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Applied ethics and social problemsMoral questions of birth, society and death$
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Tony Fitzpatrick

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9781861348609

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861348609.001.0001

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(p.117) Seven Choosing
Applied ethics and social problems

Tony Fitzpatrick

Policy Press

It has been proposed that the marketisation of society and social risks is important because, by engendering economic and cultural fragmentation, contemporary social policies are characterised less by interventions intended to reduce structural inequalities and more by a pre-emptive management of agency, the latter being a kind of ‘situational engineering’ through which the environmental possibilities of action are manipulated. This chapter discusses questions of choice and market provision by outlining a version of paternalism called ‘environmental paternalism’. In addition, it argues that choice does not necessarily translate into ‘market choice’; that it can imply forms of negotiation and information dissemination that avoids the corroding producer-consumer dichotomies of recent public sector reforms.

Keywords:   social risks, social policies, situational engineering, environmental paternalism, market choice

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