Published online by Cambridge University Press: 20 January 2009
The article uses a distinction between topic and discipline to argue that social administration, like economics, is characterized by both, but that social administration has the special advantage, in treating the topic of social policy, of being multi-disciplinary. An account is presented of why economics is underrepresented among the disciplines of social administration, and three important contributory roles are outlined for economics to play in the development of social administration.
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8 In emphasizing the idea of caring as an integrating concept of social science I am not, of course, implying it is not substantiively important in the analysis of actual policies.
9 Lafitte, F., Social Policy in a Free Society, Birmingham University Press, Birmingham, 1962.Google Scholar
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13 The reason, for this may lie on the ‘supply side’: the vast expansion in sociology teaching in universities since the war and the limited employment prospects for the better graduates may have led them to offer themselves relatively more frequently than others – including social administration graduates, who came later, were fewer in number, and had considerable employment potential elsewhere. (I am grateful to Brian Abel-Smith for this point).
14 Economists, sociologists, etc. are identified by their discipline. The discipline is identified by its theory. Hence theoreticians are ‘disciplinarians’ – in quotation marks to avoid confusion with the more usual meaning of the word. A social administrator may be a ‘disciplinarian’ in this sense or a ‘multi-disciplinarian’.
15 See Culyer, A. J., The Political Economy of Social Policy, Martin Robertson, Oxford, 1980.Google Scholar
17 A superb review for those unfamiliar with this territory is Mueller, D. C., Public Choice, Cambridge University Press, London, 1979.Google Scholar
21 In a paper for the Social Administration Association's meeting in Leeds 1981.
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