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Social Policy Review 32Analysis and Debate in Social Policy, 2020$
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James Rees, Marco Pomati, and Elke Heins

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781447341666

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447341666.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM POLICY PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.policypress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Policy Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PPSO for personal use.date: 25 June 2021

Race and social policy: challenges and obstacles

Race and social policy: challenges and obstacles

(p.5) 1 Race and social policy: challenges and obstacles
Social Policy Review 32

Nasar Meer

Policy Press

This chapter asks what the pressing racial inequalities are in contemporary British society and to what extent is social policy as a discipline equipped to analyse and respond to these. It provides an overview of some contemporary outcomes in the key areas of labour market participation, education, and criminal justice, summarising some prevailing features and patterns, before going on to explore in more detail whether social solicy as it is presently configured, focusing as it does on the concern with a redistributive notion of equality, is sufficiently well placed to grasp these. The chapter then develops a fascinating argument based on the observation of the need to fully incorporate an account of institutional racism and ‘everyday bordering’, as well as a critical understanding of the so-called ‘progressives dilemma’ set out by David Goodhart. The history of social policy as a disciplinary practice may stymie the kinds of foci that are needed. This analysis demands a recognition that mainstream social policy inquiry is parochial, but also that the object of inquiry is shaped by historical racism.

Keywords:   racial inequalities, British society, social policy, labour market participation, education, criminal justice, institutional racism, everyday bordering, progressives dilemma, historical racism

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