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Youth and the Welfare State in Weimar Germany

This study examines social policy in Weimar Germany. The Weimar Republic gave German youth new social rights and a pledge of generous educational and welfare provision. Public social and welfare policies would, it was hoped, banish the spectre of delinquent and rebellious youth, and ensure that the future citizens, workers and mothers of Germany's new democracy would be well-adjusted, efficient and healthy. But how far could the would-be architects of modern technocratic welfare realize their vision in the midst of the economic and political instability of the Great Depression? How did young people respond to policies supposedly in their best interests, but which contained an unmistakable dimension of supervision and control? Elizabeth Harvey examines a wide range of policies implemented by central and local government, including vocational training, labour-market policies, reformatory schooling and the juvenile-justice system. Her analysis provides insights into the troubled development of the Weimar Welfare State and the crisis into which it was plunged by the depression. The book also adds to the debate over continuities in social policy between Weimar Germany and the Third Reich. Elizabeth Harvey is a co-editor of "Youth Welfare and Social Democracy in Weimar Germany: The Work of Walter Friedlander" with Jennifer Birkett, and the author of "Determined Women: Studies in the Construction of the Female Subject 1900-1990".
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Table of Contents

Public policies and the young worker in Imperial Germany; public policies towards apprentices and young workers 1918-1933; youth unemployment and policies towards unemployed youth 1918-1933; new approaches to the problem adolescent? - the reform of youth welfare and juvenile justice in the post-war period; juvenile crime and the practice of juvenile justice; reforming the delinquent? - probation and correctional education; from Republic to Third Reich.


Elizabeth Harvey's exemplary monograph on youth welfare in Weimar is ... social history at its best. Harvey analyses a prodigious quantity of contemporary publications and summarises this material with great clarity and control. Harvey draws on vivid material in the Hamburg archives to illustrate the treatment of young female delinquents, a previously neglected area of research. Harvey fills major gaps in the existing literature on youth welfare under the Weimar Republic. * E.D.R. Harrison, History Today * 'Elizabeth Harvey's excellent and subtly nuanced monograph on "youth policy" in the Wiemar years provides revealing evidence of the links between hyperinflation and the social and cultural crisis described by Feldman.' Times Literary Supplement

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