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Palgrave Macmillan

The Welfare State and the 'Deviant Poor' in Europe, 1870-1933

ISBN 9781137333612
Publication Date May 2014
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

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.

Beate Althammer is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Trier, Germany. She is author of Das Bismarckreich 1871-1890 (2009) and co-editor with Christina Gerstenmayer of Bettler und Vaganten in der Neuzeit (1500-1933): eine kommentierte Quellenedition (2013).

Andreas Gestrich is Director of the German Historical Institute London, UK. He is co-editor with Lutz Raphael and Herbert Uerlings of Strangers and Poor People. Changing Patterns of Inclusion and Exclusion in Europe and the Mediterranean World from Classical Antiquity to the Present Day (2009).

Jens Gründler is Research Assistant at the Institute for the History of Medicine of the Robert Bosch Foundation in Stuttgart, Germany. He recently published Armut und Wahnsinn. 'Arme Irre' und ihre Familien im Spannungsfeld von Psychiatrie und Armenfürsorge in Glasgow, 1875-1921 (2013).

1. Introduction: Poverty and Deviance in the Era of the Emerging Welfare State; Beate Althammer
PART I: FROM MORAL TO SOCIAL CAUSES? SHIFTING CONCEPTIONS AND PERCEPTIONS OF POVERTY
2. Poverty in Transnational Discourses: Social Reformers' Debates in Germany and the Netherlands around 1900; Christina May
3. 'A Gigantic System of Casual Pauperism': The Contested Role of the Workhouse in Late Nineteenth-Century Belfast; Olwen Purdue
4. The Duty to Provide: Fathers, Families and the Workhouse in England, 1880-1914; Megan Doolittle
5. The 'New Morocco' Settlement between Trier and Euren, Germany: Drawing Boundaries and Constructing Deviance, 1925-1933; Tamara Stazic-Wendt
PART II: ON THE BORDERLINE: THE VAGRANT POOR BETWEEN DESTITUTION AND DELINQUENCY
6. Transnational Expert Discourse on Vagrancy around 1900; Beate Althammer
7. The Usual Suspects: Begging and Law Enforcement in Interwar Austria; Sigrid Wadauer
8. The Bodelschwingh Initiative: A Transcontinental Examination of German Protestant Welfare, 1880-1933; Edward Snyder
PART III: BEYOND THE BORDERLINE: THE MENTALLY DEFICIENT AND THE CRIMINAL
9. 'Degeneracy' and 'Moral Imbecility': Local Implementation of Medical Discourses on Deviancy in Scottish Poor Relief Administration; Jens Gründler
10. Convicts in the Shadow of the Rising Welfare State: Between Permanent Detention and Rehabilitation; Desirée Schauz
PART IV: CONCLUSIONS
11. Conclusion; Jens Gründler and Andreas Gestrich

Megan Doolittle, Open University, UK
Christina May, Georg-August- Universität Göttingen, Germany
Olwen Purdue, Queen's University, UK
Désirée Schauz, Munich Center for the History of Science and Technology, Germany
Edward N Snyder, St. Olaf College, USA
Tamara Stazic-Wendt, Collaborative Research Centre 600, Germany
Sigrid Wadauer, Vienna University, Austria

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