Women, the State, and Welfare / Edition 1

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Women, the State, and Welfare is the first collection of essays specifically about women and welfare in the United States.  As an introduction to the effects of welfare programs, it is intended for general readers as well as specialists in sociology, history, political science, social work, and women’s studies.  The book begins with a review essay by Linda Gordon that outlines current scholarship about women and welfare.  The chapters that follow explore discrimination against women inherent in many welfare programs; the ways in which welfare programs reinforce basic gender programs in society; the contribution of organized, activist women to the development of welfare programs; and differences of race and class in the welfare system.  By giving readers access to a number of perspectives about women and welfare, this book helps position gender at the center of welfare scholarship and policy making and places welfare issues at the forefront of feminist thinking and action.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“When readers finish this collection of essays, they will have no doubt at all that the welfare state is deeply gendered and that explanations or interpretations of the American welfare state that relegate gender to the margins rather than the center are totally inadequate.  Linda Gordon’s introduction alone is practically worth the price of the whole book.”—Susan Ware, New York University

“The collection moves beyond simplistic and ahistorical notions about the U.S. state’s effect on women and women’s effect on the state.  Gordon’s rich introductory essay, ‘The New Feminist Scholarship on the Welfare State’ is invaluable not only for relating the other essays to current social and feminist theory, but for its analysis which guides the reader through the rest of the book.  .  .  .  A welcome addition to the study of women, politics, and the welfare state.”—Ann Withorn, The Women’s Review of Books

“Gordon’s book deserves serious consideration by scholars of social welfare in the U.S. because of its challenge to take the gendered nature of the welfare system more seriously.”—Choice

“This book is one of those rareties, the well-chosen, carefully chosen volume of essays.  It provides an excellent way into American feminist historiography on women and welfare.”—Jane Lewis, London School of Economics

Nine contributions address such issues as the role of state policies and ideologies in defining gender differences, state influence over the boundaries between public and domestic spheres, state control over women's reproductive and productive lives, and the efforts of women to influence state policy. Paper edition (unseen), $16.95. An anthology of essays (most previously published in specialist journals, some edited or rewritten for presentation here) about women and the US welfare state. The disciplinary and theoretical perspectives vary, but the contributions evidence a collective process in the development of a gender analysis that incorporates divisions of class and race. Paper edition (unseen), $12.95. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780299126643
  • Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/1990
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 1,279,308
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.72 (d)

Meet the Author

Linda Gordon is the Florence Kelley Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Among her many publications are Woman’s Body, Woman’s Right:  A Social History of Birth Control in America and Heroes of Their Own Lives: The Politics and History of Family Violence, Boston 1880-1960.

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