Whose Welfare? (Paperback)Gwendolyn Mink (editor)
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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.
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Number of pages: 288
Weight: 397 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 16 mm
"Care work has to be done and is crucially important for the welfare of society as a whole; we are interdependent when it comes to care. This book does a huge service in putting care on the wider welfare agenda."* The Journal of American History *
"Challenges the ways in which policymakers conceive welfare reforms.... The author explores how and why the emphasis of welfare policy should be reoriented away from regulating mothers to rewarding their caregiving work."* International Social Security Review *
"In a series of nuanced and provocative essays, these feminist scholars lay bare the 1994 federal welfare reform law, exposing its sexist and racist assumptions... At the same time, [they] map out the road to a future where the answer towhose welfare? will include women of all classes, races, and backgrounds. This is a must-read handbook for all who are trying to make that future a reality."-- Martha F. Davis, Legal Director, NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund, author of Brutal Need: Lawyers and the Welfare Rights Movement
"In this edited collection, politics professor Mink has done an extremely admirable job of covering nearly all these angles of vision through a series of essays penned by a diverse range of feminist and progressive scholars. From this perspective, Whose Welfare? includes some of the very best work available... Whose Welfare? is simply a must have for any scholar interested in the issue of welfare reform."* Contemporary Sociology *
"Mink... has edited a timely collection of papers on the current US family welfare system.... highly recommended for those wanting a feminist view of this highly important topic. Public and academic collections, lower-division undergraduate through research."* Choice *
"This is a remarkable collection of essays -intelligent, thoughtful, and policy-relevant. The authors cover the full range of issues in the current welfare reform. Written from a feminist perspective, the book sheds light on important questions of where our country wants to go in its war against poor single mothers and their children."-- Joel Handler, UCLA School of Law
"This volume gives us a clear historical and contemporary overview of welfare policy and practice. The material in this volume improves our broader understanding of the promise and pitfalls of welfare initiatives, and how long these have affected women, including those who are imprisoned in the United States."-- Russ Immarigeon * Women, Girls and Criminal Justice *
"Whose Welfare?... is a welcome and timely addition to the growing body of feminist literature on welfare in the United States... It presents an excellent analysis of the causes and effects of recent welfare reform... This book should be an inspiration to those working for progressive social welfare policies in which poor women, and therefore all women, are treated with dignity and respect."* Feminist Economics *