New Labour: family policy and gender

Clarke Karen

in Women and New Labour

Published by Policy Press

Published in print June 2007 | ISBN: 9781861348289
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447304302 | DOI:
New Labour: family policy and gender

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This chapter explores the coherence of New Labour's approach to the family and the implications for gender roles of its policies. It describes the family policy in Britain before 1997, and the policies introduced by the New Labour governments. Their effects on gender divisions in paid work and unpaid care, and their differential impact on partnered and lone mothers, and on women of different social classes, are elaborated. The chapter then raises some questions about the overall coherence of these policies and identifies a number of different notions of parental responsibility. New Labour's policies on parenting involve a new definition of the relative responsibilities of the state and of parents. Men's roles in one- and two-parent families have been much less strongly targeted by the policies introduced, and their role in providing care for children remains a relatively peripheral one.

Keywords: New Labour; family policy; gender; Britain; paid work; unpaid care; parental responsibility; children

Chapter.  7497 words. 

Subjects: Gender and Sexuality

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