OF RETHINKING FAMILIES
to see the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation's press release: Social
policy must adapt to new 'family values'
Carberry, Assistant General Secretary of the TUC
Simpson MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group
for Social Science
Fiona Williams, OBE, Director of the ESRC CAVA Research
launch took place on 23 June 2004 at The Royal Institution of Chartered
Surveyors, 12 Great George Street, Parliament Square, London.
Hewitt, Secretary of State for Trade and Industry and Minister for
Women says: "I welcome this report, and in particular the research
results which underline the deep commitment that people demonstrate
towards their friends and loved ones, irrespective of the form their
family takes. Government policy should always work with the grain
of people's lives. That's why we have put in place a range of policies
which help to provide a climate that supports people in different
kinds of families in carrying out their caring commitments while,
at the same time, working to support themselves. I particularly
welcome the proposal for promoting and valuing an 'ethic of care'
alongside an ethic of work."
Families is a forward-thinking and timely contribution to current
debates about changes in family lives and personal relationships
from the Economic and Social Research Council’s CAVA Research
Group at the University of Leeds. It provides a considered, authoritative
and politically relevant perspective on these issues, indispensable
for policymakers, practitioners and students alike.
Families sets out the main trends: the increase in the number of
working mothers, in cohabitation and divorce, in single- and step-parenthood,
in people living on their own or in more open same-sex relationships
– within the context of ethnic and cultural diversity and
an ageing society. How, it asks, do people deal with these changes
and what are the implications for future social policy? In pulling
together new in-depth research on people’s experiences it
shows that while the shape of commitments may be changing, there
is no loss of commitment itself. People may care in different ways
but what it means to be a good mother, father, grandparent, friend,
daughter, son, partner or ex-partner is central to how people negotiate
their living and loving, working and caring.
the analysis of family lives, friendships and support networks,
the author develops the case for a more radical repositioning of
the place of care in political thinking and strategy. In documenting
accounts of compassionate realism, this book provides an important
counter to the idea that people have become more self-centred and
Williams, Director of the ESRC Research Group on Care, Values and
the Future of Welfare (CAVA) and Professor of Social Policy at the
University of Leeds, has written widely on social policy issues.
She is the author of Social Policy: A Critical Introduction: Issues
of ‘Race’, Class and Gender (Polity Press, 1989), and
co-editor, with Jennie Popay and Ann Oakley, of Welfare Research:
A Critique of Theory and Method (UCL Press, 1999).
1 903080 02 9 Price £6.00 96 pages
Published by Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, UK, 2004
Available from Central Books Ltd, 99 Wallis Road, London E9 5LN
Tel: 0845 458 9911 Fax: 0845 458 9912
Leeds University - The Reporter]