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A timely examination of social policy through a social constructivist and economic lens, Social Policy and Social Change illuminates the root causes of common social problems and how policy has attempted to ameliorate them. In so doing, the book focuses on how social policies in the United States can be transformed to promote social justice for all groups. The book uniquely offers both an historical analysis of social problems and social policies, and an economic analysis of how capitalism and the market economy have contributed to social problems and impacted social policies. The book goes beyond the U.S. borders to examine the impact of globalization in the United States and in the Global South. It considers the meaning and impact of the election of Barack Obama as President of the United States and explores the policy solutions his administration has proposed to deal with the economic recession of 2008-2009. The book also discusses social workers as agents of social change and advocates of social and economic justice. It examines five key realms: Poverty in families and the welfare system, poverty among the elderly and social security, child maltreatment and child welfare policy, health and mental health policy, and housing policy.