What is Social Policy?



What is Social Policy

Social Policy is an interdisciplinary and applied discipline concerned especially with the analysis of societies' responses to social need. It seeks to foster in its students a capacity to understand theory and evidence drawn from a wide range of social science disciplines, including economics, sociology, psychology, philosophy and political science.

Social Policy appeals to students who enjoy thinking critically about the social structures, institutions and problems which shape our lives.

It combines topical issues with practical concerns. No other discipline so closely relates to our everyday experiences in areas such as health, education and employment. Social Policy is focused on those aspects of the economy, society and polity that are necessary to human existence and the means by which they can be provided.

Social Policy is a subject which is intensely political - provoking some of the major controversies of recent years. To conceptualise important issues, to recognise and compare rival perspectives, and to reflect on their values and commitments are tasks of social policy.

The main targets of social policy are to avoid social risks, to meet social needs, to keep and to improve the income and a high standart level of various social groups with the sens of social justice.

Social policy deals comprehensively with social pproblems in an integrated manner utilizing a multi-disciplinary approach, while also dealing in depth with issues in health, education, welfare and income distribution. Social policy focuses on macro social issues and provides policy analysis and options on priority issues that occupy the public debate or are about to become the focus of widespread public concern. The fact is, that social problems and risks concern everyone, but only a few of them are able to master the results of the risks wirth own power.

These basic human needs include:

food and shelter

a sustainable and safe environment

the promotion of health and treatment of the sick

the care and support of those unable to live a fully independent life

the education and training of individuals to a level that enables them fully to participate in their society

One of the important areas of social policy is Social Work. Social work as a profession is more important than ever as governments attempt to determine the appropriate amount of support that should be given to families and communities. Social workers are at the cutting edge of these challenges as they attempt to mediate the effects of shifts in policy on the lives of families and communities

Social and community workers help to bring about solutions to individual and social difficulties and encourage policy options which provide a more favourable environment in which to live. These activities call for skills based on a thorough knowledge of human development, detailed study of social institutions and policies and a personal capacity to effectively assist others.

Therefore the study of Social Policy in a university is designed to reflect on the ways in which different societies have developed ways of meeting these needs, or, in some cases, have failed to do so. Some societies rely on informal or family institutions, some on private markets and individual actions, some on governmental actions through what is often termed the welfare state or social state.

Social policy programmes are also intended to equip students with some of the foundation social knowledge and competencies required of beginning policy analysts and researchers.

Students of Social Policy will be expected to understand these different approaches and explore their implications from the perspective of different disciplinary and ideological traditions.

In Turkey Social Policy as a science is a main branch of Department of Labour Economics and Industrial Relations. Social Policy plays a key role in integrating work in other areas of the department. The department presents and explains the social policy questions and the implications of proposed solutions, and offers alternative suggestions for solving social problems.

Especially the interests of the Department of Labour Economics and Industrial Relations at the Sakarya University embrace virtually all major issues which confront individual countries and the world today. How best to provide social policy, health and education; the planning of towns and the provision of reasonable housing and social services; the problems posed by ageing populations, poverty and social exclusion; the role of national and local government and non-governmental organisations in instigating policy reform and change.

Today these and many other issues have to be considered in an increasingly international and dynamic context - one in which national, European and global matters frequently interact and merge.

Aims of the social policy lessons are:

  • to provide students with the opportunity to explore some of the main social issues of the day in an intellectually stimulating environment.

  • to equip students with the skills to analyse social policy with a view to understanding both how policies are developed and the role they play in people’s lives.

  • to develop research and presentational skills to allow students to carry out, and communicate the results of, their own policy research.

The following subjects cover all the major social policy areas:

  • Classical and Contemporary Labour Relations

  • Classical and Contemporary Social Issues

  • Comparative Social Policy (Social Capitalism; Socialism ans Social Islam).

  • Educational Politics and Policy

  • Employment Policies

  • Environmental Policy

  • Ethnicity and Social Policy

  • Family Policy

  • Health Policy; Health Promotion & Planning & Financing

  • Human Capital Development

  • Human Development and Social Progress

  • Human Resources Management

  • Human Rights-Children's Rights

  • Impact of changes to Old Age Security

  • Income security and supplement

  • International Social Policy and European Social Policy

  • Labour Market Policy and Labour Adjustment

  • National Benefit System for various social groups

  • Planning of towns, City Design, Housing and urban design

  • Resource Distribution; Redistribution, and Social Justice

  • Social Behaviour and Competitiveness

  • Social Institutions of the welfare state

  • Social Insurance

  • Social Law; Concepts; Targets and Theories

  • Social Models of welfare states

  • Social Needs and Rights

  • Social Planning and Development

  • Social policy and planning in developing countries

  • Social Policy History

  • Social Policy Theories

  • Social Policy: Concepts; Principles; Targets and Theories

  • Social Research

  • Social Security; Social Security Policy

  • Social Services and Management in Public Services

  • Social State; Concepts; Targets and Theories

  • Social Transfers

  • The Aging Society

  • The analysis of poverty and social exclusion

  • The Social Division of Welfare

  • The Treasury and Public Policy

  • Welfare Issues-Law and Administration

  • Work to Retirement; pensions, income supports for older persons.

  • Workplace innovation

  • Civil society, non governmental organisations and Voluntary Sector Organisation

  • Cooperation between the state governments and private social organisations in the development of social policy

  • Demography, reproductive health, international population trends, changing population structures and their implications for social policy

  • Development of policies for persons with disabilities (Policy options for benefits and services to help support persons with disabilities)

  • Past and present provincial social programs (social assistance and other social services)

  • Social Problems (Poverty; Homelessness; Illness; Social cohesion; Citizen engagement; Child abuse; Young people and drug misuse).

  • Social work with children and families, risk management, evaluation, complaints and user perspectives (Social and Community Work Fields of Practice)

  • Support of low-income families with children in the transition from welfare to work



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Social Policy in Turkey