The State: creator or destroyer of family solidarity?

  • Diana Gittins
Part of the Women in Society book series (WOSO)


There is an on-going debate about the relationship between the State and the family. Theorists from Left and Right, feminist and anti-feminist, have been arguing often seemingly confusing and contradictory viewpoints. Essentially the controversy amounts to disagreement as to whether the growth of the State, and the Welfare State in particular, has actually enhanced the position of families and family ‘solidarity’, or whether it has exacerbated a decline and erosion of what is seen as previously greater family solidarity and support. Both sides tend to suffer equally from a rather monolithic interpretation of both ‘the State’ and ‘the family’.


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  1. 2.
    There is an excellent analysis of these sorts of pressures in J. Foster (1974) Class Struggle and the Industrial Revolution, Methuen, London.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 3.
    See A. John (1984) By the Sweat of Their Brow for a discussion of women’s work in mining.Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    For a discussion of ‘total institutions’ see Coser (1974) Greedy Institutions, Free Press, New York, and Goffman Asylums, Penguin, Harmondsworth.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Diana Gittins 1993

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  • Diana Gittins

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