Social Policy

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Explain the meaning of the term ‘social policy’ and discuss how social policy is applied in practice, drawing upon the major milestones in the development of the British welfare state.

For the purpose of this assignment I intend to discuss in great detail social policy and how it is applied in practice, using examples from mainly voluntary sectors. I will also discuss the introduction of the Beverage report in 1948 and Margaret Thatcher’s move to the new right approach in 1979 in regards to being the two major milestones within the development of the welfare state.

Social Policy is a study of the social services and the welfare state, the welfare state being anything that helps people get back on their feet after hardship, this is not always in regards to money it can sometimes relate to resources. Social Policy it looks at socially constructed issues such as divorce, unemployment, crime and it aims to improve them by making positive changes. Social policy also looks at vulnerable people in society such as single parents, elderly people, disabled people and looks at ways in which they can be supported. Social policy is not always legislation it can be looked at more along the lines of trial and error, almost like guidelines or aims something to be worked towards achieving. It is not always effective depending on how beneficial or valuable it is and whether or not people choose to conform. Although most sociologist wouldn’t agree on social policy and the definitions may vary depending on whether the sociologist is left or right wing. Left wing approach supports social equality and discourages hierarchy, whilst looking out for and supporting disadvantaged individuals within society. In contrast to this is the right wing approach which accepts hierarchy and social inequalities, and views them as inevitable. It is very much a functionalist approach seeing hierarchy as necessary for society to function.

Ways in which social policy is put into place are...
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