The Emergence of Social Security in Canada

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UBC Press, 1997 - Political Science - 390 pages
This book analyzes the major influences shaping the Canadian welfare state. A central trend in Canadian social security over most of the twentieth century has been a shift from a "residual" to an "institutional" concept. The residual approach, which dominated until the Second World War, posited that the causes of poverty and joblessness were to be found within individuals and were best remedied by personal initiative and reliance on the private market. However, the dramatic changes brought about by the Great Depression and the Second World War resulted in the rise of an institutional approach to social security. Poverty and joblessness began to be viewed as the results of systemic failure, and the public began to demand that governments take action to establish front-rank institutions guaranteeing a level of protection against the common risks to livelihood. Thus, the foundations of the Canadian welfare state were established. The Emergence of Social Security in Canada is both an important historical resource and an engrossing tale in its own right, and it will be of great interest to anyone concerned about Canadian social policy.

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About the author (1997)

Dennis Guest, now retired, was for many years a professor in the School of Social Work at the University of British Columbia.

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