A third edition of this textbook is now available.
In the second edition of Double Standard, James W. Russell shows how and why different models of social and welfare policy developed in the United States and Europe. He comparatively examines how Europe and the United States have handled common social problems such as poverty, inequality, unemployment, family support, health care provision, ethnic and racial conflict, and crime. These ...
A third edition of this textbook is now available.
In the second edition of Double Standard, James W. Russell shows how and why different models of social and welfare policy developed in the United States and Europe. He comparatively examines how Europe and the United States have handled common social problems such as poverty, inequality, unemployment, family support, health care provision, ethnic and racial conflict, and crime. These different social policy orientations have produced disparate social ways of life, ways of life that are now in contention for the future of western societies.
Today Europeans see their strong welfare states as necessary to counter the worst features of unrestrained capitalism. They pay high taxes to support generous social benefits. Americans, to the contrary, have been conditioned to shudder at the idea of a welfare state, upholding instead a laissez-faire faith in market solutions to social problems. They pay low taxes and have few tax-subsidized benefits.
This new edition includes the latest available statistical information as well as an analysis of the 2010 health care reform in the United States. The book also compares the social consequences of the latest recession in Europe and the United States.
In this earnest, constructive book, Russell provides a systematic sketch of the way Europeans and Americans conceive of socail welfare and deliver it in different ways. Recommended.
Frances Fox Piven
James W. Russell has written a sober, well-informed, and temperate overview of the divergent development of social welfare programs in Europe and the United States. As these programs have become more important, the political battles over them have also become more heated. This book is a remarkably sensible antidote to the inflamed politics of the moment.
John R. MacArthur
Praise from the first edition:
James Russell restores my faith in sociology as the best line of inquiry into nagging political questions that too often get assigned to narrow-minded economists. We need books like this to combat academic provincialism as much as to correct social inequality.
Double Standard remains an eye-opener and required text for all those committed to self-education and the education of others in the political economy of everyday life.
Russell allows American students to see that there are a variety of forms of capitalism, some more humane than others. Kudos to Russell for making a complex topic understandable, even enjoyable, without over-simplifying.
Journal Of Social Policy
It reads like an introductory textbook for students or an accessible social policy book for the politically interested....By introducing the reader to the fundamental political conceptions and main social policy areas, th book provides a helpful introduction for those not familiar with social policy thinking and development.
Robert B. Hudson
Double Standard has become a welcome core reading in our “Social Policy: History and Concepts” course at the Boston University School of Social Work. In remarkably clear and succinct language, Russell sets forth the contributions of central social policy theorists and highlights critical differences in how the United States and European nations address social and economic problems. His treatment of the ideological “isms” is especially useful.
In this closely argued, detailed, and meticulous book Russell compares the development of social policies in the USA and in European states, pointing out areas where there are significant differences of approach but also those where one has borrowed from another. The strong historical and philosophical basis for Russell's analysis continues to make this a novel, engaging, and challenging addition to the comparative literature and an important source book for scholars of the US welfare system.
Robert J. S. Ross
Double Standard is accessible, responsible, historically-minded, and classically informed comparative social policy and political sociology. One can only hope others take Russell's example of how to write and do the social sciences.
In an era of rising income inequality and neoliberal policy solutions, Russell provides a timely, thoughtful analysis of policy differences in the United States and Europe. By the end of this book it is clear how various approaches to social policy are possible but carry 'dramatically different consequences' for individuals and society.
Note to the Second Edition
Chapter 1: Introduction: From Social Problems to Social Policies
Chapter 2: The Social Worldview of Medieval Christianity as Prologue
Chapter 3: Secular Transitions and Assumptions
Chapter 4: Marx, Durkheim, and the Limits of Laissez-faire Capitalism
Chapter 5: From Theory to Ideology
Chapter 6: The Origins of Social Policy in Europe and the United States
Chapter 7: Alternative Approaches to Social Policy
Chapter 8: Social Cohesion and Inequality
Chapter 9: Poverty
Chapter 10: Unemployment: The Sword of Damocles
Chapter 11: Support for Child Raising
Chapter 12: Support for the Aged
Chapter 13: Health Care
Chapter 14: Ethnic and Racial Policy
Chapter 15: Incarceration as Social Policy
Chapter 16: Summary: Principles for Progressive Social Policy
Afterword: Social Impacts of The Great Recession in Europe and the United States
About the Author