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Family Policies in the UK

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Publication details

JournalZEITSCHRIFT FUR FAMILIENFORSCHUNG
DatePublished - 2008
VolumeFamily Policies in the Context of Family Change: The Nordic Countries in Comparative Perspective
Number of pages26
Pages (from-to)129-154
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

The New Labour government’s election victory in 1997 marked a transition away from a ‘familistic’ regime towards a more ‘individualistic’ one. This involves the promotion of employment for all, and thus has extended the right of access to paid work, and the capacity to form and maintain an autonomous household, to women as well as to men. In March 1999, the government made a historic commitment to end child poverty in 20 years, thus recognising the economic rights of children. This article documents and analyses British family policy as supporting men, women, and children as citizens. It examines how New Labour and the Conservative governments before it have acknowledged and facilitated the economic rights of all citizens. It then discusses whether the state has extended citizenship to include and value care and ultimately seeks to determine to what extent the welfare state is built upon the breadwinner model of the family. To do this, it explores various policy areas, including the right (not) to have children; parental rights and obligations; childcare; leave from paid work to care for children and cash benefits and taxes for families.

    Research areas

  • family, employment/benefits, social exclusion, income, poverty, child well-being

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