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Discovering child povertyThe creation of a policy agenda from 1800 to the present$
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Lucinda Platt

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9781861345837

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861345837.001.0001

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Introduction: scope and argument of the book

Introduction: scope and argument of the book

(p.1) One Introduction: scope and argument of the book
Discovering child poverty

Lucinda Platt

Policy Press

This chapter discusses the scope and argument of the book. It provides a broad introduction to developments in child poverty research and the fluctuating attention paid to child poverty over an extended period. It looks at state intervention in the lives of poor children since 1800, exploring how their poverty rendered them a target for state controls, while those same interventions reinforce the perception of them as children by essence and poor by accident. It argues that the distinct status of the child is itself partly created through the operation of social policy. It states that this book emphasises the complexity of the relationship between research and policy, and makes explicit the association between children's and families' — or more particularly women's — welfare, and the issue of children as ‘investments’, that is, the recognition of children in terms of their future potential and as embodiments of ‘the future’.

Keywords:   child poverty, state intervention, state controls, social policy, women's welfare, families

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