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Social Inequality and Social Policy - SOC223

What role does government have in addressing inequality between individuals and groups? If governments make things fairer, what incentives are there for hard work and individual effort? Is the welfare state in decline because of an ageing population, tight budgets and globalisation? Is Australia overly generous when it comes to social spending? Few areas in sociology are as contentious and vital as the ongoing debates about who should get social support and how it should be delivered. This unit offers a detailed introduction to the history, design and institutions of social policy and welfare states. Throughout we examine the role of the state in delivering social outcomes for citizens, including social justice, social equality and social efficiency outcomes. We look closely at the development of Australian social policy and consider how policymakers are dealing with problems like an ageing population, unemployment, poor families, and income inequality in a comparative context. We also consider how social policy in Australia and elsewhere is made, and how power and institutional dynamics shape policy outcomes. Through this we assess how different forms of social policy provide alternative views of what a society represents and values. The unit caters for students interested in policy practice, policy analysis, development studies and welfare state research.

Credit Points: 3
When Offered:

S2 Day - Session 2, North Ryde, Day

S2 External - Session 2, External (On-campus dates: None)

Staff Contact(s): Associate Professor Shaun Wilson

12cp at 100 level or above Prerequisite Information


NCCW(s): SOC233
Unit Designation(s):
Unit Type:
Assessed As: Graded
Offered By:

Department of Sociology

Faculty of Arts

Course structures, including unit offerings, are subject to change.
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