Group representation in the plural society: the case of the poverty lobby

McCarthy, M.A., 1981. Group representation in the plural society: the case of the poverty lobby. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.

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This thesis presents an account and analysis of the emergence and development of family poverty as a political issue in the period 1965-79. It begins with an examination of the role of social scientists in 'rediscovering' poverty in the late 1950s and details the creation of the Child Poverty Action Group in 1965 as one response to the problem. With the emergence of CP AG the thesis takes as its principal theme the question 'what are the strategies open to a small group wishing to influence events'.

In attempting to examine and assess CPAGs own response to this question the thesis divides into three broad areas covering, respectively, the group's relationships with the Labour Party, Conservative Party and, more recently the Trade Union Movement. These relationships are to some extent assessed against the popular dichotomisation of interest groups as 'insiders' or 'outsiders' in their relationship with Government. In employing this particular framework of analysis close consideration is given to the non-sanction-based activities of CPAG and to the likely effectiveness of similar groups representing 'suppliant' publics.

The latter part of the thesis is alm.ost wholly concerned with CPAGs strategy for liaison with the trade union movement and it examines the efficacy of such liaison both against the backcloth of contemporary political events such as the Social Contract and in relation to the trade unions traditional emphasis on 'wages first, benefits second'. In considering this relationship the thesis develops a broader, 'macro' interest in the implications of trade union-interest group liaison and assesses the possibility for the further incorporation of the trade union movement at the critical centres of power and its future role as a spokesman group on social welfare issues.

The final chapters of this thesis examine this relationship in closer detail through an account and assessment of the Child Benefits Campaign 1975-78 looking, in particular, at the cabinet 'leak', the role played by the TUC-Labour Party Liaison Committee. In the conclusion, an attempt is made to draw together the events and the trends of the last fifteen years and to reassess the responses to the question posed at the outset. In particular, a discussion of the failure of the poverty 'lobby' to incorporate their 'clients' into the campaign takes place and some consideration is given to future developments and alternative options for influence.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: McCarthy, M.A.
Date: 1981
ISBN: 9781369324815
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 24 Jun 2021 10:34
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2023 15:15

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