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Lecture 40 Social Policy.docx

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Sandra Colavecchia

1 Sociology 2U06: Family Sociology March 19 2012 Lecture 40: Social Policy Topic: - Chapter 10 of Baker – Maureen Baker: “Strengthening Families? The State and Family Policies” Policies - Federal, provincial, municipal etc. - Gov’t requires all of us to do certain things o Mandates us to pay taxes o Register deaths and births o o Legalizes our marriages and divorces - Provides security o Social assistance, welfare assistance, disability assistance o Old age pensions Family policy - Been around more than a century - Should only intervene in more exceptional cases – when a law has been broken etc. - Both the implicit and explicit ideas about the state’s obligation to families and the individual’s responsibility to parents, spouse and children - Socially constructed o Varies by time and place o Varies by Region o Varies by Gov’t offices - Not always based on evidence o Based more on outdated views of family  Male breadwinners  Gender roles o Don’t address the diversity of families today - Policy makers reluctant to intervene Welfare Regimes - The mechanisms we put in place to deliver social services - Liberal welfare regimes o i.e. Canada o Are deemed to be a last resort  Expect that the family should take care of itself  Spouses are responsible for eachother and for their kids 2  Gov’t only intervenes when totally necessary – last resort - Social democratic regimes o i.e. Sweden o Focus is on the wellbeing of families o On redistributing wealth o Making income inequality less severe o Enhancing gender equality  More generous mat leave  Supports to encourage women to be in paid employment o Provide the most generous funding for fams as compared to other two regimes - Corporatist welfare regimes o i.e. Germany o Incorporates corporate interest o Unions, professional associations, private corporations working with gov’t to provide social assistance to citizens o Paid for by contributions from employees and gov’t o Good at helping employees during short term crisis periods  Unemployment, recession  Helps to maintain the income level of that employee and their fam o Problematic because it perpetuates existing inequalities btw the employed and the already unemployed who do not receive the same level of benefits - Liberal are more generous/favourable than Corporatist generally o But the benefit levels are actually lower - Canada o Have to consider level of gov’t when looking at the welfare regime o Some fam policies are defined at the federal level  Old age security, Canada Pension Plan, Employment insurance, federal taxation, maternity and parental benefits, social assistance, welfare programs o Some at provincial  Martial dissuliton and divorce, child custody and access, child support and spousal support o Some at municipal  Child care subsidies  Offset the cost of daycare  Some diffs in terms of income support for welfare recipients o Inconsistency and variation across geographical locale  Why so difficult for political parties to change family policy in Canada  Have to address all the diffs by region o Fam policy Varies according to which political policy is in charge o Historically, fam pol is more intrusive for Canadians on welfare and Aboriginals (i.e. residential schools) o Fam policy is also gendered 3
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