3 Critical Soc. Pol'y 4 (1983)

handle is hein.journals/critsplcy3 and id is 1 raw text is: 







NOTES ON THIS ISSUE

The first article Medicine, racism & immigration control, by Paul Gordon describes
the ways in which medical examinations and controls have played an important part in
immigration control in Britain. The controls are shown to be a way of disguising the
racism of immigration policy behind a medical facade. Medical techniques (such as
X-rays) used to control immigration where  no question of health is involved are
examined,  and attention is focussed on the often neglected racist content of social
policy.
   Women,  health and the sexual division of labour, by Lesley Doyal analyses the
history of the women's health movement in Britain. Three strands are described; the
movement  of women  as consumers of sexist medicine, the struggle of women as health
service workers and, more recent to emerge, the movement to construct a feminist epi-
demiology. It is argued that these three strands of the movement now need to learn
from each other and that further progress should also take account of the wider move-
ment  for a socialist health policy.
  The third article, Home ownership andsocialism in Britain, by Norman Ginsburg, is
also a contribution to the analysis of radical and socialist social policy strategy. It con-
siders in detail what should be the elements of a socialist housing strategy. The paper
argues there is little connection between housing tenure and militancy or the growth of
socialist consciousness. Divisions within the  working  class economically  and
politically exist within each tenure. Home ownership is not a bulwark against Bolshe-
vism. Nonetheless the conclusion is drawn that a socialist strategy in Britain should
seek to gradually erode the favoured position of owner occupation by the development
of decent 'socially owned' housing within a transformed public sector.
   Understanding mental  health services, by Mark Burton, offers an explanation,
through a review of the work of Wolfensberger and Scull, of both why services for the
mentally disordered and handicapped are so bad (the policy of incarceration) and the
problems in attempting to improve these services. Whilst the objective of 'normali-
sation' is supported, the danger is examined that this policy becomes, within capital-
ism, a damaging  process of decarceration whereby people are-dumped into hostile
'communities'. The  limits of this policy include those created by the fragility of
communities  within capitalism, the undervaluing of a handicapped person's worth in
the terms shaped by capitalist social relations and even the social construction within
capitalism of what constitutes disability.
  Struggles in the welfare state contains contributions on two very different themes,
Walsall and decentralisation is contributed by a former Walsall council officer. She
argues that the decentralisation experiment in Walsall was far more than being a
Labour  election gimic and was a genuine exercise in socialist education and agitation.
Chile: ten years after, is a timely reassessment of life in Chile a decade after the coup
based upon eye-witness reports.
  Commentary   on social policy contains analyses of two recent pieces of legislation.
Steve Pilling argues that despite the government's presentation of the 1982 Mental
Health (Amendment)   Act as a piece of liberalising reform it does little to improve the
rights of detained patients and still adopts the loosely defined criterion for detention of
'mental disorder'. Any reforms with cost implications have clearly been avoided.
  Nigel Johnson and Peggy  Khan see four major influences of the 1982 Employment
Act on industrial conflict. An ideological influence, as unions and union practices are
blamed  for economic malaise, a reduction in official strikes sanctioned by officials, a
reluctance to take proscribed actions, and the interruption of 'illegal' strike action.


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