9781137393203

Unemployment, Welfare, and Masculine Citizenship "So Much Honest Poverty" in Britain, 1870-1930

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  • ISBN13:

    9781137393203

  • ISBN10:

    1137393203

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2015-01-22
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
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Summary

In the late nineteenth century, the extent of unemployment in Britain challenged prevailing ideologies that insisted on men's economic independence and blamed the poor for their poverty. With increasing numbers of newly-enfranchised men who had been regular workers applying for humiliating poor relief, policymakers produced structural explanations for unemployment that recognized men could not always find work even when they wanted it. In the face of these new economic and political realities, a remarkably broad consensus developed around a model of working-class masculinity that incorporated dependence on welfare, promising honest unemployed men a status that identified them as citizens, not as moral failures who deserved to be shamed. This book examines how, from the late nineteenth century through the 1920s, British policymakers, welfare providers, and working-class men struggled to come to terms with changing relationships among unemployment, welfare, and masculine citizenship.

Author Biography

Marjorie Levine-Clark is Associate Professor of History at the University of Colorado Denver, USA. She has published widely on gender, health, labor, and social policy in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Britain, including the book Beyond the Reproductive Body: The Politics of Women's Health and Work in Early Victorian England (2004).

Table of Contents

1.'So Much Honest Poverty': Introduction
PART I: UNEMPLOYMENT AND THE CONTINUITIES OF HONEST POVERTY
2.Not 'Weary Willies' or 'Tired Tims': The Work Imperative in the Poor Law World
3.'They were not Single Men': Responsibility for Family and Hierarchies of Deservedness
4.'A Reward for Good Citizenship': National Unemployment Benefits and the Genuine Search for Work
PART II: HONEST POVERTY IN NATIONAL CRISIS
5.'Married Men had Greater Responsibilities': The First World War, the Service Imperative, and the Sacrifice of Single Men
6.'The Whole World had gone Against Them': Ex-Servicemen and the Politics of Relief
7.'No Right to Relieve a Striker': Trade Disputes and the Politics of Work and Family in the 1920s
PART III: HONEST POVERTY AND THE INTIMACIES OF POLICY
8.'Younger Men are given the Preference': Older Men's Welfare and Intergenerational Liability
9.'He did not Realise his Responsibilities': Giving Up the Privileges of Honest Poverty
Conclusions
Bibliography

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