Social value and public policy: making citizens

Bill Jordan

in Welfare and well-being

Published by Policy Press

Published in print September 2008 | ISBN: 9781847420800
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447304210 | DOI:
Social value and public policy: making citizens

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This chapter analyses the consequences of the government's and the Conservative opposition's approach to public policy, and the possible alternatives, which pay attention to culture, social value and well-being. These questions are tackled on two levels. First is that of ideas — concepts through which issues in public policy are constructed and the ways in which these are deployed in defining the actions open to citizens within the structures created by government activity. Second is that of the political economy — how policy programmes enable new forms of interaction to be introduced into the sphere of social life in order to alter social and economic relations. In this chapter, the example of social care for people with disabilities and frailities of old age are used to demonstrate how the economic model of government has allowed the logic of capitalism to enter the sphere of social reproduction and to become the principle guiding social interactions. The chapter then argues that individualism itself, as a culture in which social value is exchanged, now incorporates this principle into decisions about welfare, personal and social, in every sphere of life. The aim of this chapter is trace the steps by which the dominance of economic interests and a culture that reflects the methodological individualism of the economic model was established.

Keywords: public policy; culture; social value; well-being; political economy; economic model; social reproduction; social interactions; individualism

Chapter.  10958 words. 

Subjects: Health, Illness, and Medicine

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