Controversial Issues in Social Policy by Peter A. Kindle, James Midgley, Howard Karger, C.Brene Brown (Paperback, 2006)
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- DescriptionControversial Issues in Social Policy is an edited collection of contemporary social policy debates argued between some of the foremost thinkers in the field of social work as well as prominent authors in other fields. Its 16 debate topics were selected to cover a wide range of professional interests in the field of social policy and are divided into three parts: Part I: Social Policy and the American Welfare State Part II: The Culture Wars: Discrimination, Stigma and Social Policy Part III: Social Work and Social Service Delivery Issues It is a great text for anyone interested in social welfare policy, public policy and contemporary issues at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. It stresses the importance of critical and independent thought in the educational process.
- Author BiographyAlthough politically liberal, the editors believe in the marketplace of ideas, a concept first articulated by Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes in 1919. The marketplace of ideas concept holds that the best policy arises from the competition of divergent ideas in a free and transparent public discourse, an important element of liberal democracy. To that end, we have not stacked the deck in the debates and tried to give both sides a fair hearing. In this third edition, we have intentionally expanded the politically conservative voices from organizations such as the American Enterprise Institute, Heritage Foundation, and Focus on the Family. It is our belief that eventually the most salient ideas will win out, regardless of where they sit on the political spectrum. Positions must stand the test of analytical scrutiny before they can be accepted. Critical debate facilitates the twin tasks of validation and refutation. It also heightens an understanding of the issues, permits contradictions to be resolved, and ultimately promotes correct rather than false knowledge. Social policy is a dynamic field and innovations and revisions in policy thinking regularly occur. However, remarkably little has changed in social policy since the first edition of this book was published. The country remains split between hard-line conservatives and the more suffocating elements of politically correct thinking. Social policy is still shaped by rigid ideological commitments even though these are often presented as thoughtful and original policy ideas that will improve social conditions. One example is the much touted compassionate conservatism of the Bush administration which seems to be reserved for the needy rich instead of the needy poor. Similarly, the government=s new emphasis on marriage as a solution to the problems of poverty and family deprivation resurrects cultural themes in American social thought that are hardly new or innovative. There is an urgent need to examine these and other policy developments critically and to subject them to intense debate. Books of this kind are needed now more than ever. Exposing students to critical debate is also an effective teaching device. While rote learning has an obvious role in the educational process, the task of helping students to gain an understanding of the most important issues in the field requires more than just the memorization of facts. In subjects such as social work and social policy, where judgment is as important as knowing facts, students need to think critically, to be able to grasp complex nuances, and to analyze issues and defend their positions. The lecture format is not always the most effective means to inculcate these kinds of intellectual skills. We hope that the debates in this book will assist instructors to promote passionate discussions among students and to facilitate the critical thinking needed to enhance our field. Now more than ever, the profession needs innovative thinking that supports bold new ideas not hashed over Aconsensus@ opinions that masquerade as truth. We have included debates in this book that will encourage social work students to think critically and to develop their analytical skills, in fact, many of these debates require careful and critical review. We also hope that instructors and general readers will also benefit from the debates. For this reason, many of the debates address very difficult issues. Indeed, some of the positions argued by our contributors are unpopular, but as was argued previously, it is important that social workers understand them. We believe strongly in the ability of our readers to determine for themselves which arguments are the most valid and relevant. For this reason, we do not avoid issues because of their contentiousness. It is hoped that instructors will use this book in the spirit in which it was written and to expose students to the varied opinions found in the rich terrain of social policy. As state
- Author(s)C.Brene Brown,Howard Karger,James Midgley,Peter A. Kindle
- PublisherPearson Education (US)
- Date of Publication06/12/2006
- SubjectPolitics: General & Reference
- Place of PublicationOld Tappan
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintAllyn & Bacon
- Out-of-print date28/01/2009
- Weight336 g
- Width152 mm
- Height229 mm
- Spine13 mm
- Edition Statement3rd Revised edition
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