Social Policy: A New Feminist Analysis

Social Policy: A New Feminist Analysis

Social Policy: A New Feminist Analysis

Social Policy: A New Feminist Analysis


Reflecting the development of work on women and the social policy, this book examines the changing pattern of welfare provision, the gendered nature of the UK welfare structures, and the continuing dependence of women on benefit and men's incomes.


In the eleven years since the first edition of this book was published, the significance of the gendering of welfare states has become widely accepted, extensively charted in research and more systematically theorized.

These eleven years have also seen extensive changes in women’s lives. the founding assumption of the uk welfare state—that women’s place and security lay in the family—is ever more challenged by increases in women’s labour market participation and educational achievements. These changes have loosened the knot of dependence in the family. But policies based on traditional family patterns are changing much more slowly than families themselves.

Dependence on welfare has become more widespread for women and men. Increasing insecurity of marriage, of men’s employment and of housing have put far more people at risk and in need of genuine social security. Policies to reverse increasing dependence on welfare have included the Child Support Act—intended to re-establish traditional breadwinner/carer roles—and homelessness legislation to discourage lone mothers.

Legislation to contain social responsibility and put the market into welfare has countered women’s moves out of traditional family patterns. the mixed economy of welfare, public expenditure restraint, the nhs internal market and community care put women in the family in the front line of care.

Writing about social policy has also changed, especially with a widening interest in comparative study. I have become more conscious of the limits of a book based mainly on uk material, and dealing less fully than I would like with variations of class and race.

I have tried to reflect social and policy changes while keeping to a

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