Social Welfare in Britain, 1885-1985

Social Welfare in Britain, 1885-1985

Social Welfare in Britain, 1885-1985

Social Welfare in Britain, 1885-1985

Synopsis

This collection of documents follows the same format as Pope and Hoyle's British Economic Performance (1984), to provide a survey of the main developments in social welfare. Students of economic and social history and of social policy and administration are being required to do more and more work with original documents, and this collection is tailored to meet their needs.

The primary sources are presented in two sections, covering the periods 1885-c. 1940 and c. 1940 to 1985. During the former, ideas on, and the scope of, welfare provision, broadened greatly. There was a sense of progress. Developments though were piecemeal. There was no conception of a 'Welfare State'. The second period begins with the changes associated with the assumption that Britain was establishing a Welfare State. But the hopes of 1940 have not been fulfilled, and there has been growing speculation about the value of such an organisation of society.

The extracts reflect these changes. They are grouped under the headings to facilitate reference. Students at all levels, especially A-level, first degree and professional training courses, will find the book a valuable resource. Materials included are drawn from minutes of evidence, newspapers, political party publications and professional bodies and groups.

Excerpt

The increased use of primary source materials is a marked characteristic of recent trends in the study of subjects such as History, Politics or Social Policy and Administration. This book is intended to add significantly to the stock of readily-available material of this type. It is unique in its timespan, not only covering the conventional era of developments in welfare thinking and provision from the late-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century, but also including the recent past with its quest for redefinitions or a new approach.

The primary sources have been presented in two sections, covering the periods 1885-c.1940 and c.1940 to 1985. During the former, ideas on, and the scope of, welfare provision broadened greatly. There was a sense of progress. Developments, though, were piecemeal; there was no concept of a ‘Welfare State’. the second period begins with he changes of the 1940s and the widespread assumption that Britain was establishing a ‘Welfare State’. Subsequently, however, there has been mounting speculation as to whether such organisation of society is necessary or desirable and it has been apparent that the hopes of the 1940s have not been fulfilled.

In both these sections, extracts have been grouped under headings. This grouping seemed preferable to a simple chronological organisation. the emphasis throughout is on issues, influences and ideas. This is presented as an alternative or complement to the service-orientated approach of some other documentary collections. Section C aims at providing useful background information in graph or chart form.

The target group for the volume in primarily students on A-level, first degree and professional training courses. This consideration has influenced the price and hence the size of the book. This, in turn, has meant the omission of much that is both interesting and important. What is most interesting and most important does, we hope, remain.

Rex Pope

Alan Pratt

Bernard Hoyle . . .

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