Introduction: scope and argument of the book

Lucinda Platt

in Discovering child poverty

Published by Policy Press

Published in print January 2005 | ISBN: 9781861345837
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447302117 | DOI:
Introduction: scope and argument of the book

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This chapter discusses the scope and argument of the book. It provides a broad introduction to developments in child poverty research and the fluctuating attention paid to child poverty over an extended period. It looks at state intervention in the lives of poor children since 1800, exploring how their poverty rendered them a target for state controls, while those same interventions reinforce the perception of them as children by essence and poor by accident. It argues that the distinct status of the child is itself partly created through the operation of social policy. It states that this book emphasises the complexity of the relationship between research and policy, and makes explicit the association between children's and families' — or more particularly women's — welfare, and the issue of children as ‘investments’, that is, the recognition of children in terms of their future potential and as embodiments of ‘the future’.

Keywords: child poverty; state intervention; state controls; social policy; women's welfare; families

Chapter.  3322 words. 

Subjects: Marriage and the Family

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