The Development of Social Welfare in Britain

The Development of Social Welfare in Britain

The Development of Social Welfare in Britain

The Development of Social Welfare in Britain


This textbook is aimed at undergraduate and diploma students across a wide range of the social sciences, with particular reference to those preparing for or involved in careers in social and public administration. It provides, in compact form, the story of social provision from medieval times to the present day, systematically examining major themes of: the relief of poverty and social care; healthcare and housing; crime and policing; and education.

With the rise of the Welfare State, and its current questioning as the chief focus, the book sets out to analyze how the state has responded to the social problems that have beset it. Consideration is given to comparative elements in Europe, North America and elsewhere, together with specific reference to issues of race, ethnicity and gender. A specially prepared glossary completes what is a review and description of the growth and present disposition of the full range of social and public services in Britain.


This book is intended for students of academic and professional courses of high level dealing with or touching upon the world of social welfare and allied issues of social provision in the United Kingdom. in an attempt, as succinctly as possible, to cover the subject comprehensively, its historical range is from medieval times to the 1990s, and its thematic grasp encompasses: poverty, together with income maintenance and welfare; health, with sections on public housing; education; and crime and policing. Moreover, some effort has been made to include at each stage a modicum of comparative material, usually drawn from continental Europe and North America, and, as necessary to complete the tale, specific thoughts and information have been added on gender, race and other special features.

The challenge has been to shape so huge an amount of material between two covers not too far apart, that is, a reasonably sized and a reasonably priced book. the hope is that, for many students, it will serve as a basic textbook, enabling them to examine the essential facts and to consider the essential arguments about these important matters. in this connection, a number of prior decisions were made about the thrust and plan of the book, and it is felt that they will act as a rough guide to using the book as a tool of study.

The continuous narrative

This is a textbook in the traditional sense. in other words, it is a continuous narrative, unbroken by references, footnoting or bibliographical data, aimed at the busy student who needs to acquaint him or herself with the progressive stages in the development of social provision. in that sense, it offers an account which tries to balance a continuing analysis of social ills and their treatments with a sufficiency of factual amplification. It is believed that, for most students on most courses, each section of each chapter provides an optimal coverage of the topic in hand. of course, no book should or could stand alone, and advice on further reading follows at the end of each chapter.

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