Daniel Sage

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    Work and social norms: why we need to challenge the centrality of employment in society

Work and social norms: why we need to challenge the centrality of employment in society

Why do the unemployed often suffer from poor physical health and wellbeing? Daniel Sage argues that it is the importance we attach to the ‘work ethic’ that shapes the experience of unemployment, and so to deal with the harmful effects of unemployment we must challenge the centrality of paid work in our lives.

Unemployed people tend to have significantly worse […]

Protecting people against the mental health effects of unemployment requires a careful look at the evidence

What impact do welfare-to-work programmes have on the wellbeing outcomes of the unemployed? Daniel Sage surveys the evidence and finds that, compared to unemployed people, participants on welfare-to-work schemes have significantly higher wellbeing. However, looking deeper into the data shows that this holds for only certain types of participants, and not all welfare-to-work programmes have positive effects on wellbeing.  As ‘gizza job’ became one […]

Welfare-to-work: We ask so much of the unemployed yet do so little, compared to other countries, to help them

How well do we actually provide for the unemployed in terms of labour market programmes? Daniel Sage examines this question and finds the UK has poor record on active labour market policies (ALMPs) relative to other OECD nations. So, whilst the state asks a lot from the unemployed, it simultaneously fails to provide them with a relatively high standard of labour market programmes. […]

Welfare-to-work interventions should be used for much more than getting people back to work

Daniel Sage argues that welfare-to-work programmes, which have become integral to the British welfare state, have been characterised by exclusively economic objectives. Instead he suggests that such programmes should recognise the implications of unemployment for health and, through doing so, reorientate themselves to changing conditions of employment in an age of austerity.  During the past twenty years, welfare-to-work programmes have […]

Book Review: British Social Attitudes 28: 2011-2012 Edition, Alison Park et al

The British Social Attitudes series provides a range of fascinating insights into the changing values of British society. The findings seem to suggest that we have become a less confident and less cohesive society, leaving little hope for David Cameron’s Big Society vision. Daniel Sage is impressed by both the wealth of information in the book and its snappy redesign, making for a much more […]

Book Review: A Transatlantic History of the Social Sciences: Robber Barons, the Third Reich and the Invention of Empirical Social Research, by Christian Fleck

A Transatlantic History of the Social Sciences helps us better understand how and in what way the social sciences came to occupy a central place in universities across Europe and North America. Author Christian Fleck shows that the social sciences were born in order to help make sense of a complex and changing world, yet ultimately their very shape was structured […]

Book Review: Personalising Public Services: Understanding the Personalisation Narrative by Catherine Needham

Catherine Needham considers the components of the personalisation narrative that have enabled it to acquire such dominance in public policy. Her work reminds us of the power of emotion and anecdote in framing policy debates, centring most recently around welfare state reforms. Daniel Sage finds this study a welcome and persuasive critique of the policy-making process. Personalising Public Services: Understanding the Personalisation Narrative. Catherine Needham. Policy […]

Book Review: The Scottish National Party: Transition to Power by James Mitchell, Lynn Bennie and Rob Johns

The startling success of the Scottish National Party is largely due to the professionalisation of the party, argue Mitchell, Bennie and Johns. Daniel Sage finds the argument compelling but incomplete for neglecting the  ideological commitment of SNP party members.   The Scottish National Party: Transition to Power. James Mitchell, Lynn Bennie and Rob Johns. Oxford University Press. December 2011. Find this book:   […]