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HomePolicy Articles Article Summary

Canada's New Social Risks: Directions for a New Social Architecture

Research Report by Jane Jenson

Jane Jenson provides a synthesis report for the year-long analysis undertaken by Canadian and international experts for a research program organized by the CPRN. She identifies the overarching values, as well as a vision that defines the desired social objectives, the economic functions of social policy, and the appropriate role of the state. Jenson addresses what she views as the major social risks are today, and articulates why she feels we should pay attention to these particular risks, in addition to identifying what kind of social architecture would best address the values and hopes around the concept of ‘well-being’ that Canadians cherish.

Jenson defines social architecture as the term used to describe the roles and responsibilities, as well as the governance arrangements, that are used to design and implement relationships among core players including the family, the market, the community, and the state. Jenson points out that all countries make their own policy decisions around how best to balance these four elements. She analyzes how each of these four elements has evolved in Canada over a 50-year timeframe.

Jenson argues that an aging society coupled with new family structures, shifts in immigration, an intensification of problems in Aboriginal communities, and labour market restructuring, have all helped to create a new set of social risks. In the last section of her report, Jenson suggests a number of approaches that might be taken in order to design a new social architecture. These steps aim to build upon Canada’s social policy heritage and recognize the benefits attributed to universality vis-à-vis social programs.

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Policy Publication Details

Author(s): Jane Jenson;
Publisher: Canadian Policy Research Networks [ Visit Website ]
Year Published: 2004; Publisher Type: Research Institute
Publicly Available: Yes Research Focus: National;
Registration Required: No Language: English French
Payment Required: No Publication Format: PDF

Subjects / Categories:

Policy Articles / Aboriginal / Justice
Policy Articles / Aboriginal / Social Services & Assistance
Policy Articles / Children & Family / Social Justice
Policy Articles / Cities & Communities / Social Services
Policy Articles / Education / Accountability
Policy Articles / Health Care / Accountability
Policy Articles / Welfare & Social Issues / Aging Population
Policy Articles / Welfare & Social Issues / Social Security
Policy Articles / Aboriginal / Justice / 2004
Policy Articles / Aboriginal / Social Services & Assistance / 2004
Policy Articles / Children & Family / Social Justice / 2004
Policy Articles / Cities & Communities / Social Services / 2004
Policy Articles / Education / Accountability / 2004
Policy Articles / Health Care / Accountability / 2004
Policy Articles / Welfare & Social Issues / Aging Population / 2004
Policy Articles / Welfare & Social Issues / Social Security / 2004


Keywords / Tags:

social architecture; social objectives; social policy; role of the state; social risks; family; market; community; state;