Social Inequality, Poverty and Income Support: A Comparative Perspective
This course focuses on the nature of inequality in the context of Canada and Canadian public policy. Recent theories tie social inequality in its various forms to social exclusion and to citizen disengagement. Social work roles in shaping policy, in social planning and in community development are considered in responding to these divisive social issues. The nature and types of inequality and why it arises are all explored. Poverty is associated with many of the social problems that affect social work clients. This course examines theories about poverty and considers the ways that it might be addressed. Why, in Canada are the poor often racialized, women, people with disabilities, LGBTQ, and First Nations? We will discuss the current ideas about poverty alleviation including a living wage, welfare and a guaranteed annual income. Comparative policy research, theories and practices will be addressed including how to understand and resolve these issues. Comparative policy analysis will examine different policies within Indigenous nations, Canada, the United States and other industrial countries including European countries. These approaches will be contrasted to the situation and approaches used in the global south. A major focus of the course will be upon what is working and for whom.