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Adults only: disability, social policy and the life course

By M. Priestley


This article examines the relationship between disability, generation and\ud social policy. The moral and legislative framework for the post-war welfare\ud settlement was grounded in a long-standing cultural construction of\ud ‘normal’ life course progression. Disability and age (along with gender)\ud were the key components in this construction, defining broad categories\ud of welfare dependency and labour force exemption. However, social\ud changes and the emergence of new policy discourses have brought into\ud question the way in which we think about dependency and welfare at the\ud end of the twentieth century. The article suggests that, as policy-makers\ud pursue their millennial settlement with mothers, children and older\ud people, they also may be forced to reconstruct the relationship between\ud disabled people and the welfare state

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Year: 2000
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