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This down-to-earth look at the welfare system provides readers with stories from welfare recipients themselves: how they got onto welfare, what the reality of welfare (and welfare reform) is for them, issues with raising their families, and what their plans, hopes, and dreams are for the future. Welfare recipients who were interviewed by the author share their perspectives on work requirements, family caps, time limits, and other features of the new welfare reform (TANF) program. These qualitative interviews are theoretically grounded, and supplemented with up-to-date statewide and national data on welfare reform and its consequences.
Underneath the political rhetoric and welfare statistics are real live human beings who are trying to make sense out of their lives. Their voices provide a crucial counterpoint to the politicians and policy “experts” who have shaped the policy reform initiative. They show us that the so-called welfare problem is related to the insecurity of low-tier work in the United States.
What Reviewers Are Saying:
I particularly like the way Seccombe goes back and forth between “big picture” history and data and her interviews with real people.
–Echo E. Fields, Southern Oregon University
Each chapter covers issues of importance as we address poverty/welfare and its impact on the lives of women and children. [This text] is readable by students at all levels, it is interesting in that it provides for my students real life examples, and most importantly, it challenges those stereotypes that so many students have when they think of poor women and children.
–Jane McCandless, West Georgia University
Students find Seccombe’s text easy to read and engaging.
–Jackie McReynolds, Washington State University
|1||Introduction : putting a face on welfare||1|
|2||Historical and persisting dilemmas : how do we explain poverty, what should we do about it?||29|
|3||Stigma and discrimination||52|
|5||Day-to-day living and decision making||110|
|6||Living and surviving welfare : the importance of family, friends, and formal support||133|
|7||Insiders' perspectives on the welfare system||159|
|8||Getting off welfare||187|
|9||Conclusion : lessons learned and visions of change||215|