Argues that although the collective struggles of the oppressed over welfare provision and welfare settlement have been ignored, such struggles punctuate recent British history. By presenting a series of case-studies of episodes of collective action from the field of social policy and social welfare, this text aims to rediscover this "hidden history". Organized chronologically, it covers important welfare struggles from the early 19th century. Some of the issues covered are: the growth of capitalism; the development of the poor laws and the anti-poor law movement; working class self-help welfare in the 19th century; rent-strikes on the Clyde in 1920s; the squatters movement in the 1950s; the struggle for abortion rights; an analysis of the urban riots in the 1980s; the great poll tax rebellion. "Class Struggle and Social Welfare" should be of interest for those studying social policy, sociology, politics and history. welfare provision and welfare settlement.
Michael Lavalette is Lecturer in Social Policy at the University of Liverpool and Gerry Mooney is Staff Tutor in the Social Sciences with the Open University in Scotland