Race and the Politics of Welfare Reform
Publication Year: 2003
Published by: University of Michigan Press
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Imagine what it would take for welfare politics in the United States to be unaffected by race. The social problems addressed by the welfare system—poverty, health, life skills, and the like—would need to be equally distributed across racial groups. The composition of welfare recipients, both in fact and in the public mind, would have to reflect...
1. Race and the Limits of Solidarity: American Welfare State Development in Comparative Perspective
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The 1990s was not the first era of American welfare reform in the Era, the New Deal, and the Great Society—Americans dramatically reshaped welfare policies, creating the familiar complex of programs that was reformed yet again in 1996. Perhaps the dominant theme of this history has been the deepening and increasingly troubling link between race ...
2. Ghettos, Fiscal Federalism, and Welfare Reform
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Welfare reform in 1996 had little to do with poverty; it had a lot to do with racialized politics of poverty. Conservatives declared that anything was better than the old welfare system for poor women and that their plans for tough work requirements and time-limited benefits was a policy of hope. What they were really interested in was politically ...
3. “Laboratories of Democracy” or Symbolic Politics?: The Racial Origins of Welfare Reform
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In August 1996, President Clinton signed into law the Personal Responsibility Work Reconciliation Act (PRWORA), the most comprehensive and far-reaching collection of public assistance reforms seen in decades. While the legislation affected a number of federal programs, much of the discussion surrounding this legislation has been ...
Mass Media and Mass Attitudes
4. How the Poor Became Black: The Racialization of American Poverty in the Mass Media
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Race and poverty are now so closely entwined that it is hard to believe there was a time when discussions of American poverty neglected blacks altogether. African Americans have always been disproportionately poor, but black poverty was ignored by white society throughout most of our history. ...
5. Race Matters: The Impact of News Coverage of Welfare Reform on Public Opinion
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Since the passage of national welfare reform legislation in 1996, media coverage of welfare has been remarkable in at least two respects. First, given the usual tendency for the media to give short shrift to public policy, news coverage of welfare reform policy has been comparatively intense (e.g., Clawson and Trice 2000). Second, and more ...
6. Racial Context, Public Attitudes, and Welfare Effort in the American States
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For decades, social scientists have recognized a connection between the politics of race and welfare policy. Researchers consistently find a strong relationship between the size of a state’s minority population and its generosity to social welfare recipients (Howard 1999). States with larger proportions of minorities tend to be less generous in ...
7. Queens, Teens, and Model Mothers: Race, Gender, and the Discourse of Welfare Reform
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For democratic theorists and other scholars interested in theorizing the promise and pitfalls of citizen participation in the contemporary public sphere, the welfare reform debate surrounding the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA) provides an emblematic case study. In the period preceding ...
8. Putting a Black Face on Welfare: The Good and the Bad
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“Everyone who knows anything about welfare knows that most recipients are white.” This is a common statement often made in conversation among people concerned about racist representations of welfare in the mass media. It often goes unchallenged. In fact, in recent years it seems to have taken on the status of an unquestioned truth ...
Policy Choice and Implementation
9. The Hard Line and the Color Line: Race, Welfare, and the Roots of Get-Tough Reform
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The Social Security Act of 1935 laid the groundwork for something poor families had never had in the United States: a federal entitlement to public aid.1 Thirty-five years later, in the wake of legal victories in the 1960s, this entitlement began to bear fruit in the form of greater access and equity in the Aid to Families with Dependent Children ...
10. Contemporary Approaches to Enduring Challenges: Using Performance Measures to Promote Racial Equality under TANF
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The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) allows states considerable discretion in developing their Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) programs. Although national TANF caseloads have decreased dramatically, recent studies suggest racial disparities exist in caseload declines, case ...
Beyond Welfare Reform: Race & Social Policy in the States
11. Race/Ethnicity and Referenda on Redistributive Health Care Policy
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As the preceding chapters have shown, racial and ethnic diversity has played a significant role in shaping welfare policy outcomes. Despite the importance of this research, the existing literature is limited in two important ways. First, past research on race and welfare policy has focused almost exclusively on a cash assistance program—Aid to ...
12. Racial/Ethnic Diversity and States’ Public Policies: Social Policies as Context for Welfare Policies
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The federal structure of the U.S. governmental system is important in numerous and varied ways. One major implication is that state governments are significant policymakers in the United States. Historically, the states have been the primary domestic public policy makers and, despite tremendous changes over time, they remain so (Elazar 1966). ...
13. Why Welfare Is Racist
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In a racist society, it is inevitable that policies to assist the poor labor system is organized around racial distinctions, so will assistance programs reflect and reiterate those distinctions. Otherwise the too-generous provision of assistance to racially subordinate groups would create an alternative to the low-wage labor to which they are consigned, thus ...
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Page Count: 392
Illustrations: 10 drawings, 1 photograph, 18 tables
Publication Year: 2003