Under Attack, Fighting Back: Women and Welfare in the United States / Edition 2

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Drawing on first-hand reports of women forced to leave welfare and other newly available data, Mimi Abramovitz documents the impact of this historic change in public policy on the lives of poor single mothers and their children. She punctures the highly publicized claims that equate successful reform with shrunken rolls, showing that if the reformers set out to improve the lives of women and children, something went dangerously awry. Abramovitz argues that welfare reform has penalized single motherhood; exposed poor women to the risks of hunger, hopelessness, and male violence: swept them into low paid jobs, and left many former recipients unable to make ends meet." "Under Attack, Fighting Back also presents the long history of punitive attacks on programs for poor single mothers and applies a gender lens to conventional theories of the welfare state. The last essay, a short history of low-income women's activism during the twentieth century, pays special attention to the welfare-rights activism spurred by the latest welfare reform. Contrary to popular wisdom, Abramovitz shows that poor women have always the courage and ability to fight back.

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Editorial Reviews

In These Times
Extraordinarily lucid and useful . . .
Journal of Sociology Social Welfare
This lively and informative book deserves to be widely read. It provides an excellent history of AFDC and the activities of various women's groups who have campaigned hard over the years for improvements in services to the poor.
From The Critics
Now in a newly updated edition, Mimi Abramovitz's Under Attack, Fighting Back: Women And Welfare In The United States continues to offer insight and information on recent developments in welfare "reform" and welfare rights activism. Abramovitz documents the impact of that recent historic changes in welfare policies have had on the lives of impoverish single mothers and their children. Contrary to popular wisdom, governmental hype, and media reports, poor women have always had the courage and ability to fight injustice in behalf of themselves and their children. That struggle continues today as political activists continue to strive to humanize and truly reform current welfare policies. Under Attack, Fighting Back is "must" reading for women's rights advocates, political activists, social reformers, welfare policy makers, and welfare program administrators.
Labor History
Abramovitz introduces the reader to cutting edge socioeconomic analysis. . . . It is not possible to come away from Under Attack, Fighting Back with a sense that welfare is a simplistic topic or that the human consequences of adjustments in the existing system are inconsequential.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781583670088
  • Publisher: Monthly Review Press
  • Publication date: 3/1/2000
  • Edition description: REVISED
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 184
  • Sales rank: 1,169,040
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.42 (d)

Meet the Author

Mimi Abramovitz is a professor at the Hunter College School of Social Work and author of Regulating the Lives of Women: Social Welfare Policy from Colonial Times to the Present (1988), as well as many articles on women, poverty, and social policy for professional journals and the popular press.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 7
Preface 9
Pt. 1 Under Attack: Women and Welfare Reform Today 13
Pt. 2 A Program Just for Single Mothers 49
Pt. 3 The Gendered Welfare State 83
Pt. 4 Fighting Back: From the Legislature to the Academy to the Streets 109
Notes 142
Index 158
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