social policy
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Social policy is a plan or action of
government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a State (polity), state. In the case of its broad associative definition, government normally consists of legislature, Executive (government), ex ...

government
or institutional agencies which aim to improve or reform
society A society is a group A group is a number A number is a mathematical object used to counting, count, measurement, measure, and nominal number, label. The original examples are the natural numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, and so forth. Numbers can be ...

society
. Some professionals and universities consider social policy a subset of
public policy Public policy is a course of action created and/or enacted, typically by a government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a State (polity), state. In the case of its broad associa ...
, while other practitioners characterize social policy and public policy to be two separate, competing approaches for the same
public interest The public interest is "the welfare or well-being Well-being, also known as ''wellness'', ''prudential value'' or ''quality of life'', refers to what is intrinsically valuable relative ''to'' someone. So the well-being of a person is what ...
(similar to MD and DO in healthcare), with social policy deemed more holistic than public policy. Whichever of these persuasions a university adheres to, social policy begins with the study of the welfare state and
social servicesSocial services are a range of public services provided by the government, private, profit and non-profit organizations. These public services aim to create more effective organizations, build stronger communities, and promote equality and opportunit ...
. It consists of
guidelines A guideline is a statement by which to determine a course of action. A guideline aims to streamline particular processes according to a set routine or sound practice. Guidelines may be issued by and used by any organization (governmental or priv ...

guidelines
,
principles A principle is a proposition or value that is a guide for behavior or evaluation. In law, it is a rule Rule or ruling may refer to: Human activity * The exercise of political or personal control by someone with authority or power * Busin ...

principles
,
legislation Legislation is the process or product of enrolled bill, enrolling, enactment of a bill, enacting, or promulgation, promulgating law by a legislature, parliament, or analogous Government, governing body. Before an item of legislation becomes law i ...
and associated activities that affect the living conditions conducive to
human welfare Welfare is a type of government support intended to ensure that members of a society can meet Basic needs, basic human needs such as food and shelter. Social security may either be synonymous with welfare, or refer specifically to ''social ins ...
, such as a person's
quality of life Quality of life (QOL) is defined by the World Health Organization The World Health Organization (WHO) is a list of specialized agencies of the United Nations, specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for international public heal ...

quality of life
. The Department of Social Policy at the
London School of Economics , mottoeng = To understand the causes of things , established = 1895 , type = Public research university , endowment = £198.4 million , budget = £415.1 million , chairman = Dame Shirley Pearce , chancellor = Ann ...
defines social policy as "an interdisciplinary and applied subject concerned with the analysis of societies' responses to social need", which seeks to foster in its students a capacity to understand theory and evidence drawn from a wide range of social science disciplines, including economics, sociology, psychology, geography, history, law, philosophy and political science. The Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy at
Harvard University Harvard University is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Dusty Springfield, after an absence of nearly tw ...

Harvard University
describes social policy as "public policy and practice in the areas of
health care Healthcare is the maintenance or improvement of health Health is a state of physical, mental and social well-being Well-being, also known as ''wellness'', ''prudential value'' or ''quality of life'', refers to what is intrinsically valuab ...
, human services,
criminal justice 350px, United States criminal justice system flowchart. Criminal justice is the delivery of justice Justice, one of the four cardinal virtues, by Vitruvio Alberi, 1589–1590. Fresco, corner of the vault, studiolo of the Virgin of Mercy, Ma ...
,
inequality Inequality may refer to: Economics * Attention inequality, unequal distribution of attention across users, groups of people, issues in etc. in attention economy * Economic inequality, difference in economic well-being between population groups * ...
,
education Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, value (ethics), values, morals, beliefs, habits, and personal development. Educational methods include teaching, training, storytelling, discussion a ...
, and labor". Social policy might also be described as actions that affect the well-being of members of a society through shaping the distribution of and access to goods and resources in that society. Social policy often deals with
wicked problems In planning and policy, a wicked problem is a problem that is difficult or impossible to solve because of incomplete, contradictory, and changing requirements that are often difficult to recognize. It refers to an idea or problem that cannot be fixe ...
. The discussion of 'social policy' in the
United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., federal di ...

United States
and
Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its Provinces and territories of Canada, ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocea ...

Canada
can also apply to governmental policy on social issues such as tackling
racism Racism is the belief that groups of humans possess different behavioral traits corresponding to physical appearance and can be divided based on the superiority of one race over another.
racism
,
LGBT ' is an initialism An acronym is a word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semantic, objective or pragmatics, practical meaning (linguist ...

