New Labour has concentrated many of its social policy initiatives on reinvigorating the family, community and work in the paid labour market. But just how 'new' are the ideas driving New Labour's policy and practice? In this book Simon Prideaux shows how New Labour has drawn on the ideas and premises of functionalism, which dominated British and American sociological thought during the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. The book: provides an accessible overview of the theories that underpin the policies of New Labour, including the often labyrinthine theories of Talcott Parsons, Amitai Etzioni and Anthony Giddens; examines the ideas of Charles Murray and John Macmurray, a philosopher publicly admired by Tony Blair; looks at the sociological origin of debates and controversies that surround the provision of welfare in both the US and UK; considers the alienating effects that New Deal schemes may have in Britain today. Not so New Labour's innovative approach to the analysis of social policy under New Labour will be valuable to academics, students and researchers in social policy, sociology, politics and applied social studies.
"A unique book that presents an original perspective on the American influence on British social policy under Tony Blair's New Labour by debating interesting new evidence from functionalist theory. Highly recommended." Luke Martell, Department of Sociology, University of Sussex