Backlash Against Welfare Mothers

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Backlash against Welfare Mothers

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Backlash against Welfare Mothers by Ellen Reese Book Resume:

Backlash against Welfare Mothers is a forceful examination of how and why a state-level revolt against welfare, begun in the late 1940s, was transformed into a national-level assault that destroyed a critical part of the nation's safety net, with tragic consequences for American society. With a wealth of original research, Ellen Reese puts recent debates about the contemporary welfare backlash into historical perspective. She provides a closer look at these early antiwelfare campaigns, showing why they were more successful in some states than others and how opponents of welfare sometimes targeted Puerto Ricans and Chicanos as well as blacks for cutbacks. Her research reveals both the continuities and changes in American welfare opposition from the late 1940s to the present. Reese brings new evidence to light that reveals how large farmers and racist politicians, concerned about the supply of cheap labor, appealed to white voters' racial resentments and stereotypes about unwed mothers, blacks, and immigrants in the 1950s. She then examines congressional failure to replace the current welfare system with a more popular alternative in the 1960s and 1970s, which paved the way for national assaults on welfare. Taking a fresh look at recent debates on welfare reform, she explores how and why politicians competing for the white vote and right-wing think tanks promoting business interests appeased the Christian right and manufactured consent for cutbacks through a powerful, racially coded discourse. Finally, through firsthand testimonies, Reese vividly portrays the tragic consequences of current welfare policies and calls for a bold new agenda for working families.

Violence in Capitalism

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Violence in Capitalism by James A. Tyner Book Resume:

"A geographic reckoning with violence through case studies of how violence affects the dispossessed, women, children, workers, and the environment"--

The Rise of the Military Welfare State

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The Rise of the Military Welfare State by Jennifer Mittelstadt Book Resume:

After Vietnam the army promised its all-volunteer force a safety net long reserved for career soldiers: medical and dental care, education, child care, financial counseling, housing assistance, legal services. Jennifer Mittelstadt shows how this unprecedented military welfare system expanded at a time when civilian programs were being dismantled.

Blame Welfare, Ignore Poverty and Inequality

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Blame Welfare, Ignore Poverty and Inequality by Joel F. Handler,Yeheskel Hasenfeld Book Resume:

With the passage of the 1996 welfare reform, not only welfare, but poverty and inequality have disappeared from the political discourse. The decline in the welfare rolls has been hailed as a success. This book challenges that assumption. It argues that while many single mothers left welfare, they have joined the working poor, and fail to make a decent living. The book examines the persistent demonization of poor single-mother families; the impact of the low-wage market on perpetuating poverty and inequality; and the role of the welfare bureaucracy in defining deserving and undeserving poor. It argues that the emphasis on family values - marriage promotion, sex education and abstinence - is misguided and diverts attention from the economic hardships low-income families face. The book proposes an alternative approach to reducing poverty and inequality that centers on a children's allowance as basic income support coupled with jobs and universal child care.

Caring for America

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Caring for America by Eileen Boris,Jennifer Klein Book Resume:

In this sweeping narrative history from the Great Depression of the 1930s to the Great Recession of today, Caring for America rethinks both the history of the American welfare state from the perspective of care work and chronicles how home care workers eventually became one of the most vibrant forces in the American labor movement. Eileen Boris and Jennifer Klein demonstrate the ways in which law and social policy made home care a low-waged job that was stigmatized as welfare and relegated to the bottom of the medical hierarchy. For decades, these front-line caregivers labored in the shadows of a welfare state that shaped the conditions of the occupation. Disparate, often chaotic programs for home care, which allowed needy, elderly, and disabled people to avoid institutionalization, historically paid poverty wages to the African American and immigrant women who constituted the majority of the labor force. Yet policymakers and welfare administrators linked discourses of dependence and independence-claiming that such jobs would end clients' and workers' "dependence" on the state and provide a ticket to economic independence. The history of home care illuminates the fractured evolution of the modern American welfare state since the New Deal and its race, gender, and class fissures. It reveals why there is no adequate long-term care in America. Caring for America is much more than a history of social policy, however; it is also about a powerful contemporary social movement. At the front and center of the narrative are the workers-poor women of color-who have challenged the racial, social, and economic stigmas embedded in the system. Caring for America traces the intertwined, sometimes conflicting search of care providers and receivers for dignity, self-determination, and security. It highlights the senior citizen and independent living movements; the civil rights organizing of women on welfare and domestic workers; the battles of public sector unions; and the unionization of health and service workers. It rethinks the strategies of the U.S. labor movement in terms of a growing care work economy. Finally, it makes a powerful argument that care is a basic right for all and that care work merits a living wage.