LGBT
issues (such as
same-sex marriage Same-sex marriage, also known as gay marriage, is the marriage in Stockholm Marriage, also called matrimony or wedlock is a culturally and often legally recognized union between people called spouses. It establishes rights and obli ...
) and the legal status of
abortion Abortion is the termination of a pregnancy Pregnancy, also known as gestation, is the time during which one or more offspring develops inside a woman. A multiple birth, multiple pregnancy involves more than one offspring, such as with ...

abortion
,
guns A gun is a ranged weapon . English longbowmen figure prominently in the foreground at right where they drive away the French crossbow A crossbow is a ranged weapon using an elastic launching device similar to a bow; it consists of a b ...

guns
,
euthanasia Euthanasia (from el, εὐθανασία 'good death': εὖ, ''eu'' 'well, good' + θάνατος, ''thanatos'' 'death') is the practice of intentionally ending life to relieve pain and suffering. Different countries have different Legality ...

euthanasia
,
recreational drugs Recreation is an activity of leisure, leisure being discretionary time. The "need to do something for recreation" is an essential element of human biology and psychology. Recreational activities are often done for happiness, enjoyment, amusement, o ...

recreational drugs
and
prostitution Prostitution is the business or practice of engaging in sexual activity Human sexual activity, human sexual practice or human sexual behaviour is the manner in which humans experience and express their sexuality Human sexuality ...
. In other countries, these issues would be classified under
health policy Health policy can be defined as the "decisions, plans, and actions that are undertaken to achieve specific healthcare Health care, health-care, or healthcare is the maintenance or improvement of health via the prevention, diagnosis, trea ...
and
domestic policy Domestic policy are administrative decisions that are directly related to all issues and activity within a state's borders. It differs from foreign policy ''Foreign Policy'' is an American news publication, founded in 1970 and focused on global ...
. The study of social policy can either be a stand alone degree in social policy such as the
University of York , mottoeng = On the threshold of wisdom , established = , type = Public university, Public research university , endowment = £7.1 million , budget = £367.0 million , chancellor = Malcolm Grant, Sir Malcolm Grant , vice_chancell ...
,
Oxford University Oxford () is a city in England. It is the county town and only city of Oxfordshire. In 2017, its population was estimated at 152,450. It is northwest of London, southeast of Birmingham, and northeast of Bristol. The city is home to the Univer ...

Oxford University
, and the
University of Pennsylvania The University of Pennsylvania (Penn or UPenn) is a Private university, private Ivy League research university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The university, established as the College of Philadelphia in 1740, is one of the nine colonial coll ...

University of Pennsylvania
, or a specialization as part of a public policy degree program such as at
McGill University McGill University is a public university, public research university located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Founded in 1821 by royal charter granted by George IV, King George IV,Frost, Stanley Brice. ''McGill University, Vol. I. For the Advanceme ...
,
Balsillie School of International Affairs The Balsillie School of International Affairs (BSIA) is a centre for advanced research and teaching on global governance and international public policy, located in Waterloo, Ontario Waterloo is a city in the Canadian province of Ontario. It is ...
,
Harris School of Public Policy The University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy, also referred to as "Harris Public Policy," is the public policy school of the University of Chicago The University of Chicago (UChicago, U of C, or Chicago) is a private research uni ...
, and the
Hertie School of Governance The Hertie School is a German private independent graduate school File:CCMDonation49.JPG, Student receives degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education, Mexico City, 2013 A graduate school (sometimes shortened to grad ...

Hertie School of Governance
. In the Global South, social policy is offered along with public policy degree programmes, as at the Institute of Public Policy, National Law School of India University, Bangalore, combined with development policy.


History

Social policy was first conceived in the
1940s
1940s
by
Richard Titmuss Richard Morris Titmuss (1907–1973) was a pioneering British social research ''Social Research: An International Quarterly'' is a quarterly academic journal An academic or scholarly journal is a periodical publication in which Scholarly me ...

Richard Titmuss
within the field of social administration in Britain. Titmuss's essay on the "Social Division of Welfare" (1955) laid the development for social policy to gradually absorb social administration. Titmuss was an
essayist An essay is, generally, a piece of writing that gives the author's own argument, but the definition is vague, overlapping with those of a Letter (message), letter, a term paper, paper, an article (publishing), article, a pamphlet, and a short ...
whose work concerned the failure of the market; the inadequacy of selective social services; and the superiority of
collectivism Collectivism is a value that is characterized by emphasis on cohesiveness Group cohesiveness (also called group cohesion and social cohesion) arises when bonds link members of a social group to one another and to the group as a whole. Although c ...
and universal approaches. While some scholars describe social policy as an interdisciplinary field of practice, scholars like Fiona Williams and Pete Alcock believe social policy is a academic discipline, discipline unto itself. Some of the earliest examples of direct intervention by government in human welfare date back to Ancient Rome's ''Cura Annonae'' (grain dole) founded in 123 BC, and Umar ibn al-Khattāb's rule as the second caliph of Islam in the 6th century: he used ''zakat'' collections and also other governmental resources to establish pensions, income support, child benefits, and various stipends for people of the non-Muslim community. The enactment of English Poor Laws helped curb poverty and recidivism: these laws influenced the justices of Berkshire to implement the Speenhamland system, which was the first social program in the modern sense of that word. In the modern West, proponents of scientific social planning such as the sociologist Auguste Comte, and social researchers, such as Charles Booth (philanthropist), Charles Booth, contributed to the emergence of social policymaking in the first industrialised countries following the Industrial Revolution. Surveys of poverty exposing the brutal conditions in the urban slum conurbations of Victorian Britain supplied the pressure leading to changes such as the decline and abolition of the poor law system and Liberal welfare reforms. Other significant examples in the development of social policy are the Otto von Bismarck#Social legislation, Bismarckian welfare state in 19th century Germany, Social Security (United States)#History, social security policies in the United States introduced under the rubric of the New Deal between 1933 and 1935, and both the Beveridge Report and the National Health Service Act 1946 in Britain. Thus, two major models of social insurance arose in practice: Bismarkian welfare from Germany and Beveridgean welfare from Britain. Social policy in the 21st century is complex and in each state it is subject to Local government, local and Central government, national governments, as well as Supranational union, supranational political influence. For example, membership of the European Union is conditional on member states' adherence to the Law of the European Union#Social chapter, Social Chapter of European Union law


