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Inventing the Needy offers a powerful, innovative analysis of welfare policies and practices in Hungary from 1948 to the last decade of the twentieth century. Using a compelling mix of archival, interview, and ethnographic data, Lynne Haney shows that three distinct welfare regimes succeeded one another during that period and that they were based on divergent conceptions of need. The welfare society of 1948-1968 targeted social institutions, the maternalist welfare state of 1968-1985 targeted social groups, and the liberal welfare state of 1985-1996 targeted impoverished individuals. Because they reflected contrasting conceptions of gender and of state-recognized identities, these three regimes resulted in dramatically different lived experiences of welfare.
Haney's approach bridges the gaps in scholarship that frequently separate past and present, ideology and reality, and state policies and local practices. A wealth of case histories gleaned from the archives of welfare institutions brings to life the interactions between caseworkers and clients and the ways they changed over time.
In one of her most provocative findings, Haney argues that female clients' ability to use the state to protect themselves in everyday life diminished over the fifty-year period. As the welfare system moved away from linking entitlement to clients' social contributions and toward their material deprivation, the welfare system, and those associated with it, became increasingly stigmatized and pathologized. With its focus on shifting inventions of the needy, this broad historical ethnography brings new insights to the study of welfare state theory and politics.
List of Tables
Introduction: Conceptualizing the Welfare State
The Welfare Society, 19481968
Chapter 1: Socializing Need:
The Restructuring of Social and Economic
Chapter 2: Strategies of
The Maternalist Welfare State, 19681985
The Dynamics of Change: Hungarian Professionals Reform the Welfare Society
Chapter 3: Maternalizing Need:
Specialization and the Quality Control of Motherhood
Chapter 4: Strategies of Expansion:
Possibilities and Limitations
The Liberal Welfare State, 19851996
The Dynamics of Change: Professionalization and Globalization
Chapter 5: Materializing Need:
The Regulation of Poverty and the Stigmatization of the Poor
Chapter 6: Strategies of Excavation:
Inclusions and Exclusions
Conclusion: Welfare Lessons from East to West
Methodological Appendix: Historical Excavation in an Era of Censorship