Better Must Come

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Better Must Come by Matthew D. Marr Book Resume:

In Better Must Come, Matthew D. Marr reveals how social contexts at various levels combine and interact to shape the experiences of transitional housing program users in two of the most prosperous cities of the global economy, Los Angeles and Tokyo. Marr, who has conducted fieldwork in U.S. and Japanese cities for over two decades, followed the experiences of thirty-four people as they made use of transitional housing services and after they left such programs. This comparative ethnography is groundbreaking in two ways—it is the first book to directly focus on exits from homelessness in American or Japanese cities, and it is the first targeted comparison of homelessness in two global cities. Marr argues that homelessness should be understood primarily as a socially generated, traumatic, and stigmatizing predicament, rather than as a stable condition, identity, or culture. He pushes for movement away from the study of "homeless people" and "homeless culture" toward an understanding of homelessness as a condition that can be transcended at individual and societal levels. Better Must Come prescribes policy changes to end homelessness that include expanding subsidized housing to persons without disabilities and experiencing homelessness chronically, as well as taking broader measures to address vulnerabilities produced by labor markets, housing markets, and the rapid deterioration of social safety nets that often results from neoliberal globalization.

The Wages of Motherhood

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The Wages of Motherhood by Gwendolyn Mink Book Resume:

Entering the vigorous debate about the nature of the American welfare state, The Wages of Motherhood illuminates ways in which a "maternalist" social policy emerged from the crucible of gender and racial politics between the world wars. Gwendolyn Mink here examines the cultural dynamics of maternalist social policy, which have often been overlooked by institutional and class analyses of the welfare state. Mink maintains that the movement for welfare provisions, while resulting in important gains, reinforced existing patterns of gender and racial inequality. She explores how Anglo-American women reformers, as they gained increasing political recognition, promoted an ideology of domesticity that became the core of maternalist social policy. Focusing on reformers such as Jane Addams, Grace Abbott, Katherine Lenroot, and Frances Perkins, Mink shows how they helped shape a social policy premised on moral character and cultural conformity rather than universal entitlement. According to Mink, commitments to a gendered and racialized ideology of virtuous citizenship led women's reform organizations in the United States to support welfare policies that were designed to uplift and regulate motherhood and thus to reform the cultural character of citizens. The upshot was a welfare agenda that linked maternity with dependency, poverty with cultural weakness, and need with moral failing. Relegating poor women and racial minorities to dependent status, maternalist policy had the effect of stengthening ideological and institutional forms of subordination. In Mink's view, the legacy of this benevolent—and invidious—policy contimies to inflect thinking about welfare reform today.

Lone Mothers in European Welfare Regimes

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Lone Mothers in European Welfare Regimes by Jane E. Lewis Book Resume:

Based on a long-term study of the policies of several European nations' lone mothers, this te×t reveals the contrasting attitudes in Europe towards lone mothers, and how they have been categorized and treated. Also e×amined is the role of men as both carers and cash-providers.

Just Sex

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Just Sex by Jodi Gold,Susan Villari Book Resume:

Just Sex chronicles the movement to bring an end to all forms of sexual violence on campus and gives voice not only to rape victims but also to reformed rape perpetrators, who describe the twisted logic through which rape becomes 'acceptable' to young males and their peers. Just Sex also gathers testimonials about homosexual rape, minorities and sexual violence, and presents the most complete collection of essays and primary documents on a movement that has altered the sexual landscape of our campuses and communities forever.

Beyond "Work First": an Empowering Approach to Welfare Programs

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Beyond "Work First": an Empowering Approach to Welfare Programs by Kerry C. Woodward Book Resume:

