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The White Welfare State: The Racialization of U.S. Welfare Policy

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The White Welfare State challenges common misconceptions of the development of U.S. welfare policy. Arguing that race has always been central to welfare policy-making in the United States, Deborah Ward breaks new ground by showing that the Mothers' Pensions--the Progressive-Era precursors to modern welfare programs--were premised on a policy of racial discrimination agains The White Welfare State challenges common misconceptions of the development of U.S. welfare policy. Arguing that race has always been central to welfare policy-making in the United States, Deborah Ward breaks new ground by showing that the Mothers' Pensions--the Progressive-Era precursors to modern welfare programs--were premised on a policy of racial discrimination against blacks and other minorities. Ward's rigorous and thoroughly documented analysis demonstrates that the creation and implementation of the mothers' pensions program was driven by debates about who "deserved" social welfare and not who needed it the most. "In The White Welfare State, Deborah Ward assembles a powerful array of documentary and statistical evidence to reveal the mechanisms, centrality, and deep historical continuity of racial exclusion in modern 'welfare' provision in the United States. Bringing unparalleled scrutiny to the provisions and implementation of state-level mothers' pensions, she argues persuasively that racialized patterns of welfare administration were firmly entrenched in this Progressive Era legislation, only to be adopted and reinforced in the New Deal welfare state. With rigorous and clear-eyed analysis, she pushes us to confront the singular role of race in welfare's development, from its early 20th-century origins to its official demise at century's end." --Alice O'Connor, University of California at Santa Barbara "This is a richly informative and arresting work. The White Welfare State will force a reevaluation of the role racism has played as a fundamental feature in even the most progressive features of the American welfare state. Written elegantly, this book will provoke a wide-ranging discussion among social scientists, historians, and students of public policy." --Ira Katznelson, Ruggles Professor of Political Science and History, Columbia University "This book offers an original and absorbing account of early policies that shaped the course of the American welfare state. It extends yet challenges extant interpretations and expands our understanding of the interconnections of race and class issues in the U.S., and American political development more broadly." --Rodney Hero, University of Notre Dame


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The White Welfare State challenges common misconceptions of the development of U.S. welfare policy. Arguing that race has always been central to welfare policy-making in the United States, Deborah Ward breaks new ground by showing that the Mothers' Pensions--the Progressive-Era precursors to modern welfare programs--were premised on a policy of racial discrimination agains The White Welfare State challenges common misconceptions of the development of U.S. welfare policy. Arguing that race has always been central to welfare policy-making in the United States, Deborah Ward breaks new ground by showing that the Mothers' Pensions--the Progressive-Era precursors to modern welfare programs--were premised on a policy of racial discrimination against blacks and other minorities. Ward's rigorous and thoroughly documented analysis demonstrates that the creation and implementation of the mothers' pensions program was driven by debates about who "deserved" social welfare and not who needed it the most. "In The White Welfare State, Deborah Ward assembles a powerful array of documentary and statistical evidence to reveal the mechanisms, centrality, and deep historical continuity of racial exclusion in modern 'welfare' provision in the United States. Bringing unparalleled scrutiny to the provisions and implementation of state-level mothers' pensions, she argues persuasively that racialized patterns of welfare administration were firmly entrenched in this Progressive Era legislation, only to be adopted and reinforced in the New Deal welfare state. With rigorous and clear-eyed analysis, she pushes us to confront the singular role of race in welfare's development, from its early 20th-century origins to its official demise at century's end." --Alice O'Connor, University of California at Santa Barbara "This is a richly informative and arresting work. The White Welfare State will force a reevaluation of the role racism has played as a fundamental feature in even the most progressive features of the American welfare state. Written elegantly, this book will provoke a wide-ranging discussion among social scientists, historians, and students of public policy." --Ira Katznelson, Ruggles Professor of Political Science and History, Columbia University "This book offers an original and absorbing account of early policies that shaped the course of the American welfare state. It extends yet challenges extant interpretations and expands our understanding of the interconnections of race and class issues in the U.S., and American political development more broadly." --Rodney Hero, University of Notre Dame

21 review for The White Welfare State: The Racialization of U.S. Welfare Policy

  1. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

    Really helped me see a case for a larger federal government. The history of the mother's pension welfare program illuminates explicit, institutionalized racism in the distribution of goods; although the program was nationally instituted, local government authorities determined whether a recipient was eligible to receive aid, and their criteria was heavily influenced by local racist ideology.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly Hough

  3. 4 out of 5

    Alexa

  4. 5 out of 5

    Siddartha

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ann Santori

  6. 5 out of 5

    Destiny

  7. 4 out of 5

    Brian

  8. 5 out of 5

    carmille

  9. 5 out of 5

    Wonderwoman

  10. 4 out of 5

    Michael Strode

  11. 5 out of 5

    Dot

  12. 5 out of 5

    tom bomp

  13. 4 out of 5

    Northlake Public Library District

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ivo

  15. 4 out of 5

    Nicole Rancourt

  16. 4 out of 5

    BookDB

  17. 5 out of 5

    Reza Amiri Praramadhan

  18. 5 out of 5

    Yigisox

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ben

  20. 5 out of 5

    PKN1 GoodReads

  21. 4 out of 5

    Courtney Whited

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