chapter  1
14 Pages

Social policy and disability: Some theoretical issues

ByMIKE OLIVER

Since the late 1960s academics interested in the study of social policy have been forced to look more closely at the values and ideologies underpinning their work. One aspect of this has been the rapid rise and expansion of sociology as an academic discipline with the consequent proliferation of a variety of theoretical perspectives. Another aspect of this has been the gradually developing economic crises which have forced all governments in recent years to cut back on the rate of state spending on welfare. A final aspect has been the move away from a political consensus about the welfare state towards a polarisation of left and right wing positions concerning its nature, functions and future.