The making of a welfare class?

Benefit receipt in Britain

Robert Walker and Marilyn Howard

The making of a welfare class?

Robert Walker and Marilyn Howard

Distributed for Policy Press at the University of Bristol

368 pages
Paper $32.50 ISBN: 9781861342355 Published September 2000 For sale in North and South America only
Over the last three decades Britain has witnessed an unprecedented rise in the number of people receiving welfare benefits that has provoked fears of a growing underclass and mass welfare dependency.The making of a welfare class? provides the first comprehensive analysis of the reasons for this growth and subjects notions of welfare dependency and the underclass to empirical test. It focuses on four principal groups of benefit recipients - children and families, retirement pensioners, disabled people, and unemployed people - and, using important new evidence, explores the relative importance of economic, demographic, institutional and normative factors in the pattern of growth.The book addresses a phenomenon - growth in benefit recipiency - which is common to all advanced industrial countries and nowhere well understood. As a central focus of government policy and a key development in modern society, the issues explored in the book will therefore be of interest to academics and policy commentators alike.Written in an accessible style and assuming no prior knowledge, with succinct chapters, elegant summaries and extensive use of graphics, complex arguments appear simple. A comprehensive glossary of technical terms is included. As a result, The making of a welfare class? is compulsory reading for undergraduates and postgraduate students of sociology, social policy and economics and anyone else interested in the development of modern British society and welfare policy.

Part One: Setting the scene
The conundrum
Taking an overview

Part Two: Benefits for unemployed people
Trends in claimant unemployment
The economy and unemployment
Demography and unemployment
Unemployment institutions
Beliefs, behaviour and unemployment
Understanding trends in unemployment-related benefits

Part Three: Benefits for disabled people
Trends in benefits for disabled people
Beliefs about disability
Institutional factors and disability benefits
Demography and benefits for disabled people
The economy and disability
Understanding the growth in disability benefits

Part Four: Benefits for children and families
Trends in receipt of benefits by children and families
Aspects of the demography of family life
The economy and the family
Beliefs about the family and poverty
Social security provisions for families and children
Reflecting on benefit receipt by families and children

Part Five: Benefits for retirement
Trends in pension receipt
The demography of pensions' growth
Institutional aspects of pension provision
Beliefs, opportunities and retirement behaviour
The economy and pensions provision
Pathways to pensions

Part Six: Towards a welfare class?
Understanding the pattern of caseload growth

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