Introducing Social Policy
2nd edition

By Cliff Alcock, et al.
July 2003
Prentice Hall / Pearson Education
ISBN: 0-13-123125-1
$72.50 paper original

Social Policy as an academic field of study is one of those curious items that we recognize when we see it, but which is notoriously difficult to describe. It is, at one and the same time, the theoretical pursuit of norms about how we think society 'ought' to behave, but also the practical application and implementation of those policies that we consider to be 'social'. What then is Social Policy? This revised edition provides students with the knowledge necessary to answer this question. The text aims to provide an up-to-date yet accessible overview of the development of, and the context for, the provision of social welfare in contemporary Britain.

The authors discuss the historical, ideological and political context within which social policy has developed and explore the changing contemporary context within which social policy is developing today. It explores the historical development of social policy through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; examines the policy and political context within which social policy is made; considers the ways in which different ideologies are used in explaining social policy and how such theoretical concepts are necessary to understanding social policy; looks at the policy areas which form the backbone of the British welfare state and have traditionally been considered the very essence of social policy thinking and analysis; revised to include more recent legislative changes and policy directions such as the proposed 'top-up' fees in Higher Education and Foundation Hospital status for the best-performing NHS hospitals.

The book provides the reader with a flexible and accessible introduction to social policy making in modern Britain and will prove essential reading for undergraduates of social policy, as well as students taking relevant A level, BTEC or Access courses. Cliff Alcock is a Senior Lecturer in Social Policy at the University of Coventry; Sarah Payne is a Lecturer in Social Policy at the University of Bristol; Michael Sullivan is Professor of Social Policy at the University of Wales, Swansea; Judith Carlson is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Social Sciences at the University of Hertfordshire; Mike McBeth is a Lecturer in Health Policy at the University of Birmingham; Tony Columbo is a Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Warwick.

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