Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

Gendered States: Women, Unemployment Insurance and the Political Economy of the Welfare State in Canada, 1945-1997

Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

Gendered States: Women, Unemployment Insurance and the Political Economy of the Welfare State in Canada, 1945-1997

Article excerpt

Ann Porter, Gendered States: Women, Unemployment Insurance and the Political Economy of the Welfare State in Canada, 1945-1997 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2003), xi + 355pp. Cloth. £48. ISBN 0-8020-3523-X.

This is a sensitive and meticulous examination of the changing face of the Welfare State in Canada in the second half of the twentieth century. Porter began this book as a doctoral dissertation and it has developed into a scholarly yet accessible academic work. The book contains eight chapters and is divided into two sections. In section one, 'Contradictions and Transformations in Families, Markets, and the Welfare State, 1940-1971' Porter discusses in detail the cultural and historical dynamics at work in Canada that led to the creation of state policies regarding women and unemployment Insurance. She argues that in order to effect change within the welfare state 'greater consideration must be given to the historical dynamic of capitalist accumulation' (p. 19) as well as the ways in which the state has often responded to and enabled gender and class inequality. …

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