Cover image for Lost ground : welfare reform, poverty and beyond
Lost ground : welfare reform, poverty and beyond
Albelda, Randy Pearl.
First edition.
Publication Information:
Cambridge, MA : South End Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
x, 244 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
Who deserves help? Who must provide? / Globalization, American politics, and welfare policy / Welfare reform, family hardship, and women of color / Success stories: welfare reform, policy discourse, and the politics of research / Fallacies of welfare-to-work policies / Violating women: rights abuses in the welfare police state / Attacking welfare racism/honoring poor people's human rights / Welfare reform and neighborhoods: race and civic participation / Friends or foes? Non-profits and the puzzle of welfare reform / Learning from the history of poor and working-class women's activism / Closing the care gap that welfare reform left behind / view from the bottom: poor people and their allies respond to welfare reform

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HV95 .L73 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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2002 marks the fifth anniversary of federal welfare reform in the US, and politicians and human rights advocates are debating the re-authorisation of new requirements for poor women and families receiving aid. This anthology analyses welfare in the context of broad political shifts, and posits more effective means for ending poverty.In the mid-1980s, the popularity of Charles Murray's anti-welfare treatise Losing Ground signaled the rising influence of the right-wing critique of welfare. In Lost Ground: Welfare Reform, Poverty and Beyond, a respected array of social scientists buck the conservative trend established by Murray and his cohorts, exposing welfare reform as a sham and positing new strategies to end poverty.Since 1996, when Bill Clinton pushed welfare reform legislation through Congress, the United States has drastically restructured its national policies regarding basic state supports for the poor. The evidence that welfare reform has created more problems than it has solved is mounting.The downside of welfare reform is documented in Lost Ground.This anthology analyses welfare issues in the context of broad political shifts, including globalization, the end of the family wage, the sexual revolution, and the rise of black liberation, feminism, and multiculturalism.

Author Notes

Randy Albelda teaches economics and Ann Withorn teaches social policy at the University of Massachusetts at Boston

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

Much of this book's stimulating content which critiques the impact of the 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) appeared originally in September 2001 as a special issue of the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. Albelda (economics, Univ. of Massachusetts, Boston; Economics and Feminism) and Withorn (social policy, Univ. of Massachusetts, Boston) characterize the bias of the 14 contributors (e.g., Lucy White, Joe Soss) as "feminist, antiracist, and progressive." These contributors consider the attitudes toward gender and race of those who crafted and support the act, claiming that its welfare-to-work stipulations are designed not so much to alleviate poverty as to get recipients off "the dole." Throughout these reasoned essays, a recurring theme is that the PRWORA overlooks, if not actively discourages, the prerequisites for self-sufficiency, i.e., a living wage, affordable child care and shelter, education and vocational training, healthcare support, and community- and individually-based power. The act's single-minded goal appears to be discontinuing welfare help "as we know it." This thoughtful and socially relevant work is highly recommended for academic, public, and professional libraries. (Index not seen.) Suzanne W. Wood, SUNY Coll. of Technology at Alfred (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Barbara EhrenreichRandy Albelda and Ann WithornLinda GordonFrances Fox PivenLinda BurnhamSanford F. Schram and Joe SossRandy AlbeldaGwendolyn MinkKenneth J. NeubeckJames JenningsAnn WithornMimi AbramovitzLucie E. WhiteWillie Baptist and Mary Bricker-Jenkins
Prefacep. vii
Introductionp. 1
Who Deserves Help? Who Must Provide?p. 9
Globalization, American Politics, and Welfare Policyp. 27
Welfare Reform, Family Hardship, and Women of Colorp. 43
Success Stories: Welfare Reform, Policy Discourse, and the Politics of Researchp. 57
Fallacies of Welfare-to-Work Policiesp. 79
Violating Women: Rights Abuses in the Welfare Police Statep. 95
Attacking Welfare Racism/Honoring Poor People's Human Rightsp. 113
Welfare Reform and Neighborhoods: Race and Civic Participationp. 129
Friends or Foes? Non-profits and the Puzzle of Welfare Reformp. 145
Learning from the History of Poor and Working-Class Women's Activismp. 163
Closing the Care Gap that Welfare Reform Left Behindp. 179
A View from the Bottom: Poor People and Their Allies Respond to Welfare Reformp. 195
Appendix A Guide to Organizations and Resource Centersp. 211
Appendix B Guide to Government and Statistical Resources on the Internetp. 225
Appendix C Guide to Poverty Research Matarialsp. 229
About the Contributorsp. 231
Indexp. 235