All under one umbrella? The Family Guide to National Insurance 1948

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The ‘Family Guide to National Insurance’ was produced in 1948 to coincide with the introduction of the British national insurance scheme, inspired by the Beveridge Report. The Guide tells people about their legal rights but it also symbolises a mid-twentieth century enthusiasm for the welfare state. Making a model of the Guide for a socio-legal workshop helped to consider the physicality of the booklet and to think about how it might have been received by its readers. This article explores the meaning of the booklet, considering its form and its content but also its reception by the public. A survey conducted in 1948 concluded that the Guide had been unsuccessful in reaching those who could most benefit from it, particularly women. This article uses the findings of this survey to consider the booklet as a piece of public legal information and the role of legal consciousness in legal information provision.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-70
Number of pages11
JournalNorthern Ireland Legal Quarterly
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 7 Nov 2017


  • Welfare State
  • Public Legal Information
  • national insurance
  • Beveridge Report
  • Legal Concsiousness


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