Does America Hate the Poor?: The Other American Dilemma Lessons for the 21st Century from the 1960s and the 1970s

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Overview

Tropman examines American values and the two groups that threaten those values. One might wonder why, in the world's wealthiest society, do the poor seem so stigmatized. Tropman's answer is that they represent potential and actual fates that create anxiety within the dominant culture and within the actual poor themselves. The response in society is hatred of the poor, he contends, and among the poor themselves, self-hatred.

Two groups of poor are analyzed. The status poor—those at the bottom of America's money, deference, power, education, or occupation (and combinations of those). The status poor embody the truth that, in the land of opportunity, not all succeed. The elderly are the life cycle poor. They are deficient of future, and in the land of opportunity, to have one's own life trajectory circumscribe hope is a condition that must be denied. Poorhate is a classic example of blame the victim. Tropman explores the process of poorhate through data from the 1960s and 1970s, and he uses the past to illuminate the probelms of the present, and, hopefully, to assist in crafting a better future. A provocative work for students and scholars of social welfare policy and policymakers themselves.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Tropman (social policy, U. of Michigan) presents a close look at who is poor in America, followed by discussion of conceptions of the underclass, images of the aged, and the sources of American attitudes toward the poor. Some of the reports are from the poor and the old themselves, but all members of society are represented in the data. All of the assessments were taken during the active period of the welfare state, from the mid-1960s through the 1970s. The author points to this history and analysis as a way of understanding the "welfare reform" of 1996, which reflects society's continuing negativity and hostility. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780275961329
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/30/1998
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 188
  • Lexile: 1210L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

JOHN E. TROPMAN is Professor of Social Policy, School of Social Work, The University of Michigan.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
Pt. I Who Are the Poor, and Does America Hate Them? 1
1 How America Hates the Poor 5
2 Poorfare Culture, Welfare State 17
Pt. II Pictures in Plenty: Conceptions of the Underclass 25
3 Laggards and Lushes: Images of the Poor 27
4 The Decent Poverty Stricken: Images of the Near Poor 45
5 The Overseer of the Poor: View from the County Welfare Office 59
6 Mothers: Opinions and Stereotypes 73
Pt. III The Life Cycle Poor: Images of the Aged 81
7 Images of the Elderly 85
8 American Culture and the Aged: Stereotypes and Realities 93
9 What the Public Thinks: Older and Younger Adults 107
Pt. IV Why America Hates the Poor 125
10 The Poorfare State: Embodiment and Revelation 129
11 Social Exploitation 133
12 Mirror of Destiny 145
References 153
Bibliography 159
Index 169
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