Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

A critical analysis of approaches to the concept of social identity in social policy

By S. Hunter


This article seeks both to highlight a current imbalance in approaches to social identity in social policy, and to make suggestions as to how this might be redressed in future work employing the concept. \ud The concept of identity and specifically social identity is increasingly employed in the discipline of social policy as a theoretical device with which to bridge the individual/social divide. The argument presented here suggests that the concept is however, unevenly deployed in policy analysis and, therefore lacks the force of impact it might otherwise have had. The predominant focus of current analysis lies in policy change precipitated by groups of ‘new,’ active welfare constituents organised around differentiated and fragmented social identities, whereas the identities of welfare professionals also involved in policy making process have disappeared from analytical view. The current emphasis on the discursive context for policy formulation, perpetuates an unacknowledged misconception concerning the asociality of those involved in policy making, where their principal role is perceived as the maintenance of the status quo in terms of social policy responses to welfare constituents needs. Redressing this false dichotomy between those developing and those using welfare services might be avoided by further exploring the concept of relational identity.\u

Publisher: Sage Publications
Year: 2003
OAI identifier:

Suggested articles

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.