Working Mothers and the Welfare State: Religion and the Politics of Work-Family Policies in Western Europe and the United States Paperback – Jul 24 2006
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"The book is well written and modest in length, yet full of details."CHOICE
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Morgan employs a comparative historical approach that focuses on three time periods: the late nineteenth century, the era of rapid welfare state expansion from 1945 to 1975, and the period of seeming welfare state stagnation since the mid-1970s. The author shows how, starting in the nineteenth century, religion influenced political development in the four countries the book studies. Historic patterns of church-state relations and conflicts over religion affected ideologies about gender roles and the family, as well as the way religious forces would be incorporated into political life. These forces shaped welfare policy between 1945 and 1975, a critical time for social policy expansion. During this period, socially conservative forces in countries such as the Netherlands and the United States blocked policies that would encourage mothers to work, while the weakness of these forces enabled such policies in both Sweden and France. Morgan concludes that these policy decisions have had an enduring impact, in part because the expansion of the welfare state has been curtailed since the 1970s.
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