Inventing the Needy: Gender and the Politics of Welfare in Hungary

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2002 Hard cover New. No dust jacket. Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. 351 p. Audience: General/trade.

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"In her beautifully written, deeply researched, and elegantly argued book, Lynne Haney shows how much American policy-makers can learn from Hungary's social welfare experience. By unpacking the very different strategies that Hungary has adopted during the past half-century, Haney's account illuminates basic policy choices about how a society-any society-addresses the problems of poverty. It makes indispensable reading for those, on both sides of the Atlantic, who care about the lives of the poor."-David Kirp, author of Gender Justice
"Inventing the Needy is a theoretically engaged and methodologically innovative ethnography of Hungarian welfare regimes from 1948 to 1996. Studying the state 'from below,' her multi-layered and multi-sited analysis of the transformations in state policies and institutional practices, and their effects on everyday life, is an important contribution to comparative studies of welfare states, the social construction of the materialization and materialization of need, as well as to critical socialist, postsocialist, and feminist studies. Well-written, lucidly argued, thoughtful, and thought-provoking!"-Gail Kligman, author of The Politics of Duplicity:Controlling Reproduction in Ceausescu's Romania
"Inventing the Needy stands at the forefront of a new generation of revisionist scholarship. It dispenses with the sharp dichotomies of capitalism and communism and forsakes triumphal interpretations of the transition to the free market and liberal democracy. Looking at Hungary through the eyes of women and their experiences with successive welfare regimes, Lynne Haney offers a more balanced and variegated picture of the state socialist past and a more sober account of the capitalist present. Inventing the Needy is a brilliant combination of ethnography, history, and theory."-Michael Burawoy, co-author of Global Ethnography:Forces, Connections, and Imaginations in a Postmodern World
"Lynne Haney's provocative, original, and altogether brilliant study of welfare restructuring in Hungary in the wake of 1989 challenges us to rethink gender, states and social policies in both 'east' and 'west,' while providing essential conceptual tools for doing so."-Ann Shola Orloff, coauthor of States, Markets, Families:Gender, Liberalism and Social Policy in Australia, Canada, Great Britain and the United States
"This important book engages the central issue sociology faces after the fall of communism. Inventing the Needy is a careful, empirically well documented, and beautifully written analysis of the Hungarian welfare system during and after socialism. Haney shows that a critical analysis of capitalism is possible from the perspective of a socialist alternative, even today. She challenges 'transitologists,' who often contrast an idealized capitalist present with a homogeneous and negative view of socialism. This book is a must for those interested in theoretical debates about socialism and capitalism and in the welfare state and gender relations under and after socialism."-Ivan Szelenyi, author of Privatizing the Land:Rural Political Economy in Post-Communist and Socialist Societies and co-author of Making Capitalism without Capitalists:Class Formation and Elite Struggles in Post-Communist Central Europe

Author Biography:Lynne Haney is Assistant Professor of Sociology at New York University.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520225718
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 6/3/2002
  • Pages: 351
  • Lexile: 1260L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.25 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Tables
Introduction: Conceptualizing the Welfare State 1
Pt. I The Welfare Society, 1948-1968
1 Socializing Need: The Restructuring of Social and Economic Institutions 25
2 Strategies of Integration: Collectivism and Individualism 62
Pt. II The Maternalist Welfare State, 1968-1985: The Dynamics of Change: Hungarian Professionals Reform the Welfare Society 91
3 Maternalizing Need: Specialization and the Quality Control of Motherhood 99
4 Strategies of Expansion: Possibilities and Limitations 131
Pt. III The Liberal Welfare State, 1985-1996: The Dynamics of Change: Professionalization and Globalization 165
5 Materializing Need: The Regulation of Poverty and the Stigmatization of the Poor 173
6 Strategies of Excavation: Inclusions and Exclusions 206
Conclusion: Welfare Lessons from East to West 237
Methodological App.: Historical Excavation in an Era of Censorship 249
Notes 261
References 305
Index 321
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