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2008/09 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

SLSP2414 New Labour and Welfare Reform

20 creditsClass Size: 60

Module manager: Professor Alan Deacon
Email: A.J.Deacon@leeds.ac.uk

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2008/09

Pre-requisite qualifications

Normally 40 credits taken within the Faculty of ESSL or related disciplines.

Module replaces

SLSP2412 Reforming Social Security

This module is approved as an Elective

Module summary

The need to 'modernise' Britain's welfare state has been a continual theme of New Labour governments since 1997. This module examines New Labour's welfare reforms and asks if they represent a new and distinctive approach, or just a pale echo of Thatcherism. The module begins with a discussion of Thatcher's ideological legacy, especially ideas about welfare dependency and a social market economy. It also examines the growth of inequality in the 1980s and 1990s. It then assesses the intellectual influences upon New Labour, and its claim to have found a 'third way' on welfare. Key policy areas are covered, including welfare to work, pensions, and the pledge to end child poverty. Finally, the origins of New Labour's 'respect' agenda are discussed, particularly its preoccupation with combating anti-social behaviour and supporting good parenting.Contact: Professor Alan Deacon a.j.deacon@leeds.ac.uk or undergradsociologysocialpolicy@leeds.ac.uk

Objectives

On completion of this module, students should be able to:
- understand the formative influences upon and the central objectives of the first and second New Labour governments in respect of welfare reform;
- assess the extent to which New Labour policies represented a departure from those pursued by the Thatcher and Major governments;
- review and assess differing interpretations of the success and effects of those policies;
- assess conflicting interpretations of the nature of dependency, poverty and social exclusion;
- understand and form a judgement about the debate surrounding the definition and measurement of inequalities in income and wealth;
- understand the trends in those inequalities and the reasons for such trends.

Skills outcomes
Written skills, presentational skills.


Syllabus

The legacy of Thatcherism: the concepts of the social market economy and welfare dependency; trends in the distribution of income and wealth 1979-1997.
The origins of New Labour ideas on welfare, the influence of communitarianism and of Christian Socialism; the impact of 'benefit dynamics'.
'Third Way' thinking on welfare.
The Green Paper on welfare reform.
The origins, operation and impact of the 'New Deal' programmes.
The background to New Labour's pledge to eliminate child poverty, the means by which it expects to do so, and progress to date.
The growth of welfare conditionality; welfare and the family; welfare and anti-social behaviour.
Trends in inequality and poverty since 1997.

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Video & Discussion61.006.00
Lecture111.0011.00
Seminar101.0010.00
Private study hours173.00
Total Contact hours27.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

3 hours reading per lecture: 33 hours;
14 hours preparation per seminar: 140 hours.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Presentations and attendance.

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information


Coursework
Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay2,500 words50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)50.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated


Exams
Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)2 hr 00 mins50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)50.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 05/06/2009

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