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Social Policy

This site offers an extensive range of well-written notes focused around the concept of welfare. This extends into a wide range of areas (from family life, through education and deviance, to social inequality and stratification) and provides a way of integrating social policy issues across the whole Specification.

The Workhouse

 A nice historical site tracing the development, in words, pictures and sound, of the workhouse, from its 17th century origins to its "heyday" as a tool of welfare policy in Victorian Britain. It's a large site containing a wealth of information, not just in terms of general welfare policy but touching on areas like health and education in the 19th century (the Timeline is also worth exploring for a brief history of welfare in our society).

JRF Bookshop

It's not often you get "Stuff4Free" but this, my friend, might just be your lucky day (presupposing the stuff you're after relates to things like "Women, Faith and Social Cohesion" or "Participation and community on Bradford’s traditionally white estates"). While this probably isn't high on most A-level students' required reading lists there's plenty more to browse on a site stuffed (geddit?) full of research into poverty and welfare.

Institute for Research on Poverty

Although this site is aimed at an American audience, the kinds of questions it ask ("How is poverty measured?", for example) are applicable to a much wider audience. As well as general empirical information about US poverty you'll find a range of useful links to poverty-related sites around the world.

Townsend Centre

The Home Page for the "Poverty and Social Exclusion Survey of Britain" is not only useful for the empirical material it provides (in both summary and full-report formats) but also for the opportunity it gives students to examine a range of methodological issues - from definitions and measurements of poverty to questionnaire construction (you can, for example, download the questionnaire used in the survey).

New Internationalist

Although somewhat dated now (it was originally published in 1988) this series of slides on the "Politics of Greed" is part of a wider examination of the New Right economic policies that dominated Western societies during the 1980's. The material's still useful, however, for historical and comparative and theoretical purposes.

New Policy Institute

The Publications section of this "Think Tank" site offers a range of research materials (the majority of which are available for download in full / summary form) relating to Poverty and Social Exclusion in the UK - not everyday reading, perhaps, but certainly useful for teachers wanting to access up-to-date information about these topics.

The New Inequality

This is the text of an article called "9 characteristics of the New Inequality in Europe". It's probably best-used as a discussion piece...

Causes of Poverty

As the name suggests, this is a site about poverty and its causes - but you'll also find a wealth (sic) of information relating to poverty around the world in general. Much of the information - although presented clearly and relatively concisely will require some sort of context from teachers to make it understandable for A-level students. However, if you're looking for resources for classroom discussion / reading this site will be a valuable first port of call.

The Uses of Poverty

Clearly, then, poverty and the poor may well satisfy a number of positive functions for many nonpoor groups in American society. I shall describe thirteen such functions - economic, social and political - that seem to me most significant.

PSE UK Working Papers

The "Poverty and Social Exclusion in the United Kingdom  surveys"  build on previous poverty research (such as the classic Breadline Britain surveys) to provide a comprehensive picture of relative poverty (he public’s perceptions of necessities and into living standards) in the UK.

Definitions of Poverty

Archived BBC page that outlines a number of different definitions of poverty...

The Poverty Site

Massive amount of information  (definitions, statistics, commentaries...) on poverty in the UK.


Social Policy:

From the Victorians to the Present Day

On-line Seminar from the LSE that looks at social policy over the past 150 years. It uses a mix of text, pictures and video (unfortunately it uses RealPlayer. A lot) to show the development of social policy in the UK - which is actually more-interesting than it sounds.

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Social Policy, Welfare, Poverty