In a contribution to the JRF's 'social evils' series, Jose Harris examines social problems and changing perceptions of them since 1904. Social evils, such as hunger and destitution, were seen by the Victorians as unavoidable. Joseph Rowntree's more positive philosophy promoted social research and intervention to transform 'social evils' into less malign 'social problems' that could be cured. However, some of these problems have subsequently reappeared.
In an extract from the book Contemporary Social Evils, Matthew Taylor examines how cultural theory can help us to understand the slide into social pessimism and the credit crunch.
Time and money are two key constraints on what people can achieve. The income constraint is widely recognised by policy-makers and social scientists in their concern with poverty. Proposed solutions often focus on getting people into paid work, but this risks ignoring the demands people may have on their time. This study looks at individuals who are significantly limited by time and income constraints: those who could escape income poverty only by incurring time poverty, or vice versa.
This report was published by the UK Department for Work and Pensions in March 2006. It includes a foreword by the Prime Minister, Tony Blair MP and the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, John Hutton MP. There is an introduction and conclusion but no executive summary. Main chapters are: targeted help for those who need it most; work as a route out of poverty; breaking the cycle of deprivation; delivering high-quality public services.
The impact on earnings and employment of growing up in poverty. This report estimates the costs of child poverty in terms of reduced GDP, focusing on the lost earning potential of adults who have grown up in poverty.
This lecture was presented by Philippe van Parijs from the Universite Catholique de Louvain, Belgium, with a response from Sir Tony Atkinson, Nuffield College, Oxford. In this lecture, he argues for the introduction of a basic income unconditionally paid to all.
This report aims to demonstrate how poor mental health is a significant cause of wider social and health problems, including: low levels of educational achievement and work productivity; higher levels of physical disease and mortality; violence, relationship breakdown and poor community cohesion. In contrast, good mental health leads to better physical health, healthier lifestyles, improved productivity and educational attainment and lower levels of crime and violence.
This report focuses on the discrimination experienced by families living in poverty in the UK ('povertyism'), examining the barriers preventing them from enjoying equal access to fundamental economic and social rights. Current thinking, in the national and international poverty debate, is that the question of rights, and their absence, is linked to poverty. Povertyism perpetuates a lack of knowledge and understanding about the lives of people experiencing poverty. The resulting policy approach leads to a denial of their basic human rights.
Paper examining the so-called 'skills paradox' in the UK whereby funding and investment in skills formation operates on a 'trickle down' principle, in which those already enjoying privileged status within the education and training system benefit most from the highest levels of investment from both the state and employers. It suggests ways to address this paradox and create an education and training system which works for everyone and maximises the benefits to individuals, organisations and the economy.
This report asks what a focus on severe child poverty adds to our understanding of child poverty and what it may suggest in terms of future strategic approaches and policy solutions With the government committed to their goal of ending child poverty by 2020 there are concerns that policy has not reached those families in the most severe poverty.