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Publication Detail
The Persistence in Gendering: Work-Family Policy in Britain since Beveridge
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Authors:
    Chanfreau J
  • Publisher:
    Cambridge University Press (CUP)
  • Publication date:
  • Pagination:
    1, 18
  • Journal:
    Journal of Social Policy
  • Status:
  • Print ISSN:
  • Language:
  • Notes:
    This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Understanding the historical policy pathways that have led to the constellation of policies that both reflect and shape the current gender order can reveal reasons for the persistence of gender inequality in paid work and unpaid family care. Bringing together existing research and policy critique with Carol Bacchi’s framework of policy as ‘gendering practices’, this paper focuses on the role of policy as a process that constructs and upholds an unequal gender order. The discussion traces how UK social policies have since the establishment of the post-war welfare state articulated and positioned gendered possibilities for combining paid work and childrearing, shaping gendered and classed work-family life courses. The analysis illustrates that British social policy has not been consistently committed to a more equal gender regime but instead maintained a heteronormative family ideal and thus, despite various policy changes, the gendering of ‘the worker’ and ‘the parent’ as conceptualised in UK policy has persisted over the last several decades.
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