Women Reformed, Women Empowered: Poor Mothers and the Endangered Promise of Head Start / Edition 1

Women Reformed, Women Empowered: Poor Mothers and the Endangered Promise of Head Start / Edition 1

by Lynda Ames, Jeanne Ellsworth
     
 

By chronicling the everyday experiences of women in a rural Head Start program, Lynda J. Ames and Jeanne Ellsworth examine the processes of underprivileged women working to make a better life for themselves and their families. The authors explain that in order to empower its participants, the Head Start program allows many women to work as aides or on advisory

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Overview

By chronicling the everyday experiences of women in a rural Head Start program, Lynda J. Ames and Jeanne Ellsworth examine the processes of underprivileged women working to make a better life for themselves and their families. The authors explain that in order to empower its participants, the Head Start program allows many women to work as aides or on advisory boards in order to learn how to impact the structures that constrain their lives. This enables participants to take more control while receiving financial assistance and other opportunities for new social support structures.

Head Start was designed around the assumption that its aim should be to "correct" certain presumed deficits of parents, and many policymakers and participants swear by the program for its capacity to empower and its remarkable success rate. Unfortunately, while empowerment can make women's lives more manageable and more rewarding, many administrators feel that it does not change the immediate structure of poverty. In the search for a program design that provides more accountability, administrators are moving to take more control of local programs, thereby decreasing the mothers' control and threatening the flexibility and the empowerment potential of the program, two key factors that have made Head Start so successful.

It is this struggle for control of the women's day-to-day lives and families that Ames and Ellsworth reveal through personal stories. Women Reformed, Women Empowered is not only a testament to the successes of the program, but a story of poor women finding the resources they need, and a call to reevaluate disempowering policies that can drive underprivileged families deeper into apathy and hopelessness.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781566394932
Publisher:
Temple University Press
Publication date:
01/28/1997
Series:
Women in the Political Economy Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
224
Sales rank:
982,908
Product dimensions:
5.52(w) x 8.29(h) x 0.63(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
1Prelude: The North Country3
2Two Wars on Poverty19
3Taking Control of Everday Life39
4Making Good Work71
5The American Dream97
6Power and Ceremony121
7The Bureaucratization of North Country Head Start142
8Defiance...and Withdrawal167
9Devotion, Social Class, and the Union190
10The Limits on/of Empowerment: What Is to Be Done?214
References235
Index247

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