By Matt Perry
Taking a look past facts and financial cycles, Perry investigates the human impression of unemployment from the viewpoint of these who lived via it, their employers and groups, arguing that the teachings of the Thirties have direct relevance at the present time because the structural difficulties of business capitalism stay inherent.
Read Online or Download Bread and Work: The Experience of Unemployment 1918-39 PDF
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Extra info for Bread and Work: The Experience of Unemployment 1918-39
Various voices, notably those of employers, called for this group to be turned over to the Poor Law but the Cabinet feared such a move. Employers, prominent Conservatives and the press also pressed the issue of malingering and abuse. C.
UNEMPLOYMENT: HISTORY AND PERSPECTIVES 23 Unemployment acquired its present meaning through a process of ideological and institutional contingency and contestation. Viewed in the long run, unemployment was brought into the realm of public recognition and policy through two obviously connected factors: a critique of industrial capitalism and the protest of those threatened by unemployment. Across the industrialising parts of the globe, in Lyons, London or Boston, unemployment emerged by this same combination of factors.
35 Clearly, if unemployment was to be recognised, this ‘common sense’ had to be challenged. Most discussions of the role of the working class, and its relationship to social policy, centre on the ‘social control’ debate whereby welfare was introduced as a form of containment of popular demands. The term itself is an abstract catch-all which has been fashioned at times into a straw man. As such, it has obscured the precise ways in which the working class affected the origins of the welfare state.