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"So You Think I Drive a Cadillac?": Welfare Recipients' Perspectives on the System and Its Reform

by
ISBN13:

9780205283125

ISBN10:
0205283128
Format:
Paperback
Pub. Date:
1/1/1999
Publisher(s):
Allyn & Bacon
List Price: $50.80
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  • "So You Think I Drive a Cadillac?" Welfare Recipients' Perspectives on the System and Its Reform
  • So You Think I Drive a Cadillac? : Welfare Recipients' Perspectives on the System and Its Reform
    So You Think I Drive a Cadillac? : Welfare Recipients' Perspectives on the System and Its Reform




Summary

"Underneath the political rhetoric and welfare statistics are real live human beings who are trying to make sense out of their lives." These are the words of author Karen Seccombe, as she attempts to elucidate the experiences of welfare recipients and the hardships that continue to plague them with the institution of the new welfare reforms. Provides readers with stories from welfare recipients' themselves: how they got onto welfare, what the reality of welfare (and welfare reform) is for them, and what their plans, hopes, and dreams are for the future. Welfare recipients who were interviewed by the author shared their perspectives on work requirements, family caps, time limits, and other features of TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) -- the new welfare reform program. Their voices provide a crucial counterpoint to the politicians and policy "experts" who have shaped the policy reform initiative. These qualitative interviews are supplemented with up-to-date statewide and national data on welfare reform and its consequences. Social workers, social policy specialists, welfare workers, politicians, and educators and researchers in the field of social policy and welfare reform.A Longwood Professional Book.

Table of Contents

Preface vii
1 Introduction: Putting a Face on Welfare
1(25)
Critical and Feminist Frameworks
6(3)
Specific Contributions of This Study of Lived Experience
9(2)
Welfare and Public Policy
11(2)
Where Are the Voices of Welfare Recipients in the Discussion?
13(1)
A National Profile of Welfare Recipients
14(6)
Who Are the Participants in This Study?
20(3)
Conclusion and Organization
23(3)
2 Historic and Persisting Dilemmas: How Do We Explain Poverty, and What Should We Do about It?
26(22)
History of Aid to Families with Dependent Children
27(9)
Recent Attempts at Welfare Reform
36(4)
Explanations of Poverty and Welfare Use
40(8)
Individualism
41(2)
Social Structuralism
43(2)
Culture of Poverty
45(1)
Fatalism
46(2)
3 Stigma and Discrimination
48(26)
Awareness of Societal Attitudes toward Welfare Recipients
50(10)
Racism and Welfare
53(3)
Contexts in Which Stigma and Discrimination Occur
56(4)
Managing Stigma
60(14)
Denial
60(1)
Distancing Themselves from Other Welfare Recipients
61(8)
Blaming External Forces: "It's Not My Fault"
69(1)
Extolling the Importance of Motherhood
69(5)
4 Why Welfare?
74(28)
The Influence of Social Structure
77(14)
Employment
77(2)
Child Care
79(4)
Fathers' Involvement
83(1)
Transportation
84(2)
Racism and Sexism
86(1)
The Welfare System Breeds "Dependence" on the System
87(4)
Fatalism
91(8)
Bad Luck
91(1)
Poor Health
92(2)
The Termination of Relationships
94(2)
Violence
96(3)
Why the Inconsistency Between Explanations of Their Own and Others' Use of Welfare?
99(3)
5 Day-to-Day Living and Decision Making
102(23)
Day-to-Day Activities: Wild Living, or Depressing Routine?
106(2)
Making Ends Meet with "The Check"
108(4)
Living and Surviving on Food Stamps
112(2)
Juggling Bills
114(2)
Coping with the Stress
116(3)
Affording Life's "Luxuries"
119(3)
Supplementing Welfare
122(3)
6 Living and Surviving Welfare: The Importance of Family, Friends, and Formal Support
125(26)
Informal Support: Help from Families, Friends and Neighbors, and Children's Fathers
131(13)
Assistance from Families
131(4)
Assistance from Friends and Neighbors
135(4)
Assistance from Children's Fathers
139(5)
Formal Support: Help from Charities and Social Services
144(2)
Working Side Jobs: Is This Fraud?
146(5)
7 Insiders' Perspectives on the Welfare System
151(29)
Florida WAGES: A Case Example
155(4)
The Role of Government
159(2)
Opinions of the Welfare System
161(6)
Strengths of the Welfare System
162(2)
Weaknesses of the Welfare System
164(3)
Welfare Reforms
167(8)
Time Limits
168(3)
Work Requirements
171(3)
Family Caps
174(1)
Ideas for Reform
175(5)
8 Getting Off Welfare
180(28)
The Women in the Middle: Why Increasing Human Capital Is Not the Only Answer
185(10)
Education and Employment Training
186(6)
Work Experience
192(3)
The Importance of Our Social Structure
195(13)
Not Enough Jobs
195(2)
Types of Jobs Available for Women on Welfare
197(6)
Why Some Women on Welfare Are Hesitant to Take Jobs
203(5)
9 Conclusion: Lessons Learned and Visions of Change
208(14)
References 222(12)
Appendix 234(9)
Index 243


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