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SWP Glossary Terms

SWP Chapter 1

TermDefinition
Capacity The means or capabilities (such as people, skills, or resources) required to reach social and economic goals.
Capital Various types of wealth that can be applied to improving one's quality of life. Types of capital include human, social, physical and financial
Conservatism A political ideology that promotes traditional values, moral standards, and conformity to the existing social order.
Contributory Program An income security program that works as a savings plan, requiring working individuals to contribute to a fund, which then compensates them when they are not working. Government Ex: Employment Insurance.
Deserving Poor A social label once applied to people who were sick, aged, disabled, or otherwise incapable of supporting themselves and deemed worthy of public relief.
Globalization "The process by which all peoples and communities come to experience an increasingly common economic, social and cultural environment"
Income Inequality The unequal distribution of wealth in capitalist systems, characterized as a division between the very rich and the very poor; the inequality is reflected in the average earnings of high-income and low- income groups. a.k.a income gap
Income Distribution A strategy that is based on Keynesian economics; in practice, governments use the tax system to shift (or redistribute) income away from high- and moderate-income earners toward those with low incomes.
Income Security Program A government-sponsored initiative that provides financial aid to replace or supplement a person's income during times of unemployment. People often receive these benefits because of old age, sickness, or disability.
Income Test A type of financial test used to determine eligibility for an income security program or social service. Eligibility is based on an applicant's income rather than on personal needs or means of earning income
Institutional Approach The view that social welfare is a primary institution of society (similar to religion, government, and education) and therefore has a normal, legitimate, and necessary function in a civilized, modern society.
Keynesian Economics An economic theory that emphasizes the role of government in stabilizing society by taking a portion of income from high/ moderate-income earners and giving it to low- income earners. Stimulates economy by giving them money to spend.
Laissez-Faire Government A government that supports the conservative idea of minimal government, and expects the market, private enterprise, and the law of supply and demand to provide people with the income and other resources they need. The French term means "to leave alone."
Liberalism A political ideology that emphasizes people's rights to individuality, freedom of self-expression, and lifestyle choice. Liberals tend to view poverty and other social problems as conditions resulting from flaws in the capitalist system
Means Test A type of financial test used to determine eligibility for an income security program or social service. Eligibility is based on an applicant's income and assets but virtually ignores personal needs. See also income test and needs test.
Need A necessary condition or requirement of human development that, if not met, will result in serious physical, psychological, or social harm.
Needs Test A type of financial test used to determine eligibility for an income security program or social service. Eligibility is based on an applicant's personal needs and the level of income required to meet those needs.
Neoliberalism A contemporary form of conservatism that promotes small government, fiscal responsibility, and the role of business in providing a strong economy that will meet social welfare needs. Compatible with globalization.
Political Ideology A set of beliefs that shape people's views of society, how that society should function, and what should be done to achieve the "ideal" society.
Private Trouble A human need, condition, or situation that can be resolved by the person who is immediately affected, rather than by government.
Program Eligibility A set of criteria that, when met, allows a person to participate in, or potentially benefit from, a publicly sponsored program.
Progressive Universalism An approach to the provision of income security benefits that supplies benefits to all persons who are eligible, but gives a larger benefit to those who need it most. This is a contemporary (and European) version of a universal program.
Public Issue A human need, condition, or situation that government assumes responsibility for. Many public issues are social problems that, if left unaddressed, are likely to negatively impact large segments of the population.
Residual Approach The view that social welfare programs should be used sparingly and only as a last resort, when help from one's family, church, banks, and other private sources has been exhausted. See also institutional approach and social investment approach.
Social Agency A formally structured organization in the public and voluntary sectors whose main objective is to meet human needs. See also public social agency and voluntary social agency.
Social Assistance An income security program that gives cash to individuals and families who, for whatever reasons, are unable to adequately meet their needs, and who have exhausted all other means of support. A.k.a "welfare"
Social Democracy A political ideology that rejects the competitive values of capitalism, individualism, and private enterprise, and encourages fellowship and cooperation among citizens.
Social Inclusion A social goal that is achieved when citizens gain full and equal participation in the economic, social, cultural and political dimensions of society.
Social Investment Approach The view that social welfare programs should yield long-term benefits. This approach takes a proactive stance, preferring to prevent rather than react to social problems; a focus is on fostering social inclusion and participation.
Social Minimum A reasonable standard of living or quality of life that can be subjectively measured by social norms, or objectively measured by the average real gross domestic product (GDP) per person.
Social Problem A condition in society that creates a measurable degree of social hardship, psychological or physical injury, or other negative consequence for a large segment of the population, and that people are concerned about and want changed.
Social Program Systems consisting of services, benefits, or activities that are designed to improve human welfare or meet a social need, and that are fully or partially funded by government. 3 Major: Social Welfare, health care, postsecondary
Social Safety Net An informal term that refers to the collection of publicly funded programs designed to protect people from the negative consequences of natural disasters, personal crises, health problems, and other hardships
Social Security A term that refers to the "cradle-to-grave" protection of individuals and families from socially recognized conditions that hinder people's ability to meet basic human needs.
Social Service A non-income and intangible benefit that aims to enhance social functioning and general well-being for individuals, families, and small groups.
Social Welfare A concept, field, and/or system that is concerned with individual and collective well-being; that helps people meet their basic social and economic needs; and that prevents, reduces, or alleviates social problems.
Social Welfare Program A set of projects, activities, or initiatives that aim to enhance the well-being of society and to meet a public need. Examples include income security programs, social services, and social research.
Targeted cash transfer A financial benefit that government "transfers" to individuals whose income or assets fall below a social minimum. Eg. Disability Pension
Targeted Program An income security program or social service that is restricted to a certain population considered vulnerable, disadvantaged, or at risk for a certain social or economic hardship.
Tax Credit An amount deducted from a taxpayer's income tax when certain criteria are met; the amount allowed is calculated according to a taxpayer's income level.
Transfer-in-kind A type of benefit that is funded and "transferred" by government to individuals or families in the form of a social service or a direct service.
Undeserving Poor A nineteenth-century social label that refers to able-bodied, unemployed people who are capable of supporting themselves through paid labour and are thus unworthy of government assistance.
Universal cash transfer An income security program provided to all persons, regardless of financial status or need, who meet a basic requirement such as age or residency. Example: Universal Child Care Benefit.
Universal Program A government benefit available to all Canadians as a matter of right, regardless of economic status or need.
Welfare state A nation whose government intervenes in the workings of the market through income redistribution for the purpose of correcting the problem of income inequality.
Created by: Lysa545