- welfare, sociology of welfareWelfare is the state or condition of doing or being well. The term is primarily invoked when some action is considered necessary in order to enhance individual or group welfare-that is when welfare is in some way in doubt. It is, consequently, a term employed first and foremost in the arena of policy, and is intimately linked to the concept of needs , since it is by meeting needs that welfare is enhanced: welfare policies are policies designed to meet individual or group needs. The needs at issue are not merely those necessary for survival, but those necessary for a reasonable or adequate life within the society. They include not only a minimum level of income for food and clothing, but also adequate housing, education, health care, and opportunities for employment (though this is not always included). Precisely how and to what extent these needs are met clearly varies from society to society. During the twentieth century, the role of the state in meeting welfare needs in advanced industrial societies has typically increased. However, over the past decade or more there has been some retrenchment in state welfare in a range of Western societies, with an increasing privatization of welfare services, and support for private provision dependent on the ability to pay, rather than upon need.Since welfare issues are closely allied to policy, there has been a tendency to locate them within the field of social policy rather than sociology. However, this position has been regularly challenged by writers like Peter Townsend, who regards social policy-which includes welfare policy-as falling squarely within the province of sociology. This view finds support from the long-standing discussions, centred on Marxist theorizing, about the extent to which welfare states and welfare policies are functional for capitalism . Do they mitigate the harsh excesses of capitalism, so making the system more acceptable? Or are they the result of the successful struggle of workers to secure their own interests? (A still provocative treatment of these questions will be found in, Regulating the Poor: The Functions of Public Welfare, 1971.) Such debates have led, amongst other things, to a plethora of valuable research studies seeking to identify the recipients of state welfare. These show the extent to which, in most societies, the middle classes benefit disproportionately from certain forms of state welfare such as education (though this does not mean that state welfare is less equitable than private welfare). They also show the extent to which women are financially dependent on welfare support.Equally, the view that the study of welfare is a proper part of sociology finds support from the work of writers such as Thomas H. Marshall , who links issues of welfare to those of citizenship and so to the sociological mainstream. In Marshall's view, welfare rights are the third and final group of rights acquired by members of a society. First there are civil rights, such as the freedom of association, organization, and expression; then there come political rights, such as the right to vote and to seek political office; finally, there are social and economic rights, such as the right to welfare and social security. Marshall's progressive, linear model of the acquisition of rights has been questioned; however, his formulation of a series of rights clearly has political value, providing a potential rallying call for political change. In so doing, it asserts in particular that welfare benefits should be awarded as a matter of legal entitlement on principles of universality, rather than on a discretionary basis. Perhaps not surprisingly the recent retrenchment in state welfare provision-along with important political changes including changing patterns of migration-has led to a new focus on the issue of citizenship, reaffirming the importance of welfare within the mainstream of sociology, and enlivening discussions in the field.The relevant theoretical issues are introduced in, Theories of Welfare (1984). For a more substantive treatment see, Social Welfare in Developed Market Countries (1989).
Dictionary of sociology. 2013.
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Welfare — may refer to:* Well being, quality of lifestyle ** Animal welfare, the quality of life of animals, and concerns thereabout * Welfare , a film directed by Frederick WisemanIn economics:* Social welfare provision, government programs that seek to… … Wikipedia
welfare — wel‧fare [ˈwelfeə ǁ fer] noun [uncountable] ECONOMICS 1. help that is given by government to people with social or financial problems: • a drastic reform of the welfare system 2. money paid by the government to people who are poor, unemployed etc … Financial and business terms
welfare — I noun advantage, affluence, benefit, commodis consulere, fortune, good, haleness, happiness, health, hominis, interest, luck, prosperity, prosperousness, soundness, success, weal, well being associated concepts: public welfare II index … Law dictionary
welfare — /ˈwɛlfer, ingl. ˈwɛlˌfɛə(r)/ [vc. ingl., accorc. di welfare state, propr. «stato (state) del benessere (welfare)»] s. m. inv. (econ.) stato sociale FRASEOLOGIA Ministero per il Welfare (giorn.), Ministero per il Lavoro e le politiche sociali … Sinonimi e Contrari. Terza edizione
Welfare — Wel fare , n. [Well + fare to go, to proceed, to happen.] Well doing or well being in any respect; the enjoyment of health and the common blessings of life; exemption from any evil or calamity; prosperity; happiness. [1913 Webster] How to study… … The Collaborative International Dictionary of English
welfare — [wel′fer΄] n. [ME < wel faren, to fare well: see WELL2 & FARE] 1. the state of being or doing well; condition of health, happiness, and comfort; well being; prosperity 2. a) the organized efforts of government agencies that grant aid to the… … English World dictionary
welfare — [wɛlfɛʀ] n. m. ÉTYM. 1972, in l Express; mot anglais. ❖ ♦ Aux États Unis, Politique d action sociale; administration qui en est chargée. || « Le fonctionnement des grandes bureaucraties fédérales, notamment le welfare » (le Nouvel Obs., 1er janv … Encyclopédie Universelle
welfare — O.E. wel faran condition of being or doing well, from wel (see WELL (Cf. well) (adv.)) + faran get along (see FARE (Cf. fare) (v.)). Cf. O.N. velferð. Meaning social concern for the well being of children, the unemployed, etc. is first attested… … Etymology dictionary
welfare — / well being [n] health and prosperity abundance, advantage, benefit, contentment, ease, easy street*, euphoria, felicity, good, good fortune, happiness, interest, luck, profit, progress, satisfaction, success, thriving; concepts 316,693,706 … New thesaurus
welfare — ► NOUN 1) the health, happiness, and fortunes of a person or group. 2) action or procedure designed to promote the basic physical and material well being of people in need. 3) chiefly N. Amer. financial support given for this purpose. ORIGIN from … English terms dictionary