Dividing Citizens: Gender and Federalism in New Deal Public Policy / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Buy Used
Buy Used from BN.com
(Save 41%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $2.24
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 93%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (17) from $2.24   
  • New (6) from $25.18   
  • Used (11) from $2.24   


The New Deal was not the same deal for men and women—a finding strikingly demonstrated in Dividing Citizens. Rich with implications for current debates over citizenship and welfare policy, this book provides a detailed historical account of how governing institutions and public policies shape social status and civic life. In her examination of the impact of New Deal social and labor policies on the organization and character of American citizenship, Suzanne Mettler offers an incisive analysis of the formation and implementation of the pillars of the modern welfare state: the Social Security Act, including Old Age and Survivors' Insurance, Old Age Assistance, Unemployment Insurance, and Aid to Dependent Children (later known simply as "welfare"), as well as the Fair Labor Standards Act, which guaranteed the minimum wage.

Mettler draws on the methods of historical-institutionalists to develop a "structured governance" approach to her analysis of the New Deal. She shows how the new welfare state institutionalized gender politically, most clearly by incorporating men, particularly white men, into nationally administered policies and consigning women to more variable state-run programs. Differential incorporation of citizens, in turn, prompted different types of participation in politics. These gender-specific consequences were the outcome of a complex interplay of institutional dynamics, political imperatives, and the unintended consequences of policy implementation actions. By tracing the subtle and complicated political dynamics that emerged with New Deal policies, Mettler sounds a cautionary note as we once again negotiate the bounds of American federalism and public policy.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"In this impressively researched book, Mettler offers a fresh twist, applying the lens of gender to often-studied labor and social welfare programs."—Choice

"Students of social policy will find much that is valuable in Mettler's book."—The Journal of American History

"Mettler's book is interesting and would be well read by anyone interested in New Deal political economy."—Journal of Economic History

"Politically astute, theoretically sophisticated, and historically informed."—Eileen Boris, University of Virginia. American Studies, 2001

"In this important book, Mettler asserts that the New Deal creation of divided citizenship disadvantaged women by treating them with both equality and difference. . . By pursuing both courses, the New Deal state enshrined and intensified women's inequality..One approach of the other. . . would have rendered better results. . . Mettler's book is a persuasive, well-conceived, and thoughtful analysis of how the promises of broadened social citizenship rights. . . reinforced inequality and discrimination in the realm of the state."—Elizabeth Faue, Wayne State University. American Historical Review, April 2001

"Mettler's analysis of the political and institutional aspects of New Deal public policy adds a useful perspective to studies of gender and the welfare state. . . A fascinating, finely detailed piece of research written in an accessible style for specialists and generalists alike."—Joanne L. Goodwin, University of Nevada, Law and History Review, Summer 2001

"Suzanne Mettler has written a magnificent book. Each of the six detailed cases authoritatively presents fresh information based on a comprehensive command of a very large range of primary sources. Mettler gives a vivid sense of who the New Deal policymakers were and what their strategic goals and concerns were. While the book offers a structural analysis, real people are clearly depicted coping with or defending the institutional structure of federalism as they struggle over the design of national policy."—Richard M. Valelly, Swarthmore College

"Dividing Citizens will make a fine addition to the growing literature on women and the welfare state. The policy case studies are expert and lucid, giving a very deep anchor to feminist claims that the New Deal was gender biased. Mettler's powerful narrative control makes it possible for the non-specialist to follow the maze of policy-making and policy implementation."—Gwendolyn Mink, author of Welfare's End

"A highly original and sophisticated analysis that penetrates to the heart of the policymaking process, with significant implications for the serious and often hidden impact of 'states' rights' on women's rights. A landmark study, brilliantly intertwining institutional arrangements and moral concerns."—James MacGregor Burns, Williams College

"Dividing Citizens provides a fresh and provocative view of the New Deal—one that adds philosophical and historical depth to our understanding of the 'gender gap' in contemporary politics. Suzanne Mettler's close examination of the major policies enacted during the 1930s reveals how the New Deal extended the rights of individuals to the social and economic dimensions of citizenship, but fell short of upholding the rights of women to participate fully in this economic constitutional order. Skillfully combining intellectual, institutional, and policy history, Dividing Citizens encourages us to revisit the fundamental issue of how the New Deal welfare state affected the character and experience of American citizenship."—Sidney M. Milkis, Brandeis University

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801485466
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/1998
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
List of Tables
Abbreviations Used in the Text and Notes
Ch. 1 Structured Governance and Citizenship in the New Deal 1
Ch. 2 From Dual Federalism to a New Deal 28
Ch. 3 The Formation of Old Age Insurance and Old Age Assistance 53
Ch. 4 The Development and Implementation of Old Age Insurance and Old Age Assistance 85
Ch. 5 The Formation of Unemployment Insurance and Aid to Dependent Children 119
Ch. 6 The Development and Implementation of Unemployment Insurance and Aid to Dependent Children 143
Ch. 7 The Formation of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 176
Ch. 8 The Implementation of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 196
Ch. 9 Divided Citizens 211
Index 233
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)