Slaying idleness without killing care: a challenge for the British welfare state

Hilary Land

in Social Policy Review 21

Published by Policy Press

Published in print June 2009 | ISBN: 9781847423733
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447303480 | DOI:
Slaying idleness without killing care: a challenge for the British welfare state

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This chapter provides a useful counterpoint, drawing on feminist scholarship to highlight the gendered nature of policy designed to tackle the evil of ‘idleness’. It points to the dilemma, unarticulated in the Beveridge reforms but an increasingly important one for policy makers, of how to treat women's paid and unpaid ‘work’ and contribution to the economy and well-being. It focuses particularly on the challenges posited by the rise in part-time working and lone parenthood, both notable by their absence from serious consideration in the Beveridge model but an increasingly salient feature of the contemporary social and economic organisation of society. It notes that the review of the limitations of the current welfare-to-work policies in tackling ‘idleness’ points to the continuing challenges facing policy makers.

Keywords: feminist scholarship; idleness; Beveridge reforms; women's paid work; women's unpaid work; lone parenthood; welfare-to-work policies

Chapter.  7685 words. 

Subjects: Social Research and Statistics

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