The current system of classifying welfare programs divides them into "work first" and "mixed strategy" categories, where the former approach pushes women into the first job they can find, and the latter allows for some education or training along with work. I argue that this classificatory system tells us little about what actually goes on in welfare offices. I spent over a year conducting participant observation and interviews in two welfare-to-work offices in Contra Costa County, California. I propose a new way of examining and comparing welfare programs that looks at the combination of policies, practices, and discourses that shape participants' access to resources, relationships, and information. I contend that welfare to work programs should be viewed through the lens of economic, social, and cultural capital. I illustrate how one welfare program transmits each of these types of capital. In addition, I add to our theoretical understanding of capital by proposing that economic and social capital, like cultural capital, have both dominant and subjugated subtypes. I argue that only by acknowledging and respecting the subjugated forms of capital held by many welfare-reliant women can welfare workers successfully transmit the dominant forms of capital that would help women move permanently toward self-sufficiency. Finally, I elaborate a new classificatory system based on the successful transmission of the three types of capital in welfare programs. I envision a continuum with Empowering programs--those that are the most successful at deploying subjugated capital in order to impart dominant capital--at one end. At the other end of the continuum are Repressive programs--those that fail to make available the three forms of capital or those that impart it in such a way that it is rejected by participants. I intend for my work to shift our focus away from an understanding of TANF implementation that is focused only on state categories of allowable participation, to one that is focused on the overall experiences of participants in the program. I hope it will illuminate some of the ways welfare-to-work programs can improve their programs within the confines of federal and state regulations.

Whose Welfare?

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Whose Welfare? by Gwendolyn Mink Book Resume:

Over the past few decades, the goal of welfare reform has been to move poor families off of welfare, not necessarily out of poverty. By that criterion, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996 has been successful indeed: throughout the nation, millions have vanished from the welfare rolls. But what has been the cost of this "success" to the women and children who were the overwhelming majority of recipients? Here a group of distinguished feminist scholars examines the causes and the impact of recent changes in welfare policy. Some of the authors trace the politics of welfare from the 1960s, emphasizing how attitudes toward "motherwork" and "working mothers" have evolved in the backlash against poor women's motherhood. Several other authors consider the effects of the new welfare policy on employment and wages, on the lives of noncitizen immigrants, on poor women's ability to escape domestic violence, and on their reproductive and parental rights. A third set of authors explores dependency and caregiving, along with the role of feminist thinking on these issues in the politics of welfare. Whose Welfare? concludes with a historical analysis of activism among poor women. By illuminating that legacy, the volume challenges readers to build progressive agendas from the demands and actions of poor and working-class women.

Regulating the Lives of Women

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Regulating the Lives of Women by Mimi Abramovitz,Professor at the School of Social Work Mimi Abramovitz Book Resume:

Praised widely as an outstanding contribution to social welfare and feminist scholarship, as well as political advocacy, Regulating the Lives of Women tells the story of social welfare from women's perspectives. The critical new insights in this new edition of Regulating the Lives of Women will appeal to policymakers, activists, academics, and general readers interested in social welfare, sociology, women's labor, and African-American Studies.

Understanding the Backlash Against Affirmative Action

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Understanding the Backlash Against Affirmative Action by John Fobanjong Book Resume:

Affirmative action remains one of the most divisive issues in America, remaining unsolved since the 1960s civil rights legislation. Though many works have attempted to solve the dilemma, none have tried to identify the underlying causes of the backlash against the policy. In order to understand affirmative action's future, one must understand its evolution, its opposition, and its application both in America and in other nations. In a multi-disciplinary approach, this book examines affirmative action from comparative, historical, policy, and sociological perspectives. Also included is a list of Supreme Court rulings on affirmative action.

The Book Review Digest

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The Book Review Digest by N.A Book Resume:

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Hillbilly élégie

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Hillbilly élégie by J.D. Vance Book Resume:

Dans ce récit à la fois personnel et politique, J.D. Vance raconte son enfance chaotique dans les Appalaches, cette immense région des États-Unis qui a vu l’industrie du charbon et de la métallurgie péricliter. Il décrit avec humanité et bienveillance la rude vie de ces « petits Blancs » du Midwest que l’on dit xénophobes et qui ont voté pour Donald Trump. Roman autobiographique, roman d’un transfuge, Hillbilly Élégie nous fait entendre la voix d’une classe désillusionnée et pose des questions essentielles. Comment peut-on ne pas manger à sa faim dans le pays le plus riche du monde ? Comment l’Amérique démocrate, ouvrière et digne est-elle devenue républicaine, pauvre et pleine de rancune ?

