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Overview

Controversial Issues in Social Policy

Third Edition

 

By: Howard Jacob Karger (University of Houston),

James Midgley (University of California, Berkeley),

Peter A. Kindle (University of Houston) and

C. Brené Brown (University of Houston)

 

Overview

 

Controversial 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.

 

Controversial Issues in Social Policy is divided into three parts.  The first part, Social Policy and the American Welfare State, focuses on general issues in social welfare policy.  Part two looks at The Culture Wars: Discrimination, Stigma and Social Policy. Part three examines Social Work and Social Service Delivery Issues.

 

 

New to This Edition

 

16 brand new debates on some of the most controversial issues of today, such as:

 

·         The issue of open borders and immigration, debated by Tatcho Mindiola and Howard Karger.    

·         The privatization of Social Security, debated by William Beach and Steven Rose.

·         The pros and cons of National Health Insurance, debated by Manuel Zamora and Robert Moffit.

·         The legalization of same-sex marriage, debated by Lori Messinger and Focus on the Family’s Glenn Stanton.

 

 

* This reader can be packaged at a special price with any Allyn and Bacon title.  Contact your local sales representative for more information.  You can also find your local sales representative at ablongman.com/replocator.

 

 

________________________________________________________________________

 

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Essays in this collection have been selected to encourage critical thinking and keep students informed on recent social policy debates. Themes include social policy and the American welfare state, poverty, inequality, and social policy, issues in social service policy, and social work education and professional policy. Authors are thinkers and policy analysts both inside and outside of the field of social work. Karger is affiliated with the University of Houston. This work lacks a subject index. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780205137909
  • Publisher: Allyn & Bacon, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/4/1993
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.03 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.45 (d)

Meet the Author

Although 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. Oneexample 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 stated earlier, one of the strengths of social policy is its openness to various interpretations, which makes it intellectually challenging and exciting. Indeed, we hope this book will communicate the exhilaration of analyzing the complexities of social welfare policy.

                                                 

The reader should not assume, despite the passionate tone or persuasive impact of these debates, that the authors personally endorse the issues they present. Controversy is the essence of intellectual discourse. Although it may produce sharp disagreements, the role of critical disputation in furthering knowledge is universally recognized. While scholars may strenuously promote particular positions, the capacity to do so requires mastery of both sides of an issue.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Pt. I Social Policy and the American Welfare State 1
Debate 1 Is the American Welfare State Compatible with the Market Economy?: Yes 4
Is the American Welfare State Compatible with the Market Economy?: No 10
Debate 2 Should the Federal Government Support or Fund Sectarian Social-Service Agencies?: Yes 19
Should the Federal Government Support or Fund Sectarian Social-Service Agencies?: No 23
Debate 3 Should Social Services Be Privatized?: Yes 32
Should Social Service Be Privatized?: No 36
Pt. II Poverty, Inequality, and Social Policy 43
Debate 4 Is Legislation for Lesbian and Gay Rights Necessary?: Yes 46
Is Legislation for Lesbian and Gay Rights Necessary?: No 52
Debate 5 Are Governmental Policies Solving the Problem of Homelessness?: Yes 58
Are Governmental Policies Solving the Problem of Homelessness?: No 61
Debate 6 Can Welfare-to-Work Programs Significantly Reduce Poverty Levels?: Yes 66
Can Welfare-to-Work Programs Significantly Reduce Poverty Levels?: No 72
Debate 7 Can an Asset-Based Welfare Policy Really Help the Poor?: Yes 84
Can an Asset-Based Welfare Policy Really Help the Poor?: No 88
Debate 8 Are Affirmative-Action Policies Increasing Equality in the Labor Market?: Yes 93
Are Affirmative-Action Policies Increasing Equality in the Labor Market?: No 100
Debate 9 Is Privatizing Social Security Good for Women?: Yes 108
Is Privatizing Social Security Good for Women?: No 118
Debate 10 Do We Need a National Healthcare Policy?: Yes 125
Do We Need a National Healthcare Policy?: No 130
Debate 11 Has the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Gone Too Far?: Yes 145
Has the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Gone Too Far?: No 150
Debate 12 Has the War on Drugs Been Effective?: Yes 162
Has the War on Drugs Been Effective?: No 169
Pt. III Issues in Social-Service Policy 177
Debate 13 Is Outpatient Commitment a Step Forward for Mental-Health Clients?: Yes 180
Is Outpatient Commitment a Step Forward for Mental-Health Clients?: No 187
Debate 14 Is Managed Care Containing Costs and Improving Access to Quality Healthcare?: Yes 201
Is Managed Care Containing Costs and Improving Access to Quality Healthcare?: No 212
Debate 15 Should Transracial Adoptions Be Allowed?: Yes 221
Should Transracial Adoptions Be Allowed?: No 227
Debate 16 Should Gays and Lesbian Be Allowed to Adopt?: Yes 235
Should Gays and Lesbians Be Allowed to Adopt?: No 239
Pt. IV Social-Work Education and Professional Policy 247
Debate 17 Should Abortion Rights Be an Accepted Social-Work Value?: Yes 250
Should Abortion Rights Be an Accepted Social-Work Value?: No 255
Debate 18 Should Faith-Based Social-Work Programs Be Required to Comply with Nondiscrimination Standards If They Violate the Beliefs of Those Institutions?: Yes 264
Should Faith-Based Social-Work Programs Be Required to Comply with Nondiscrimination Standards If They Violate the Beliefs of Those Institutions?: No 269
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