Types

Social policy aims to improve human welfare and to meet human needs for education, health, housing and economic security. Important areas of social policy are wellbeing and welfare, poverty reduction, social security, justice, unemployment insurance, living conditions, animal rights, pensions, health care, social housing, family policy, social care, child protection, social exclusion, education policy, crime and
criminal justice 350px, United States criminal justice system flowchart. Criminal justice is the delivery of justice Justice, one of the four cardinal virtues, by Vitruvio Alberi, 1589–1590. Fresco, corner of the vault, studiolo of the Virgin of Mercy, Ma ...
, urban development, and Contract labour, labor issues.


United States social policy

File:Socialsecurityheadquarters.jpg, Social Security Administration headquarters is in Woodlawn, Maryland. The United States was a pioneer in generous social spending (relative to comparable countries), as it provided substantial social spending for Civil War veterans and their families. However, the United States would go on to lag behind other advanced industrial democracies in social spending. Religious, racial, ideological, scientific and philosophical movements and ideas have historically influenced American social policy, for example, John Calvin and his idea of pre-destination and the Protestant Values of hard work and individualism. Moreover, Social Darwinism helped mold America's ideas of capitalism and the ''survival of the fittest'' mentality. The Catholic Church's social teaching has also been considerably influential to the development of social policy. United States politicians who have favored increasing government observance of social policy often do not frame their proposals around typical notions of welfare or benefits; instead, in cases like ''Medicare (United States), Medicare'' and ''Medicaid'', President Lyndon Johnson presented a package called the Great Society that framed a larger vision around poverty and
quality of life Quality of life (QOL) is defined by the World Health Organization The World Health Organization (WHO) is a list of specialized agencies of the United Nations, specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for international public heal ...

quality of life
. Insurance has been a growing policy topic, and a recent example of health care law as social policy is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act formed by the 111th U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama, a Democratic Party (United States), Democrat, on March 23, 2010. Moreover, former president Franklin D. Roosevelt's ground breaking New Deal is a paragon example of Social Policy that focused predominantly on a program of providing work and stimulating the economy through public spending on projects, rather than on cash payment. The programs were in response to the Great Depression affecting the United States in the 1930s. One example of a recent, widely discussed education policy change was the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) during the administration of Republican Party (United States), Republican President George W. Bush with Bipartisanship, bipartisan support. The law took effect on January 8, 2002 attempting to raise standards in education, address Educational inequality, educational inequities (framed as an achievement gap), and issues in schools framed as issues of accountability. The No Child Left Behind Act required every state to Standards-based education reform in the United States, assess students on basic skills to receive federal funding. While the law did attempt to address issues underlying U.S. education, it's provisions were widely viewed as unsuccessful. States continued to create their own standards while assessing themselves. NCLB also led to the closure of numerous schools labeled "low-performing" or "failing", disproportionately impacting schools that served predominately Black students and rural communities. Provisions of NCLB were changed and replaced under the Race to the Top and Every Student Succeeds Act, Every Child Succeeds Act passed during the Administration of President Barack Obama, Barrack Obama. Critics of most all social policies point toward a depiction of a welfare state on the make of a Hobbesian Leviathan (Hobbes book), Leviathan.


See also

*Criminology *Education policy *Great Society *Health policy *Housing policy *Medicaid *Medicare (United States), Medicare *Social insurance *Social Security Administration *Social Security (United States) *Social theory


References


Further reading


Social Policy & Administration
*Richard Titmuss, Titmuss, R. M. (1951
''Problems of social policy''
HM Stationery Office. *Dean, H. (2006). ''Social Policy''. Cambridge: Polity Press. . * Esping-Andersen, G. (1990) ''The three worlds of welfare capitalism''. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Ferragina, Emanuele and Martin Seeleib-Kaiser, "Welfare Regime Debate: Past, Present, Futures?" ''Policy & Politics'': 39 (2011): 4: 583–611.
{{DEFAULTSORT:Social Policy Comparative politics Social policy,