Patterns and Trends in Social Policy

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At the introduction of social policy ideologies emphasis was put on civil and political right especially in countries like South Africa and America where there was wide discriminations on the basis of race and class. In the current contexts Social policy has underwent various transformations in terms of the subject matter, internationalization, approaches of conceptualisation and cooperation with other disciplines in the world with most countries taking it as a way of tackling social problems. The most apparent is the change in subject from mainly focusing on civil and political rights to focusing on mainly on is social welfare. Themes of social policy have shifted to tackling social problems that are mainly experienced by minority populations in society. Part of the agenda which social policy tackle are issues of gender equity, access to basic services among women, ethnic minorities, old age, children and other marginalised groups. The change in themes is triggered by economic development and the changing needs of populations, for example women working in the labour force, may influence the character of social policy on occupational health for expectant female workers.

Historically social policy has used a one-dimensional approach of poverty, which is more narrowly focused on financial well-being, consumption and income adequacy. This however did not enable a focus on the factors that contribute to disadvantaged people‘s economic marginality and general inability to participate in the key activities of society. This has been replaced by the social exclusion approach, which focus on populations considered not to be able to access basic services due to various vulnerabilities that make them excluded formal labour market and benefits of economic growth. Policies are therefore formulated that are oriented towards bridging the gap in various sectors and eradicate discriminations that are most cases levelled on people excluded from the main labour market. Approach...
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