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This subject explores the history of Australian social policy, interweaving five themes: the rise and fall of state-regulated wages, the ways that income support was shaped by this arbitration system, the gendering and de-gendering of the welfare system and its relationship to the family, the separate and privileged position of veteransÂ’ welfare, and the distinctive place of the faith-based welfare sector in the mixed economy of welfare. This historical survey is combined with examination of theories on the comparative analysis of welfare regimes. The subject starts from the principle that to understand where we are going involves understanding where we have come from, and that we need historical depth to comprehend contemporary transformations in the type of policy regime constructed in Australia. Through an investigation of the antecedents of Â“welfare reformÂ”, industrial relations deregulation, the de-gendering of welfare, and the shift towards contracting non-government welfare agencies to administer the poor, the subject provides an opportunity to examine the present in the light of the past.
Intended learning outcomes
- a sophisticated historical understanding of social policy interventions in Australia over the past century;
- an understanding of the comparative analysis of policy regimes;
- an understanding of fundamental concepts in social policy analysis, such as social protection, arbitration, gender, decommodification, equity and mixed economies of welfare;
- a conceptual analysis of the role of social theory in developing and analysing policy;
- a fuller understanding of contemporary debates and directions in social policies and programs; and
- enhanced skills in writing about the history of social policy interventions and choices.
- be able to apply research skills and critical methods.
- be able to develop persuasive arguments.
- able to communicate oral and written arguments and ideas effectively.
Last updated: 3 November 2022