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Social Policy - Lecture Notes.docx

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Criminology and Justice
Timothy Macneill

Social Policy – Lecture 1 (January 15 ) th Social Policy –  not only encompasses welfare but the activities of the government that affects social life o marriage and divorce legislation o culture and the arts are examples of social policy  the term is usually linked with economic policy  social policy does look at the economy but it favors the economic growth and seeing if people are doing okay Four Key Functions in Mainstream Social Policy – Number 1:  the government has a responsibility  to make sure people are not starving Number 2:  the government has a right to intervene in areas of individual freedom  if they think that it is severe enough than they do have the right to intervene in your personal liberty  the government can also intervene in markets to a certain extent Number 3:  when existing institutions are failing somehow  such as social institutions  children that are being abused – the government has the right to take that child away from the family  if they fail to fulfill their obligations Number 4:  public policies create social impacts  for example – if you invade a country then you are putting them in poverty because the government caused the damage and poverty because they invaded in the first place o therefore, the government has to provide the refugees with aid and stuff that they need to survive  moral obligations In this mainstream view – there are debates about when and how and if the government should get involved  Is the government responsible for providing shelter for the homeless?  If the person does not want the government to intervene should the government back off?  Should the government intervene in housing?  How much should a country pay for welfare? –  Should our country pay for environmental clean-up?  The people usually put on the hook to clean-up the environment is the government  Poverty alleviation? o Markets cause the poverty or they are the cure for poverty  Child Welfare – o Should the government be able to invade houses and say that they are not parenting properly  Human Rights – o Should the government intervene in people protesting against human rights? o Should the government hold “interventions”?  Health Care – o Should the government help us from pandemics? o Or should we use our own discretion and knowledge?  Cultural Preservation – o Should we protect Canadian identities so we do not become identical to the Americans? o Our government spends huge amounts of money to protect the Canadian identity  Education – o Who uses the knowledge that we gain through our education? o Who benefits from us being educated? o It’s kind of like an apprentice system  Economic Growth – o There are huge debates over whether there should be economic growths o To have economic growth it is said that we have to have a totalitarian government  Humanitarian Assistance – o Are we responsible for feeding starving children in other countries?  All of these things are PART of social policy  But the definition is not enough  The reason it is not enough is because the mainstream definition focuses on JUST the governments perspective  Social policy is also enacted by civil society and business  If we just look at the government perspective we are ignoring other social policy factors in the world Types of Social Policy –  Business o Advertising by business has the intent of changing who we are o A form of engineering o Advertising is pointed at changing people’s perspectives of the world o This is for profit of a company o Manipulative o Ronald McDonald House – basically hires people to do social work o Corporate social responsibility and charity programs o Some people say that they are just there so people will stop picking on them  Non-Government Organizations o Gives hope and support to vulnerable people o A lot of organizations that do social policy started off religious  Community Organizations o They all do social policy o Often use the acronym CBO (Community Based Organizations) Another Issue with Mainstream Social Policy –  it is often held a part from other institutions in society  socially constructed field in which people interact socially  people interact with one another socially  the economy impacts people socially – but is also socially created  corporations are doing social policy  all social policy has causes and consequences  all of our policy takes place in social institutions therefore all policy is social policy Summary – New Definition of Social Policy  a plan of action implemented by government, business or civil society  for the purpose of influencing the structure of society  distribution of resources in society  working in social institutions such as o government o family o culture o health care o education o markets Big Ideas in Social Policy –  Liberalism (Structural Functionalism) o A Western, European idea o The most powerful (big idea) for guiding policy o In the middle ages o Was a Christian Empire o Feudal System  Emerged after the fall of the Roman Empire  Based on lineage  Hierarchical power structure  Justified by religion (Christianity)  You were born into power – based on who your parents were  The person at the top was the person in power – they could do anything they wanted to the people below them  the person at the top was put into power by GOD  tensions started to emerge in the Feudal System th  killed 50% of population in the 14 Century  Poverty of the Masses  Increased economic inequality  A Rise of Merchant Class –  Arose as a result of colonialism  Became wealthy by trading with India, Americans, Asia  Heavily taxed  Could have their property taken by the king at any time  These place eventually came to be controlled by European powers  Became financially powerful but lived in a totalitarian regime – so everything they had could have been taken away from them by the king  Revolutions –  Were ideologically propelled by the idea of liberalism which had emerged in the climate of the multiple tensions of the middle ages  What is Liberalism?  Is an ideology that promotes the freedom of the individual in
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