Social policy is just about the last social science subject to take the postmodern challenge, though we have seen a rash of contributions in recent months. These have proved catalytic but may have been presented in a manner that is careless as to the nature of welfare as a boundaried academic realm. These offerings have also illustrated the difficulties involved in splicing poststructural analysis with a historically structural subject. Equally, definitions of social policy generated within the welfare community may also act as a de facto barrier to the postmodern. Consequently we seem to have the makings of a non-debate of incompatible analyses, making even the possibility of a "third position" a remote one. However, a sideways glance at the chronologically more advanced postmodernism - feminism debate offers some hope that a welfare-adapted postmodernity may emerge in the future.