Sir Keith Joseph and the cycle speech

John Welshman

in From transmitted deprivation to social exclusion

Published by Policy Press

Published in print September 2007 | ISBN: 9781861348357
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447302384 | DOI:
Sir Keith Joseph and the cycle speech

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This chapter explores the cycle of deprivation speech, aiming to understand its content and immediate origins. It examines the drafting of the speech within the DHSS; the content of the speech itself; the evidence that Joseph cited in support of it; and the links between the speech and the parallel Preparation for Parenthood initiative. It also traces Joseph's ongoing interest in the cycle in the years after 1972. It argues that the speech is primarily an individual obsession of Joseph's, but that civil servants who had been transferred from the Home Office played a key part in the drafting of it. It notes that while the speech located the problems of families within the broader context of poverty and disadvantage, the primary focus is on individual behaviour and parenting. Joseph's evidence is mainly drawn from psychiatric and criminological literature. It opines that there is much evidence that Joseph continued to be troubled by the cycle in the years after 1972.

Keywords: deprivation; DHSS; individual behaviour; Keith Joseph; parenting; social exclusion; poverty; disadvantage; criminological literature

Chapter.  10281 words. 

Subjects: Social Stratification, Inequality, and Mobility

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