Social Policies are government policies (local and central) that are directed towards meeting the welfare needs of the population i.e. legislation.
An example of this would be School Uniforms.
Berveridge Report 1943-1945
The Beveridge report was originally brought about to help families who had been badly affected by the Second World War. As many people lost their homes due to bombing or many families lost the 'men of the family' as most men were obliged to join the army. Its main aims to help these families where in the listed areas:
- Social Security
- Law and Order
This was the start of the Welfare Start.
However, years after the war, society felt they had a RIGHT to government money and it continued. (Remeber this was only one type of Social Policy, but an important one)
Functionalists that Social Policies are good for society, as they are created to help people, in order for society to contiue in harmony.
They see all Social Policies as having a positive effect as it allows society's organic analogy (Work together).
Marxism (being a conflict theory) holds a more critical view of Social Policies.
They believe social policies put the working-class under a false conciousness as they would feel privilaged to have rights to education, health etc However they don't realise they are being exploited and indoctrinated into believeing they are better off.- Free doesn't make it right-
Some policies act as a smokescreen e.g. NHS may be free but is there to make the working-class healthy and fit enough to work, and be exploited at work, earning little wages for themselves and big profits for the Capitalists (Upperclass, Bourgiousie)
Also hold a critical view on social policies as it gives people above more power.
The follow the view that the family is controlled by people in power in ever aspect of family life. (Doctors Teachers)
E.g. Teachers Telling parents how to disciplin their children.
Doctors telling paitients what to eat and do in order to improve their health.
They believe that Knowledge = Power.
Feminists also hold a critical view on Social Policies. This is because they undermine the Nuclear Family and encourage (especially) young girls to get pregnant (and thereby proving men right -women are just for having babies with-)
Also, they are critical due to things such as child benefits as they are usually awarded to the mother as it is still assumed that they are the primary care provider.
Margaret Thatcher being a woman has a point when she stressed that people should rely on themselves.
Child Support Act 1991
The Child Support Act of 1991 was passed to give necessary powers for a system for collect child support, it forced parents to help support their children by paying.
It was aimed at decreasing child poverty, however this wasn't successful for children in low income families.