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The White Welfare State: The Racialization of U.S. Welfare Policy (Paperback)

Deborah E. Ward

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ISBN 10: 0472030957 / ISBN 13: 9780472030958
Published by The University of Michigan Press, United States, 2005
New Condition: New Soft cover
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Language: English. Brand new Book. Groundbreaking research into the historical relationship between race and social welfare. Deborah Ward's The White Welfare State is the first book by a political scientist to fully explore the complex interrelationship between racial attitudes and the origins of social welfare policy in America. Her compact work breaks new ground by showing that Mothers' Pensions (the Progressive-era precursors to modern welfare programs) were based on a policy of racial discrimination against blacks and other minorities. Ward's rigorous analysis demonstrates how the creation and implementation of the Mothers' Pensions were riven by questions of who "deserved" social welfare - questions which directly influenced the more sweeping welfare programs of the Depression and post-War periods. Ward uses this story to draw out larger conclusions about the persistent role of race in American politics and society, including critical observations into how national and state governments have institutionalized the role of race in their administrative apparatus. Deborah Ward very ably reminds us that racial attitudes were an essential element of Progressive-era political thought, and an influential factor in the development and implementation of social policies. Her book will be an important entry in the debate over the role of racial attitudes in the history of American social policy. Bookseller Inventory # AAN9780472030958

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The White Welfare State: The Racialization ...

Publisher: The University of Michigan Press, United States

Publication Date: 2005

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition:New

About this title

Synopsis:

The White Welfare State challenges common misconceptions of the development of U.S. welfare policy. Arguing that race has always been central to welfare policy-making in the United States, Deborah Ward breaks new ground by showing that the Mothers' Pensions--the Progressive-Era precursors to modern welfare programs--were premised on a policy of racial discrimination against blacks and other minorities. Ward's rigorous and thoroughly documented analysis demonstrates that the creation and implementation of the mothers' pensions program was driven by debates about who "deserved" social welfare and not who needed it the most.

"In The White Welfare State, Deborah Ward assembles a powerful array of documentary and statistical evidence to reveal the mechanisms, centrality, and deep historical continuity of racial exclusion in modern 'welfare' provision in the United States. Bringing unparalleled scrutiny to the provisions and implementation of state-level mothers' pensions, she argues persuasively that racialized patterns of welfare administration were firmly entrenched in this Progressive Era legislation, only to be adopted and reinforced in the New Deal welfare state. With rigorous and clear-eyed analysis, she pushes us to confront the singular role of race in welfare's development, from its early 20th-century origins to its official demise at century's end."
--Alice O'Connor, University of California at Santa Barbara

"This is a richly informative and arresting work. The White Welfare State will force a reevaluation of the role racism has played as a fundamental feature in even the most progressive features of the American welfare state. Written elegantly, this book will provoke a wide-ranging discussion among social scientists, historians, and students of public policy."
--Ira Katznelson, Ruggles Professor of Political Science and History, Columbia University

"This book offers an original and absorbing account of early policies that shaped the course of the American welfare state. It extends yet challenges extant interpretations and expands our understanding of the interconnections of race and class issues in the U.S., and American political development more broadly."
--Rodney Hero, University of Notre Dame

About the Author:

Deborah Ward is Assistant Professor of Political Science, Seton Hall University.

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