Social Policy Essay

1887 Words 8 Pages
Social Policy

In This essay I will look at what is new about New Labour in regard to social policy. To begin a description of social policy is provided together with a brief history of the welfare state in Britain. A strong debate exists in social policy as to whether provision is about social care or control. This debate will be explored. The three prevailing political ideologies Social Reformism, Market Liberalism and the Third Way will be discussed in regard to social provision and their policies will be compared. Finally I will identify aspects of New Labour policies that establish it as a new way of thinking in regard to social welfare policy

According to Marsh (1979) social policy can
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From this outline it can be argued that social provision is about care and a response to the social needs of a society. However,

"several recent discussions of social policy have suggested that welfare policies are promulgated not from humanitarian concerns to meet need but as responses to social unrest" (Hill: 1993:3).

Marxist arguments take this one step further and argue that social policies that promote welfare is a means of social control rather than care. Hill (1993) agrees with this argument and further argues that social policies are used to maintain order, buy-off working class protest and to secure a workforce with acceptable standards of health and education.

Hewitt's (1998) response to this is that the government, when responding to society's welfare needs must at the same time consider the needs of business and the government, needs which do not always coincide. Thus need is conceptualized, by governments of the day, in accordance with their political ideologies, and by the social and economic conditions that exist. From the arguments put forward it can be

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