Politics in Social Work/Welfare
Politics in Social Work/Welfare SW 222
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Popular in Social Work
This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Maddi Caudill on Tuesday January 26, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to SW 222 at University of Kentucky taught by Teresa A. Powell in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 9 views. For similar materials see Development Social Welfare in Social Work at University of Kentucky.
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Date Created: 01/26/16
THE WORLD OF CONSERVATIVES, LIBERALS, AND RADICALS Conservatives: -to "conserve" or resist change. -They believe that change usually produces more negative than positive consequences. -strongly emphasize tradition -suspicious of social welfare programs -Conservatives tend to take a pessimistic view of human nature -People are perceived as corrupt, self centered, lazy, incapable of true charity -Encouraged to work -People need to be controlled because of their fundamentally negative nature -Support democracy -people are self governing -Social welfare programs simply need to make sure that nothing interferes with peoples efforts to better themselves and solve their own problems -value "traditional family" -family is a source of strength for individuals -oppose abortion and public funding of day care centers, sex education in schools, birth control counseling for minors, legit reconciliation of gay marriage, too much independence to women and children in fear it will deconstruct family -Functional Perspective: society is a system composed of interrelated interdependent parts -each part contributes to the over all system -analogous to a biological organism -view the social system as inherently fair -"the government governs best that governs least" -a free market economy is the best way to ensure that the country prospers and individual needs are met -conservatives feel that government regulations substitute the "dead hand of bureaucracy" -"new conservatives" do not deny that government has responsibility carried out in particular way Liberals: -generally in favor of change -believe that the world can be changed for the better -view history as progress, and that bringing change will continue progress -usually viewed as reform rather than radical reconstruction -advocate for social welfare -Liberals tend to take a more optimistic view of human nature -People do not need to be controlled -They need to be protected from corrupting influences and given the freedom to follow their natural inclinations -emphasis on environment as a cause of behavior -Sigmund Freud: individuals are programmed by early experience, primarily with their parents, and that an individuals behavior in later life results from this programming -changing the environment is a proper response to social welfare problems -view family as an evolving institution -Liberals see and value friction and diversity in social system -regards the social system as potentially fair but frequently unfair -some interest groups are more powerful than others and, if unchecked by the government, will use their power to take advantage of the less powerful groups -reject social welfare programs that simply help people adjust to the society as it is -based on economic theories of John Maynard Keyens ---> the government must be involved in all areas on the economy in order to ensure functioning Radicals: -also in favor of change -believe that liberals idea of change doesn’t get to the main issues -stress fundamental change in the social system -believe that social welfare efforts do not go far enough and that in all probability fundamental changes will need to be made in the basic structure of society to alleviate most of the problems being targeted by social welfare programs -suspect that the real purpose of programs is to distract attention from the real, deeper problems of society and thereby to obstruct meaningful change -Radicals also believe that humans are basically good -They believe that people are inherently industrious and creative -Radicals regard hard work as virtue, like conservatives -believe traditional family model as oppressive -denies women a choice of careers and men an opportunity to be a part of family life -believes strong families are essential to society -equal pay, day care centers, maternity and paternity leaves, flextime, and job sharing -radicals believe that fairness is unattainable in the present system -fairness can only be achieved if society restructures its existing institutions to redistribute wealth and power -follow Karl Marx perspective -see social system as a class hierarchy in which one class has predominant power and uses it t control the others---> conflict perspective -interest group politics -the only way to prevent inequality is to change society completely -some believe that society can be reconstructed gradually and democratically while others only see revolutionary change as sufficient -prefer public ownership of industry and services than the two other groups -workers have control over the conditions of their work Reactionaries: -believe that change has already gone too far and that things should be changed back to the way they used to be -believe that social welfare programs should never have been implemented in the first place and wants to eliminate them -vocal about government and economics -represented by the Libertarian Party and the tea party movement -believe that government, beyond a bare minimum, is inherently evil -they support government only in national defense, criminal justice, and maintenance of certain public utilities -believe taxation to be legal thievery -advocate for abolition of public welfare, public education, public social services, and almost every other tax supported activity • Social welfare programs generally represent a nontraditional way of dealing with problems • Different views of human nature play a huge role in social welfare policy • Attitudes toward the family have an impact • The biggest difference between conservatives and liberals is their view on the proper role of government If poverty were eliminated by, for example, the creation of millions of public sector jobs and an increase in the minimum wage, conservatives would argue that: 1. The new jobs would compete with private business 2. A tax increase would be necessary and would hurt the economy 3. The increased minimum wage would force business to pay more, which would cause them either to go broke or to raise their prices. This would cause inflation, which would reduce the value of the minimum wage to the same level it was before the increase The government is involved in the economy in two main areas: 1. Taxation and government expenditure 2. Laws, regulations, and executive orders governing economic affairs
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