Pregnancy and Power

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Pregnancy and Power by Rickie Solinger Book Resume:

A sweeping chronicle of women's battles for reproductive freedom throughout American history, Pregnancy and Power explores the many forces—social, racial, economic, and political—that have shaped women’s reproductive lives in the United States. Leading historian Rickie Solinger argues that a woman’s control over her body involves much more than the right to choose an abortion. Reproductive politics were at play when slaveholders devised breeding schemes, when the U.S. government took Indian children from their families in the nineteenth century, and when doctors pressed Latina women to be sterilized in the 1970s. Tracing the diverse plot lines of women’s reproductive lives throughout American history, Solinger redefines the idea of reproductive freedom, putting race and class at the center of the effort to control sex and pregnancy in America over time. Solinger asks which women have how many children under what circumstances, and shows how reproductive experiences have been encouraged or coerced, rewarded or punished, honored or exploited over the last 250 years. Viewed in this way, the debate over reproductive rights raises questions about access to sex education and prenatal care, about housing laws, about access to citizenship, and about which women lose children to adoption and foster care. Pregnancy and Power shows that a complete understanding of reproductive politics must take into account the many players shaping public policy—lawmakers, educators, employers, clergy, physicians—as well as the consequences for women who obey and resist these policies. Tracing the diverse plotlines of women's reproductive lives throughout American history, Solinger redefines the idea of reproductive freedom, putting race and class at the center of the struggle to control sex and pregnancy in America.

After Welfare

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After Welfare by Sanford Schram Book Resume:

American mainstream culture has always been fascinated with the notion of the primitive, particularly as embodied by Native Americans. In Inventing the American Primitive, Helen Carr illustrates how responses to the existence of Native American traditions have shaped ideas of American identity and American literature. Inventing the American Primitive examines a body of work, both literary and anthropological, that describes, inscribes, translates and transforms Native American myths and poetry. Drawing on post-colonial and feminist theory, as well as ethnography's recent textual turn, Carr reveals the conflicts and ambivalence in these texts. Through their writings, the writers and anthropologists studied were attempting to preserve a culture which their country, with their help or connivance, sought to destroy. The contradictions and tensions of this position run throughout their work. Although there is no simple narrative of progress in this story, as it moves from the eighteenth-century primitivism to twentieth-century modernism, the book shows the process by which the richness and complexity of Native American traditions came to be acknowledged. Inventing the American Primitive offers a radical new reading of American literary history, as well as fresh insights into the powerful pull of primitivism in United States culture, and into the interactions of gender and race ideologies.

Social Justice

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Social Justice by N.A Book Resume:

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Rich Democracies

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Rich Democracies by Harold L. Wilensky Book Resume:

In this landmark work, the culmination of 30 years of systematic, comprehensive comparison of 19 rich democracies, Wilensky answers two basic questions: (1) What is distinctly modern about modern societies--in what ways are they becoming alike? (2) How do variations in types of political economy shape system performance? He specifies similarities and differences in the structure and interplay of government, political parties, the mass media, industry, labor, professions, agriculture, churches, and voluntary associations. He then demonstrates how differences in bargaining arrangements among these groups lead to contrasting policy profiles and patterns of taxing and spending, which in turn explain a large number of outcomes: economic performance, political legitimacy, equality, job security, safety and risk, real health, the reduction of poverty and environmental threats, and the effectiveness and fairness of regulatory regimes. Drawing on quantitative data and case studies covering the last 50 years and more than 400 interviews he conducted with top decision-makers and advisors, Wilensky provides a richly detailed account of the common social, economic, and labor problems modern governments confront and their contrasting styles of conflict resolution. The result is new light on the likely paths of development of rich democracies as they become richer. Assessing alternative theories, Wilensky offers a powerful critique of such images of modern society as "post-industrial" or "high-tech," "the information age" or the alleged dominance of "globalization." Because he systematically compares all of the rich democracies with at least three million population, Wilensky can specify what is truly exceptional about the United States, what it shares with Britain and Britain abroad (Canada, Australia, New Zealand) and what it shares with all or almost all of the West European democracies, Israel, and Japan. He gives careful attention to which successful social and labor policies are transferable across nations and which are not. Rich Democracies will interest both scholars and practitioners. It combines the perspectives of political economy (the interplay of markets and politics) and political sociology (the social bases of politics). It will be especially useful in courses on comparative political economy, comparative politics, European politics, public policy, political sociology, the welfare state, American government, advanced industrial societies, and industrial relations.


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Sociology by Richard T. Schaefer,Robert P. Lamm Book Resume:

By focusing closely on the basic ideas behind sociological theory and research, this concise text provides a firm knowledge base without overwhelming students with nonessential material. Because theories and research methods are applied to substantive areas throughout the text, students develop the kind of meaningful understanding often acquired only through more expensive, full-length texts.