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The Concept of the Unemployable.

Welshman, John (2006) The Concept of the Unemployable. Economic History Review, 59 (3). pp. 578-606.

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Abstract

Current government policy documents have been concerned with reforming welfare policy, with matching rights with responsibilities, and especially with reducing the numbers of incapacity benefit claimants. This article places these debates in historical perspective, and revises the existing historiography on poverty and unemployment, by exploring the concept of the 'unemployable' in the period 1880–1940. Up to 1914, unemployability embraced those unable and those unwilling to work, and in the 1920s, similar anxieties were reconstructed in the concept of the 'social problem group'. However, interwar social surveys were concerned more with the effects of long-term unemployment in creating unemployability. There are thus both changes and continuities between historical concerns with unemployability, and contemporary anxieties about incapacity benefit and worklessness.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Economic History Review
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
Departments: Faculty of Health and Medicine > Health Research
Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences > History
ID Code: 560
Deposited By: Dr John Welshman
Deposited On: 21 Nov 2008 09:04
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2012 18:13
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/560

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