How do human societies provide for the wellbeing of their members? How far can we organize the ways in which we care for and about each other? And who should take responsibility for providing the support we need? These are some of the fundamental questions addressed by social policy today.
In this introduction, Hartley Dean explains the extraordinary scope and importance of social policy. He explores its foundations and contemporary significance; the principal issues it addresses and their diverse economic, political and sociological dimensions, and concludes by looking anew at fundamental challenges facing social policy in a dramatically changing world.
Introducing social policy as a broadly conceived study of human wellbeing, this revised and extensively updated third edition examines ways in which governments and peoples throughout the world attend to, promote, neglect or even undermine the things that make life worth living. These include essential services like healthcare and education; the means of livelihood – jobs and money – and sometimes intangible things such as physical and emotional security. Trying to understand these elements, which together constitute human wellbeing, is the stuff of social policy.