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Title: Advising the citizen : Citizens Advice Bureaux, voluntarism and the welfare state in England, 1938-1964
Author: Blaiklock, Oliver James
Awarding Body: King's College London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2013
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Historians of the British welfare state have only recently begun to assess the continued importance of charitable and voluntary organizations in the delivery of welfare services. My thesis contributes to this growing area of research on the nature of the British state, its development, and its interaction with civil society. Through a historical analysis of the records of the Citizens' Advice Bureaux (created in 1939) and the National Council of Social Service (its parent organization), the thesis seeks to place the history of this small but important voluntary organization in the context of the post-war history of the changing relationship between the state, society and individual. The data was collected from January 2009 to June 2012. The research also focuses on the motives of individual volunteers, many of whom were drawn from the expanding and diversifying middle classes. Rather than suggesting that volunteering was an act designed to reassert social leadership, this research paints a more complicated picture, showing that class was not the only factor in influencing people's decisions to volunteer. Volunteering continued to provide an outlet for multiple groups including married women and retired professionals of both sexes. Overall the initial findings of the research suggest that rather than signalling a decline in voluntary effort, the growth in scale and complexity of the welfare state actually created more opportunities for volunteering and for volunteers. It was the increasing demand for voluntary services that triggered concerns about a lack of funds in voluntary organizations, rather than a decline in charitable giving per se. Voluntary organizations continued to act where the state could not for reasons of financial, political and other constraints. What is more the political significance of voluntary organizations in this period has often been underestimated. Voluntary organizations such as the CAB continued to influence policymakers in order to protect and expand the rights of disadvantaged groups including the elderly, immigrants, the disabled and other groups affected by poverty, poor housing, consumer issues and legal problems.
Supervisor: Thane, Patricia Mary ; Kandiah, Michael David Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available