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Family Policy in Britain

  • About this Course

About this Course


In this course, Professor Pat Thane (Birkbeck, University of London) explores family policy in Britain since the 1960s. In the first module, we set the context by thinking about some key features of family life prior to the 1960s. In the second, we consider policies introduced by the Labour government of 1964-70. In the third module, we look at the impacts of these reforms and further changes implemented Labour governments between 1974 and 1979, before turning in the fourth module to the policies of the Conservative governments of 1979-97. In the fifth module, we explore the New Labour years from 1997 to 2010, and in the final module, we look at some important policy changes that have occurred since 2010.


Professor Pat Thane is Visiting Professor in History at Birkbeck, University of London. She researches twentieth century British history, with a focus on social policy. Her recent publications include Divided Kingdom: A History of Britain, 1900 to the Present (2018), Sinners? Scroungers? Saints? Unmarried Motherhood in Twentieth Century England (2012) (with Tanya Evans) and Happy Families? History and Family Policy (2011).