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Written in clear, lively prose by one of the foremost scholars of social welfare, this book analyzes the evolution of the American welfare state from colonial times to the present-placing social policy in its political, cultural, and societal context. Part of the BROOKS/COLE EMPOWERMENT SERIES, THE RELUCTANT WELFARE STATE, 8th Edition, aims to help students develop the core competencies and practice behaviors outlined in the 2008 Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS) set by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Rather than passively reading about social welfare history, students are asked to interact with the issues, oppressed populations, ethical choices, social and ideological conflicts, advocates, and policies in preceding eras and in the contemporary period-analytically and ethically. The author examines how social welfare policy connects to an empowerment perspective, showing how vulnerable populations, as well as social reformers, have achieved progressive reforms through policy advocacy.

Bruce S. Jansson, School of Social Work, University of Southern California

Bruce S. Jansson (M.A., University of Chicago and Harvard University; Ph.D., University of Chicago) is the Driscoll/Clevenger Professor of Social Policy in the Department of Social Work at the University of Southern California (USC). He joined the USC faculty in 1973 after working in Pennsylvania and Michigan as a community organizer and planner for tenant rights. His scholarly interests focus on advancing mezzo, micro and macro policy advocacy in social work, as well as examining the history and practice of social welfare policy. Dr. Jansson invented the term "policy practice," which has become a required content area by the Council on Social Work Education. He recently developed the first multi-level policy advocacy framework that discusses policy advocacy at micro, mezzo and macro levels. He also has served as the Moses Distinguished Research Professor at the City University of New York Graduate Center. Dr. Jansson has written two books for Cengage: BECOMING AN EFFECTIVE POLICY ADVOCATE, now in its ninth edition, and THE RELUCTANT WELFARE STATE (9th Edition). Additional books include THE SIXTEEN TRILLION DOLLAR MISTAKE: HOW THE U.S. BUNGLED ITS NATIONAL PRIORITIES FROM THE NEW DEAL TO THE PRESENT (2001), IMPROVING HEALTHCARE THROUGH ADVOCACY and SOCIAL WELFARE SECTORS AND ADVOCACY. He has authored four research articles that develop measurement scales to measure the extent health professionals engage in patient and policy advocacy, as well as predictors of their levels of engagement, and is currently working on a book on inequality.
  • New chapter-opening learning outcomes, repeated throughout each chapter as section heads, guide and focus students' reading.
  • New statistics and references are incorporated throughout the book, including content related to the first five years of the Obama presidency.
  • Chapter 12 on the Obama presidency has numerous updates: the 2012 presidential campaign; recent budget battles, including social programs as losers in budget cuts; Obama's policies on immigration reform, gun control, and economic growth; and the Supreme Court's DOMA and Prop 8 decisions. It also highlights 2012 incidents illustrating how policies regarding women continue to be embroiled in ideological conflict (e.g., the uproar when the Komen Foundation announced it would stop funding Planned Parenthood and conservative senators' opposition to reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act).
  • Brief inserts in each chapter summarize key issues and policies and ask students to critically reflect on the issues and/or their professional role. Some “Critical Analysis” inserts direct students to websites where they will find more information about specific topics. Other inserts help students make ethical decisions.
  • The book integrates the core competencies and practice behaviors outlined in the 2008 Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS) set by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Icons identify this coverage.
  • “Learning Outcomes” sections at the end of every chapter present bulleted items that review chapter content relevant to the 2008 EPAS Competencies and Practice Behaviors. They are followed by “Competency Notes” that list the specific policies and standards addressed in the chapter along with the page numbers on which the material appears.
  • The author offers analyses of policy innovations in specific historical eras that could be revived or expanded in the contemporary period. He also offers analyses of policy failures in specific historical eras, raising students' awareness of ill-considered policies in contemporary society.
  • The text discusses several dimensions that make the American welfare state more “reluctant” than most European states, and identifies multiple factors that have contributed to this reluctance.
  • The text explicitly links historical events to contemporary issues and policies, and uses historical materials to motivate students to become policy advocates in contemporary society.
  • The author links social welfare policy to an empowerment perspective, showing how vulnerable populations, as well as social reformers, have achieved progressive reforms through policy advocacy.
1. The Symbiotic and Uneasy Relationship: Clients, Social Workers, and the Welfare State.
2. Making the American Welfare State More Humane-Past, Present, and Future.
3. Fashioning a New Society in the Wilderness.
4. Social Welfare Policy in the 19th Century: 1789–1902.
5. Social Reform in the Progressive Era.
6. Social Policy to Address the Worst Economic Catastrophe in U.S. History.
7. The Era of Federal Social Services: The New Frontier and the Great Society.
8. The Paradoxical Era: 1968–1980.
9. The Conservative Counterrevolution in the Era of Reagan and Bush, Sr.
10. Reluctance Illustrated: Policy Uncertainty During the Clinton Administration.
11. George W. Bush's Quest for Realignment.
12. Would President Barack Obama Reverse the Cycle of History?
13. Why Has the American Welfare State Been Reluctant-And What Can We Do about It?
14. Using Knowledge of the Evolution of the American Welfare State to Improve Your Professional Practice.
Each MindTap product offers the full, mobile-ready textbook combined with superior and proven learning tools at one affordable price. Students who purchase digital access can add a print option at any time when a print option is available for their course.

This Cengage solution can be seamlessly integrated into most Learning Management Systems (Blackboard, Brightspace by D2L, Canvas, Moodle, and more) but does require a different ISBN for access codes. Please work with your Cengage Learning Consultant to ensure the proper course set up and ordering information. For additional information, please visit the LMS Integration site.

Standalone Digital Access — Ultimate Value

Recommended and most popular

  • ISBN-10: 1337091553
  • ISBN-13: 9781337091558
  • Bookstore Wholesale Price $100.00
  • RETAIL $100.00

Digital Access + Print — Flexible Value

Recommended and most popular

  • ISBN-10: 1337379409
  • ISBN-13: 9781337379403
  • Bookstore Wholesale Price $90.00
  • RETAIL $119.95

  • ISBN-10: 1337381098
  • ISBN-13: 9781337381093
  • Bookstore Wholesale Price $179.25
  • RETAIL $237.95

Cengage provides a range of supplements that are updated in coordination with the main title selection. For more information about these supplements, contact your Learning Consultant.


Online Instructor's Manual

ISBN: 9781285747132
This updated Instructor's Manual is designed to help faculty teach social policy history and encourage creative thinking. It contains many innovative teaching suggestions from social work professors.

Online Test Bank

ISBN: 9781285747149
This text-specific test bank simplifies assessment.

Online PowerPoint®

ISBN: 9781285873558
These vibrant, Microsoft PowerPoint lecture slides for each chapter assist you with your lecture, by providing concept coverage using images, figures, and tables directly from the textbook!

CourseMate, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access

ISBN: 9781285746982
Cengage Learning's Social Work CourseMate brings course concepts to life with interactive learning, study, and exam preparation tools that support the printed textbook. Watch student comprehension soar as your class works with the printed textbook and the textbook-specific website. Social Work CourseMate goes beyond the book to deliver what you need.


CourseMate, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access

ISBN: 9781285746982
The more you study, the better the results. Make the most of your study time by accessing everything you need to succeed in one place. Read your textbook, take notes, review flashcards, watch videos, and take practice quizzes-online with CourseMate.