Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Anthropology and Social Policy

LEVEL 02 - Years 2, 3 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Anthropological Sciences

DESCRIPTION This study-unit approaches the study of social policy and welfare from anthropological perspective of the everyday contexts in which it is implemented and experienced. Social Policy looks at both the nature of social problems and the policies directed towards them by government, as well as examining the role of voluntary and private welfare. By taking an anthropological approach to social policy, this unit will enable students to broadly understand how contemporary societies recognise and manage social change. Moreover, it will be possible to explore how policy affects our everyday lives. We will explore the local scenario in how policies have changed since joining the European Union, as well as other contemporary societies such as Britain and other European countries.

Study-Unit Aims:

The study-unit aims to provide students with the opportunity to:

- Communicate constructively the research to others in written and oral form. E.g.Link everyday experiences, scales and spaces of policy intervention.
- Engage with how welfare and social policy is ordered, experienced and contested within everyday contexts, as well as unevenly distributed at a local level.
- Summarise, interpret, and present data in oral and written form (essays, presentations).
- Develop key skills in critical readings, analytic thought, written and oral communication and use of electronic systems (e.g. online resources).
- Relate ideas and material in one context (lectures) to material in another (presentations).

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be:

- Able to evaluate the ways in which phenomena come to be labelled as social problems;
- Able to grasp the key concepts used in social policy, such as need, equity, inequality, poverty, exclusion and diversity;
- Able to critically evaluate the solutions to social problems that are suggested and adopted;
- Aware of the way in which social policy not only responds to such problems but actually helps to shape them.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Develop skills in presentation and debate, both verbal and written;
- Develop problem solving skills and the ability to seek solutions to social problems and individual needs;
- Design policies that are culturally sensitive to the needs of a specific society;
- Understand different kinds of empirical data used in research on social policy in practice;
- Evaluate different academic perspectives on social policy in practice;
- Develop effective skills in finding and using library and internet resources.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main Texts:

- P Alcock, M May and S Wright (2012). (eds) The Student's Companion to Social Policy. 4th edition, Oxford: Blackwell.
- J Baldock, N Manning, S Vickerstaff and L Mitton. (2011) (eds) Social Policy. 4th edition, Oxford University Press.

Supplementary Readings:

- European Commission, DG Justice. (2012). The role of men in gender equality - European Strategies and Insights.
- Helene Snee & Fiona Devine (2014) Taking the next step: class, resources and educational choice across the generations, Journal of Youth Studies, 17:8, 998-1013, DOI: 10.1080/13676261.2014.881987.
- J Cribb, R Joyce, D Phillips. (2012). Living standards, poverty and inequality in the UK.
- Hearn, J. (2014). Introduction: International Studies on Men, Masculinities, and Gender Equality. Men and Masculinities. Vol. 17(5) 455-466.
- M Daly. (2011), Welfare .Polity Press.
- H Dean. (2012) Social Policy. 2nd edition, Polity Press.
- D Garland. (2016). The Welfare State: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press.
- Ministry for Social Policy (1990). A Caring Society in A Changing World, Government Press: Malta.
- Bernardes, J., (1997), Family Studies: An Introduction Routledge: London.
- Berthoud, R., and Iacovou, M., (undated), Diverse Europe: Mapping Patterns of social Change Across the EU, Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Essex: Essex.
- Cahill, M. (1994), The New Social Policy, Blackwell: Oxford.
- Dimech Sant, S., (2001) Protection of the Family: The Maltese Case, Unpublished Dissertation, Sussex University: Brighton.
- Director’s Office, (2001), Social Security in Malta: A Synopsis, Department of Social Security: Malta.
- Drake, R.F., (2001), The Principals of Social Policy, Palgrave: Hampshire.
- Gauthiere, A.H., (1996), The State and The Family, Clarendon Press: Oxford.
- Green, D., (1993), Reinventing Civil Society, Institute of Economic Affairs: UK.
- Hantrais, L., (2000), Social Policy in the European Union, Macmillan Press: London.
- Hill, M., (1996), Social Policy: A Comparative Analysis, Prentice Hall: London.
- Jordan, B., (1990), Social Work in an Unjust Society, Harvester Wheatsheaf: New York.
- Karger, H.J., Midgley, J., and Brené Brown, C., (Eds.), (2003), Controversial Issues in Social Policy, Allyn and Bacon: Boston.
- Lavallette, M., and Pratt, A., (Eds.), (1997), Social Policy: A Conceptual and Theoretical Introduction, Sage Publications: London.


Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Presentation (10 Minutes) No 40%
Report Yes 60%

LECTURER/S Rachael Scicluna

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.