Pub. Date:
University of California Press
Backlash against Welfare Mothers: Past and Present / Edition 1

Backlash against Welfare Mothers: Past and Present / Edition 1

by Ellen Reese
Current price is , Original price is $34.95. You

Temporarily Out of Stock Online

Please check back later for updated availability.


Backlash against Welfare Mothers is a forceful examination of how and why a state-level revolt against welfare, begun in the late 1940s, was transformed into a national-level assault that destroyed a critical part of the nation's safety net, with tragic consequences for American society. With a wealth of original research, Ellen Reese puts recent debates about the contemporary welfare backlash into historical perspective. She provides a closer look at these early antiwelfare campaigns, showing why they were more successful in some states than others and how opponents of welfare sometimes targeted Puerto Ricans and Chicanos as well as blacks for cutbacks. Her research reveals both the continuities and changes in American welfare opposition from the late 1940s to the present.

Reese brings new evidence to light that reveals how large farmers and racist politicians, concerned about the supply of cheap labor, appealed to white voters' racial resentments and stereotypes about unwed mothers, blacks, and immigrants in the 1950s. She then examines congressional failure to replace the current welfare system with a more popular alternative in the 1960s and 1970s, which paved the way for national assaults on welfare. Taking a fresh look at recent debates on welfare reform, she explores how and why politicians competing for the white vote and right-wing think tanks promoting business interests appeased the Christian right and manufactured consent for cutbacks through a powerful, racially coded discourse. Finally, through firsthand testimonies, Reese vividly portrays the tragic consequences of current welfare policies and calls for a bold new agenda for working families.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780520244627
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 07/29/2005
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 372
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.88(d)

About the Author

Ellen Reese is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Riverside.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Part I. Welfare Opposition: Causes and Consequences
1. Deferred Dreams, Broken Families, and Hardship: The Impact of Welfare Reform
2. Attacking Welfare, Promoting Work and Marriage: Continuity and Change in Welfare Opposition
Part II. The First Welfare Backlash (1945–1979)
3. The 1950s Welfare Backlash and Federal Complicity
4. Explaining the Postwar Rise of Welfare Opposition
5. Southern Welfare Backlashes: Georgia and Kentucky
6. Western and Northern Welfare Backlashes: California and New York
7. Setting the Stage: The Failures of Liberal
Part III. The Contemporary Welfare Backlash (1980–2004)
8. The Rise of the Republican Right and the New Democrats
9. Business
Interests, Conservative Think Tanks, and the Assault on Welfare
10. Congressional Attacks on Welfare, 1980–2004
11. Rebuilding the Welfare State: Forging a New Deal for Working Families
Appendix 1: States That Restricted Eligibility for ADC (1949–1960)
Appendix 2: Variables and Data Sources Used in Quantitative Analysis


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews