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Hard and unreal advice: mothers, social science, and the Victorian poor law

Martin, Kathleen Callanan (2004) Hard and unreal advice: mothers, social science, and the Victorian poor law. Other thesis, Brandeis University.

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"It is here [Royal Commission on the Poor Laws and Relief of Distress 1905-09] that Sidney and Beatrice Webb, whose views on poverty and on public relief policy will be examined in some detail in this study, first make their appearance, not as participants in the framing of poor law policy but as historians of the poor law. Undertaken as part of their enormous history of English local government, their account of the adoption and operation of the Victorian poor law, as well as their account of the Edwardian Royal Commission that failed to reach a consensus on how to improve it, had a significant impact on all future discussions of the subject. Because Beatrice Webb was a member of the Royal Commission, and because she and Sidney were the principal authors of its Minority Report, all parties have tended to interpret their account as partisan. Nonetheless their approach has helped to shape the views of friends and foes alike. The focus of their narrative, powerfully reinforced by their public identities as Fabian socialists, strongly encouraged the tendency to see the struggle over the Victorian poor law as the struggle of "collectivism" or socialism against individualism, of activist government versus laissez-faire." - pages 4-5.

Item Type: Thesis (Other)
Additional Information: A PhD dissertation presented to Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts, May 2004. UMI microform 3127106.
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
J Political Science > JS Local government Municipal government
K Law > KD England and Wales
Date Deposited: 21 May 2013 09:47
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2015 11:40

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