The Origins of British Social Policy: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Origins of British Social Policy

1st Edition

Edited by Pat Thane


206 pages

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Originally published in 1978 The Origins of British Social Policy arose dissatisfaction with conventional approaches to the subject of welfare responsibilities in the state. This volume stresses the complexity of conscious and unconscious influences upon policy, which include such political imperatives as the wish to maintain social order, to maintain and increase economic and military efficiency and to preserve and strengthen the family as a central social institution. It suggests that the break between unsympathetic nineteenth-century Poor Law attitudes towards the poor and modern ‘welfare state’ approaches has been less sharp or complete than is often assumed.

Table of Contents


1. Introduction, Pat Thane

2. Ratepayers and Social Policy, Norman McCord

3. The Later Years of the Workhouse 1890-1929, M.A. Crowther

4. ‘Poplarism’ 1894-1930, P.A. Ryan

5. Non-Contributory Versus Insurance Pensions 1878-1908, Pat Thane

6. Employers’ Attitude to Social Policy and the Concept of Social Control, 1900-1920, J.R. Hay

7. ‘Social Control’ and the Modernisation of Social Policy, 1890-1929, John Brown

8. Unemployment and Unemployment Policies in Glasgow 1890-1905, J.H. Treble

9. Family Allowances and Less Eligibility, John Macnicol

Notes on Contributors


About the Series

Routledge Library Editions: Welfare and the State

The volumes in this set, originally published between 1940 and 1994, draw together research by leading academics in the area of welfare and the state, and provide a rigorous examination of related key issues. The volume examines the concepts of welfare in relation to the state through the areas of policy making, social administration, class division and social inequality, social policy and privatization, whilst also exploring the general principles and practices of the welfare state in various countries. This set will be of particular interest to students of sociology, politics, economics, social work respectively.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General