Conclusion
in The poor in England 1700–1850

This conclusion presents some closing thoughts on concepts discussed in the preceding chapters of this book. The book begins with the observation that English welfare historians have developed an increasingly sophisticated theoretical framework with which they analyse the economy of makeshifts. It suggests that the texture of encounters between those applying for charity invite us to step beyond the material aspects of the economy of makeshifts to locate and interpret the 'cultural imperatives' that wound through the makeshift economy. The book presents the analysis of pawning practices that opens up in a unique way a much neglected strand of the makeshift economy for urban dwellers in particular. It focuses on the 'economy of diversified resources', though with charity, work and poor relief at its heart. The process of obtaining access to poor law resources was contested, as several of our contributors have pointed out.

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The poor in England 1700–1850

An economy of makeshifts

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