This section provides an introduction to the intellectual history of the cycle speech and the Transmitted Deprivation Research Programme of the 1970s. It explores their relevance to current policy initiatives on child poverty, antisocial behaviour, and social exclusion. It notes that Keith Joseph's theme had been that of a hypothesis of a ‘cycle of deprivation’ while Tony Blair's was that of a new government stance on social exclusion. It observes that despite the passage of thirty-four years, the fact that one speech was given by a Conservative minister, the other by a Labour prime minister, and inevitable difference in language, the content is remarkably similar. It notes that in all of the recent debate, the rhetoric of a cycle of deprivation, and of intergenerational continuities, has been ever present.
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