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The Allen Report: class, gender and disadvantage

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>11/2013
<mark>Journal</mark>Families, Relationships and Societies
Issue number3
Number of pages15
Pages (from-to)355-369
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


In this article we focus on the Allen Report, which, along with other documents, is helping to guide the development of the United Kingdom's coalition government's policies in relation to child poverty and social mobility. Drawing on empirical research projects with social work service users and practitioners, we take a critical approach to the way in which the Allen Report locates the disadvantages faced by working-class children in the parenting practices and actions of their mothers. We argue that the Allen Report helps to encode working-class mothers as being problematic and is part of a long tradition in which elites link notions of respectability to the parenting and housekeeping skills of mothers. In this context, the article examines the ways in which the Allen Report fails to acknowledge the needs of income-poor working-class mothers and denies the importance of material conditions to mothering.