Gender equality in the welfare state?
- Gillian Pascall
- Paperback, 208 pages, 240 x 172 mm
- 27 Apr 2012
£17.59 - List price: £21.99 You save: £4.40
North America customers can order this book here from the University of Chicago Press.
'Pascall’s book offers an accessible, valuable guide to gender equality in welfare systems' it 'comes at a critical point when recession threatens hard-won gains on socio-economic welfare and gender equality.' International Journal of Social Welfare.
"There is a crying need for this publication. Anyone who teaches in the area of gender and social policy will want this book."
Professor the Baroness (Ruth) Lister of Burtersett, Loughborough University
"It makes a valuable and timely contribution to scholarship in this area."
Kirstein Rummery, University of Stirling,
About This Book
The relationship between gender and welfare states is of key importance in understanding welfare states and gender equality and inequality. Western welfare states of the post-war era were built on assumptions about gender difference: they treated men as breadwinners and women as carers. Now governments are committed in principle to gender equality. But how far have they come from male breadwinner assumptions to gender equality assumptions? How much do gender differences continue in UK social policy and social practice? The book analyses the male breadwinner model in terms of power, employment, care, time and income, providing a framework for chapters which ask about policies and practices for gender equality in each of these. This new approach to analysis of gender equality in social welfare contextualises national policies and debates within comparative theoretical analysis and data, making the volume interesting to a wide audience.
Author BiographyGillian Pascall is Professor Emerita of Social Policy at the University of Nottingham, UK, where she has long taught gender and social policy to students, undergraduate and postgraduate, local and international. Relationships between welfare states and gender have been at the centre of her research and publications since Social Policy: A Feminist Analysis (1986).
Understanding Gender in welfare states
Gender in employment
Gendered time; Conclusion.
ReviewsOwn it? Review it!
Gender equality in the welfare state?
Pascall, G. (2012). Gender Equality in the Welfare State?, Bristol: Policy Press. ,,Reviewed by Dr. Theo Gavrielides, Founder and Director of Independent Academic Research Studies (IARS), Visiting Professor in Youth Policy at Buckinghamshire New University, a Visiting Professorial Research Fellow at Panteion University of Social & Political Science (Greece) and a Visiting Senior Research Fellow at Open University (UK).,,By definition, liberal welfare states are structured around democratic institutions that aim to provide means-tested, residual benefits for the poor and at the same time promote free markets. In Britain, the post World War II welfare state developed rapidly impacting on many policies around the world. But what are the assumptions that guided this model and how are we dealing with these assumptions nowadays?,,This book aims to answer these questions while also trying to understand the roots of gender difference in states that are proud of their welfare system and provisions. ,,It is a well-written account of the modern events, policies, practices and legislation that structured Britain's current way of understanding gender equality. The book looks at current policy initiatives, such as the Big Society, and provides a good critique of existing and future directions. It is very much focused on the UK despite a modest attempt to reflect on international examples. ,,The narrative on public expenditure and building a business case for gender equality is particularly interesting. Also refreshing is the critique on top down policies and structures. Too often we forget that the biggest changes in society were achieved not by centralized authorities, but by communities let that be women's groups (in the case of gender equality), Black and minority ethnic groups (in the case of race equality) and so on. We are living in an era where bottom up structures and user led policy are considered time consuming and a risk. The role of civil society is therefore reminded and renewed through this book. There are also some excellent, clear and up to date statistics that remind us how much more we need to achieve in the gender equality movement. ,,To my disappointment the book falls into the trap of 'gender comparison'. It uses the male breadwinner model to develop a number of its arguments. This is also an approach adopted by other movements such as the race equality one e.g. White vs. Black. I have argued elsewhere that we will only be able to progress in our struggles for more equal societies when academia, policy and practice re-shift their approach to problem solving. Comparing apples with oranges and then setting up a market for the wrong fruit will simply not work. If a single mother is being overlooked by the modern welfare state does it really matter how this compares to their male counterpart? To me the question should be: what are her individual circumstances and what sort of specialist service does the welfare state need to provide? ,,Furthermore, I would have liked to see the gender equality debate being placed within the wider human rights framework. We often forget that gender equality policies are not enough in dealing with gender issues. For instance, how can gender anti-discrimination legislation deal with a breech that has occurred within the welfare state and it involves someone's identity as a Black, lesbian and disabled single mother who also happens to be a carrying for someone. ,,I short, this book provides excellent value for money and can be used by those studying, practising, advocating, campaigning or criticizing gender equality. ,
Reviewed by Professor Theo Gavrielides
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