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Welfare Reform and Sexual Regulation (Paperback)
  • Welfare Reform and Sexual Regulation (Paperback)
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Welfare Reform and Sexual Regulation (Paperback)

(author)
£21.99
Paperback 288 Pages / Published: 09/07/2007
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Inspired by the political interventions of feminist women of color and Foucauldian social theory, Anna Marie Smith explores the scope and structure of the child support enforcement, family cap, marriage promotion, and abstinence education measures that are embedded within contemporary United States welfare policy. Presenting original legal research and drawing from historical sources, social theory, and normative frameworks, the author argues that these measures violate the rights of poor mothers. Drawing on several historical precedents the author shows that welfare policy has consistently constructed the sexual conduct of the racialized poor mother as one of its primary disciplinary targets. The book concludes with a vigorous and detailed critique of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's support for welfare reform law and an outline of a progressive feminist approach to poverty policy.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521527842
Number of pages: 288
Weight: 420 g
Dimensions: 233 x 155 x 18 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"Smith's book is grand in scope. Not only does it explore the nuances of paternafare policy and ideology, it also engages social theory and offers suggestions for future policy changes. Welfare Reform and Sexual Regulation presents a challenge, then, to welfare reformers and feminists alike, particularly those who may have supported the reform or see elements of a feminist politics within it. Smith reminds us that while it is not enough for poverty activists to focus on welfare's failure to end poverty without attending to issues of sexual regulation, it is also not enough for feminists to fight for reproductive rights without attending to issues of poverty." Karen Zivi, University of Richmond, Politics and Gender
"[Smith] admirably specifies the gendered, racial, and hetero-normative content of a eugenic project that in important ways suspends democratic norms and the law. Her book is a truly valuable contribution to theorizing about democracy and its limits, and about the ways in which gender, race, class, and (hetero-normative) sexuality intersect with democratic citizenship and state power." Kathleen R. Arnold, University of Texas, Perspectives on Politics
"Welfare Reform and Sexual Regulation is a compelling work; it is likely to become the gold standard in discussions of contemporary welfare policy. Deeply grounded in theory, it also manages to move pragmatic discussion about welfare policy forward....This book is a call for social justice that commands attention and respect." -Alice Hearst, Department of Government, Smith College, Law and Politics Book Review
"Theoretically sophisticated, empirically rich, and politically astute, Welfare Reform and Sexual Regulation shifts our attention from workfare to `paternafare,' the forcing of poor women to identify the birth father of their children in order to receive public assistance and poor men to reimburse the state for such payments. Smith's discussion of sexual regulation and the bio-power apparatus surrounding it represents a major conceptual breakthrough that makers, as well as interpreters, of public policy can not afford to ignore. Her call for the end of marriage and the development of a caregiver grant boldly challenges the terms of welfare reform as we know it." -Eileen Boris, University of California, Santa Barbara
"In this incisive and far-reaching analysis, Anna Marie Smith excavates the labyrinth of welfare regulation to unearth its hidden punishments and rights violations and to puncture the mythology of compassion that has accompanied welfare `reform.' Smith's indictment of `reform' and its supporters is powerfully argued and convincing. And so is her vision for change. This is a major contribution to feminist theory and democratic politics, and essential reading for all who are working to rebuild a genuinely progressive agenda." -Alice O'Connor, University of California, Santa Barbara

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