6 Critical Soc. Pol'y 4 (1986-1987)

handle is hein.journals/critsplcy6 and id is 1 raw text is: 













Introduction






This issue of Critical Social Policy marks a break with past practice. Editorial
control has been handed over to the women of the collective to produce an
issue which deals with feminist analysis of social policy. Feminist concerns
about social policy have been central to the women's movement not only his-
torically, but since the Women's Liberation Movement, in the early '70s,
formulated its original demands directed at the state. These were equal pay,
equal work and  equal educational opportunities, free abortion and contra-
ception and free nursery facilities.
  It is now over a decade since the publication of the Red Rag Collective's
pamphlet 'Women   and the Welfare State', since the beginnings of the cam-
paigns for legal and financial independence, for the Working Women's
Charter, for abortion rights, and more recently reproductive rights. All
pointed, on the one hand, to the importance of state policies for women and,
on the other, to the indispensable contribution the feminist critique could
provide for the study and implementation of social policy. This critique has
been to question the relationship between the state and the family, to make
problematic the financial, emotional and physical relationships within and
outside the family. It offers a new dimension to some of the central questions
of social policy analysis: issues of dependency, of caring, of needs, of the re-
lationships between work and income, of the social relationships of welfare.
Social and biological reproduction are no longer simply 'facts of life'; they
must be prime considerations for any vision of social and economic transfor-
mation.
  The articles in this issue reflect the variety, but not the whole, of the differ-
ent feminist critiques of social policy. Our experience of putting this issue
together made us realise how difficult it is to put into practice these various
feminist principles. In keeping with the feminist theme of exposing the
hidden areas of oppression, Lena Dominelli explores some of the ways in
which the caring professions deal with incest. She suggests that many practi-
tioners reinforce and uphold patriarchal family relations and help to maintain


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