What is social policy?

Pete Alcock

in Welfare and wellbeing

Published by Policy Press

Published in print October 2001 | ISBN: 9781861342997
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447304203 | DOI:
What is social policy?

Show Summary Details


This chapter looks at the term ‘social policy’ and asks a good many questions about it. It considers various definitions of associated concepts and categorised labels: social administration, social services, social welfare, social security, welfare states, and so forth. It determines the need to study social policy at all or, for that matter, society's response as it identifies or fails to identify social needs and problems. It tries to determine whether it is concerned with principles and objectives about certain areas of social life and organisation or with social engineering, that is, with methods and techniques of action, management, organisation, and the application of games theory. It opines that whatever answers are arrived at, it cannot fail to become heavily involved in the issues of moral and political values. It notes that political propaganda frequently masquerades under social policy labels.

Keywords: social policy; social security; categorised labels; social welfare; social life; social engineering; political values; political propaganda

Chapter.  2424 words. 

Subjects: Health, Illness, and Medicine

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.