The breadwinner his wife and their welfare: identity, expertise and economic security in Australian post-war reconstruction

Article


Firth, Ann. 2004. "The breadwinner his wife and their welfare: identity, expertise and economic security in Australian post-war reconstruction ." Australian Journal of Politics and History. 50 (4), pp. 491-508. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8497.2004.00349.x
Article Title

The breadwinner his wife and their welfare: identity, expertise and economic security in Australian post-war reconstruction

ERA Journal ID6876
Article CategoryArticle
Authors
AuthorFirth, Ann
Journal TitleAustralian Journal of Politics and History
Journal Citation50 (4), pp. 491-508
Year2004
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons
Place of PublicationMelbourne, Australia
ISSN0004-9522
1467-8497
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8497.2004.00349.x
Web Address (URL)http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/118746682/issue
Abstract

The architects of Australian post-war reconstruction had learned from the experience of the Depression that subordinating the social order to economic objectives could have disastrous results. In Australia as elsewhere, interwar political and civic institutions were not sufficiently robust to protect society from the instability of a system based on the economically rational choices of individual entrepreneurs. High unemployment, which had characterised the interwar years and reached catastrophic levels in the Depression, convinced the architects of post-war reconstruction that new political institutions were necessary. The civil and political institutions they attempted to create were expressed in a particular anthropology constituted around their own identity as experts and the identities of the entrepreneur, the breadwinner and his wife.

Keywordspost-war reconstruction; Australia; economics; politics
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020380103. Economic history
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Byline AffiliationsUniversity of Southern Queensland
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