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Social Policy and Welfare PluralismSelected Writings of Robert Pinker$
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John Offer and Robert Pinker

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781447323556

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447323556.001.0001

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Robert Pinker on rethinking approaches to welfare

Robert Pinker on rethinking approaches to welfare

(p.1) General introduction Robert Pinker on rethinking approaches to welfare
Social Policy and Welfare Pluralism

John Offer

Policy Press

This book examines Robert Pinker's selected works on social policy and welfare pluralism, past and present. Pinker began writing on social policy in the 1960s, undertaking research work on issues such as the development of health care within the poor law. He published books devoted to social policy, including Social Theory and Social Policy (1971) and The Idea of Welfare (1979), along with various articles on complementary topics. Pinker's main concern was to rethink the study of social policy, arguing that ‘theory’ should not be confused with ideology or rhetoric. His ideas were primarily built around such themes as stigma, conditional altruism, access to land and property, giving and receiving, and migration and civil war. In Social Theory and Social Policy, Pinker highlighted the distinction in social life between ‘givers’ and ‘receivers’. He also made explicit the areas of study under the heading of ‘sociology of morals’.

Keywords:   social policy, Robert Pinker, welfare pluralism, health care, Social Theory and Social Policy, stigma, conditional altruism, givers, receivers, sociology of morals

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