The Welfare State: A Feminist Analysis

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Feminist scholars of the welfare state argue that the welfare state, much like capitalism, is inherently patriarchal and existing mainstream scholarship on the welfare state fail to recognize this or incorporate gender into the analysis. Mainstream theories of the welfare state focus on the independent worker, who is naturally thought to be a man, and privilege social class and capitalist market relations in conceptualizing social rights from this perspective. Women are seen dependent on this worker, the breadwinner, as a wife and the caretaker, and therefore, denied “universal” social rights available to all deserving and contributing workers of a society. Feminist critiques of the mainstream welfare theories also problematize its conceptualization

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