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By Lois Bryson (auth.)

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Sample text

To encompass a 'patriarchal and racially structured capitalism', she adds 'family' as a critical site for gender relations, and 'nation' as the key organising principle of race. Nations are constructed in the likeness of dominant groups. In colonised societies, such as the USA and Australia, settlers (invaders) overwhelmed and discounted the cultures ofthe indigenous peoples, as well as usurping all or a major part of their territory. In these societies, indigneous peoples were left with little option but to be redefined by the colonisers.

As examples of occupational welfare Titmuss cited a long list ofbenefits including, 'death benefits; entertainment, dress and equipment; meal vouchers; cheap meals; motor cars and season tickets' (1974, p. 51). Titmuss made a strong case for considering all three forms of welfare when assessing the equity effects of a nation's welfare state. Yet despite the merit of his argument and the fact that it has been widely accepted, most discourse still directs attention to those issues which are encompassed by Titmuss's 'social welfare' or, to use Sinfield's (1978) preferred term, 'public welfare'.

Unless the evaluative element is dearly exposed, the positive aura of terms like motherhood, community, democracy and participation has the capacity to mystify discussion of social issues, particularly issues of power (Plant, 1974, p. 23). Welfare is one of those terms which has a propensity to spread a warm glow that can then get in the way of dear-sighted analysis. Not that there has been any absence of political opponents to the development of social welfare measures. The negative view that providing welfare only encourages idleness, demoralisation and profligacy is a hardy perennial.

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