1st Edition

The Idea of Welfare

By Robert Pinker Copyright 1979
    304 Pages
    by Routledge

    304 Pages
    by Routledge

    Originally published in 1979, The Idea of Welfare critically reviews the concepts of egoism and altruism as they are expressed in residual and intuitional models of social welfare. The book describes the way in which the scope and limits of obligation and entitlement are determined in practice by the interplay of familial, communal, national and international loyalties. It also looks at the similarities and differences between economic and social forms of exchange and mutual aid. These major themes are developed in a comparative review, which explores the effects of social change on the ways in which people seek to preserve and enhance their welfare through self-help and collective action. The book focuses on Britain, the USA and Russia, it challenges conventional definitions of welfare, largely concerned with formal social policies sponsored by government and uses historical material to illustrate the dominant forms of a mutual aid which were practised before the development of modern welfare states.



    Part I: The Institutional Frameworks of Social Welfare

    1. Egoism and Altruism: A Critique of the Divergence

    2. Family and Community

    3. Nationalism and Internationalism

    4. Social Change and Social Welfare

    5. Patterns of Exchange in Social Welfare

    Part II: Capitalism, Socialism and Collectivism

    6. Welfare and the Free Market

    7. The Collectivist Reaction

    8. Social Change and Social Policy in Russia before the Bolshevik Revolution

    9. Community and Social Welfare in America before the First World War

    10. Settlement, Migration and the Search for Welfare

    11. A Comparative Typology of Social Welfare

    12. Three Models of Social Welfare


    Subject Index

    Name Index


    Robert (Bob) Pinker served his academic apprenticeship in Richard Titmuss’s department at the LSE from the late 1950s under Brian Abel-Smith and Peter Townsend, as a research worker and a higher degree student. Successive academic appointments followed at Goldsmiths College, Chelsea College and then the LSE, from where he retired in 1996 as Professor of Social Administration.