The Welfare State and the 'Deviant Poor' in Europe, 1870-1933
|Publication Date||May 2014|
|Formats||Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF)|
The decades from the 1870s to the 1930s were a time of intensive social reforms. For the first time, European states began to take on responsibility for the material wellbeing of all their citizens. The quest for the elimination of poverty was closely linked to ideas of progress and national competitiveness, and the notion of social rights gained ground. But this strife for social improvement also raised the issue of social conformity in new ways: how were those citizens to be dealt with who would not or could not adhere to the rules? This edited collection opens new perspectives on the history of the emerging welfare state by focusing on its margins. Taking the sociological concept of 'deviance' as an unifying approach, the contributions explore the shifting attitudes towards loafers, negligent family fathers, beggars, vagrants, criminals, the mentally 'abnormal' – groups among the poorer population who seemed to be a particular obstacle to the ambitions of modern welfare policies.