In 1992, Australian sociologist Lois Bryson published what proved to be an important book entitled Welfare and the State: Who benefits? The central feature of this text was an exploration of the actual, as opposed to assumed, nature of the redistribution of resources via the Australian welfare state.
Following on from Bryson's work, The Australian Welfare State: Who benefits now? assesses trends in poverty and inequality in Australia from 1992 to the present and describes and evaluates the institutions that make up the Australian welfare state. Taking Bryson's initial analysis as the baseline, this title illustrates the major structural and institutional developments in the Australian welfare state, and in the Australian economy and society, over this same period. It analyses political and policy responses to poverty and inequality in Australia and assesses the extent and direction of redistribution in key areas of state activity.
This text definitively outlines the links between Australians' conceptions about welfare and the redistributive outcomes of the welfare state, canvassing theoretical explanations about why many Australians develop and maintain misconceptions of the broad distributive mechanisms of the Australian welfare state and hold negative attitudes towards its social welfare element.
Containing a number of pedagogical features including case studies, exercises, excerpts from Government agencies, and discussion questions, The Australian Welfare State is an indispensable resource for students undertaking studies in social policy from a range of disciplinary perspectives including sociology, public administration, economics and social work.