Balancing polarities : Developing a new framework for welfare research

Popay, Jennie and Williams, Fiona (2005) Balancing polarities : Developing a new framework for welfare research. In: Welfare Research : A Critical Review. Taylor and Francis, pp. 162-190. ISBN 9781857282696

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Reviewing Harold Wilsons account of the 1964-70 labour government, E.P.Thomson commented that "the book starts badly but it gets a great deal worse as it goes on" (Thomson 1971:50). Damning criticism indeed. Hopefully external judgements on this book will not be quite so withering! Our own view, as editors, is that the book started by highlighting some of the tensions and dichotomies that currently characterize theory and practice in welfare research and this complexity has deepened as the book has unfolded. In this final chapter we therefore highlight those elements of the complex terrain traversed in earlier chapters that we consider to be most salient to our pursuit of a new, less dichotomized framework for welfare research. In the second section we consider some existing concepts which might help to mediate between these tensions and dichotomies. In the course of doing this, we also point to dimensions of theoretical adequacy which could inform a new paradigm for welfare research. In the third and last section Fiona Williams begins to sketch out a framework for this new paradigm.

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21 Apr 2020 14:50
Last Modified:
16 Jul 2024 04:55