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Welfare approaches in geography UPSC

Welfare approaches

The welfare approach in geography was developed against quantitative and locational analysis. As quantitative and location analysis is similar to the capitalist policy, it created many social and economic problems, and the welfare approach is developed to make positive changes for common men, and it deals with social and economic justice such as:
  • Inequality
  • Poverty
  • Gender discrimination 
  • Women inferiority 
  • Crime
  • Education and health care facilities.
  • Welfare for all
  • Environment control & Sustainable planning
For example, the main victim of inflation would be poor people, development should be focused to reduce inflation to an optimum level.

Approaches in welfare geography

There are two approaches to welfare geography. 
  • Descriptive approach
  • Process-oriented approach

Descriptive approach:

The descriptive approach is used to identify injustice & inequality in a particular population in a particular area. For example, identifying the beneficiary of toilet construction, and fertilizer subsidy.
The descriptive approach is based on the following principles, it is shown in the diagram.
Welfare approaches
Welfare approaches

  • Who
    • Identifying the subgroup of the population to whom should give preferential treatment or give overburden, for example, for the welfare of the society, the poor should get the subsidy and the rich should pay tax.
  • What
    • Who gets what, what should be given to the targeted population? it can be:
      • Cloth, Food grains, House
      • Water, roads, LPG
      • Education, health, social justice, etc
  • Where?
    •  Who gets where it deals with identifying the region of the target and welfare should be based on the region-specific. Livelihood and requirements of the different regions are different, for example
      • The city planning model cant be implemented in the village
      • Plain area development is not suited in the hilly area
      • Designing houses in the city is not fitted for the village.
  • How? 
    • Who gets how it deals with the process involved in welfare geography, such as
      • Top-down approach
      • Bottom to Up approach
      • what cost they are going to pay to get a particular service
      • How much they are working to get basic service.

Process-oriented approach:

  • It deals with how social and economic injustice existed in society.
  • Why the richer segment of the population is getting richer day by day and the poorer are getting poor day by day.

Contribution of geographers in welfare geography:

The following are:
  • Pareto Optimality:
    • Poor people can not be sustained or get better without at expense of rich people. Someone must be compromised for the better of others.
    • Pareto supported the special treatment of poor people for welfare, for example, a subsidies scheme for the poor.
  • Smith & Knox :
    • Smith was the first geographer who coined welfare geography, and he has written a book "welfare geography". He stated that:
    • A quantitative tool such as GDP & GNP is not necessarily a direct measurement of quality of life.
    • There should be a qualitative tool such as the happiness index, HDI (both later developed) to measure the welfare of society
    • The main focus in geography should be the focus on the welfare of people.

Try to solve the following questions:
  • The welfare face of geography makes it an interdisciplinary subject elaborate(UPSC 2015, 15 marks)
  • Comment upon the contributions of D.M Smith in outlining ‘welfare’ as a key focus in geographies of social well-being. (UPSC 2018, 15 marks)
  • "Welfare geography emphasizes spatial inequality and territorial justice." Comment with reference to the main ideas and scope of the subfield. (UPSC 2018, 250 words, 20 marks)
  •  “ Welfare geography emphasizes spatial inequality and territorial justice.” Comment with reference to the mains ideas and scope of the subfield. (20 marks)
  • Present a critical analysis of human and welfare approaches in Human Geography. (2003, 15 marks)
  • Distinguish between radical and welfare approaches in geographic studies. (UPSC 2004, 15 Marks)
  • Welfare Approach in Human Geography (UPSC 2012, 12 marks) 

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