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Caring for Our Own inverts an enduring question of social welfare politics. Rather than ask why the American state hasn't responded to unmet social welfare needs by expanding social entitlements, this book asks: Why don't American families view unmet social welfare needs as the basis for demands for new state entitlements? The answer, Sandra Levitsky argues, lies in a better understanding of how individuals imagine solutions to the social welfare problems they confront and what prevents new understandings of social welfare provision from developing into political demand for alternative social arrangements. Caring for Our Own considers the powerful ways in which existing social policies shape the political imagination, reinforcing longstanding values about family responsibility, subverting grievances grounded in notions of social responsibility, and in some rare cases, constructing new models of social provision that transcend existing ideological divisions in American social politics.
Sandra R. Levitsky is Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Michigan.