Family Policies in Australia: Contest over the Social Wage

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Abstract
This paper addresses a major theoretical debate in the sociology of the ‘welfare state’ to what extent do state interventions into the sphere of domestic relationships (e.g. by the implementation of ‘family policies’) either reinforce existing class and gender based inequalities, or establish progressive changes? This is a component of a more general theoretical and empirical issue: to what extent can and do income transfers and social services (through the tax/welfare system) redistribute income to those groups most disadvantaged in the labour market, either because of their class position, their sex or their life-cycle stage? The paper adopts a historical perspective in unravelling some of these questions, by examining the economic, political and ideological issues surrounding the implementation of family policies in two very different periods in Australia's history: the period of Post War Reconstruction 1942-48, characterised by expansionist economic policies, and the current period of economic recession 1975-81 characterised by contractionist economic policies.
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Cass, Bettina
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Publication Year
1982
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Working Paper
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download Reports and Proceedings No 21.pdf 1.46 MB Adobe Portable Document Format
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