Date: 12 November 2010
An article by John Welshman, 'The Cycle of Deprivation: Myths and Misconceptions', originally published in the journal Children & Society, 22, 2 (2008), 75-85, has been chosen by the Editors to be reprinted in the 25th Anniversary Virtual Issue of the journal.
The concept of a'cycle of deprivation' was invented by the Conservative politician Sir Keith Joseph in a speech given in June 1972. From 1997, the term was revived by Prime Minister Tony Blair in the context of New Labour's focus on child poverty, anti-social behaviour, and so-called problem families. In particular, the year 2006 marked the 30th anniversary of the publication of Michael Rutter and Nicola Madge's Cycles of Disadvantage (1976). As such, it provided an opportunity to take stock of debates over an alleged cycle of deprivation, both in the 1970s, and more recently. The articlesoughtto use historical methods in order to outline some areas in which a historical perspective couldadd significantly to existing knowledge on this topic of enduring interest. In particular, it explored five myths or misconceptions:
1.That we know the origins of the cycle of deprivation hypothesis.
2. Thatwe know what happened in the course of the Transmitted Deprivation Research Programme (1974-82).
3. Thatthe Department of Health and Social Security supported the research.
4. Thatsocial scientists were interested in the cycle hypothesis.
5. And thatthere has been significant progress since 1976.
Associated departments and research centres: History