Academic journal article Journal of Sociology

What Is the Role of Social Protection? A Response to Yeatman

Academic journal article Journal of Sociology

What Is the Role of Social Protection? A Response to Yeatman

Article excerpt

Yeatman contends that her concept of the new contractualism does not reject social protection. Yet it is extremely difficult to witness the role of social protection within what she argues is a `post-protectionist', `post-liberal' conception of the status of the individual. The new contractualism, which forms part of Yeatman's broader vision for the politics of individuality, involves a reconfiguration of the individual as the `subject of human rights' rather than as the `subject of modern citizenship' (Yeatman, 2000). This individual exists and acts within the environment of `equal opportunity liberalism' and not the `patrimonial-collectivist traditions of state-sponsored protection' (Yeatman, 1997: 51).

Yeatman encourages scholars and policy makers to conceive of a solidaristic conception of individuality, whereby individuals are universally endowed with the capacity to be self-determining. Solidaristic individuality cannot be achieved under the protectionist settlement underpinning social citizenship. But the principles governing how it can be achieved under the new contractualism are not yet uniformly accessible to policy makers, nor are they available to most disadvantaged contractual agents. It is extremely difficult to decipher how women in the era of social contractualism `as adults can be assimilated into the liberal conception of what it is to be a free, responsible, self-governing and self-reliant individual' (Yeatman, this issue).

The necessary empirical basis of a new-contractualist settlement is being investigated within Yeatman's recent work (Yeatman and Owler, 2001). However, the generalizability of the conclusions reached from this and similar studies remains to be established. Generalizability is an absolute requirement, precisely because Yeatman's programme calls for the universality of individuality under the umbrella of human rights. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.