

Snowdon, C. , 2013.To Tackle Poverty, We Must Look at the Cost of Living.[ Online ] Available at: hypertext transfer protocol: // [ Accessed 13 December 2013 ] .