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Building the invisible orphanage : a prehistory of the American welfare system

Author: Matthew A Crenson
Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 1998.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
This book examines the connection between the decline of the orphanage and the rise of welfare. Matthew Crenson argues that the prehistory of the welfare system was played out not on the stage of national politics or class conflict but in the micropolitics of institutional management. New arrangements for child welfare policy emerged gradually as superintendents, visiting agents, and charity officials responded to  Read more...
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Genre/Form: History
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Crenson, Matthew A., 1943-
Building the invisible orphanage.
Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 1998
(OCoLC)654795014
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Matthew A Crenson
ISBN: 0674465911 9780674465916
OCLC Number: 39269604
Description: xii, 383 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Contents: The Decline of the Orphanage and the Invention of Welfare --
The Institutional Inclination --
Two Dimensions of Institutional Change --
Institutional Self-Doubt and Internal Reform --
From Orphanage to Home --
The Orphanage Reaches Outward --
"The Unwalled Institution of the State" --
The Perils of Placing Out --
"The Experiment of Having No Home" --
Mobilizing for Mothers' Pensions --
Religious Wars --
Conclusion: An End to the Orphanage.
Responsibility: Matthew A. Crenson.
More information:

Abstract:

This book examines the connection between the decline of the orphanage and the rise of welfare. Matthew Crenson argues that the prehistory of the welfare system was played out not on the stage of national politics or class conflict but in the micropolitics of institutional management. New arrangements for child welfare policy emerged gradually as superintendents, visiting agents, and charity officials responded to the difficulties that they encountered in running orphanages or creating systems that served as alternatives to institutional care. Crenson also follows the decades-long debate about the relative merits of family care or institutional care for dependent children. Leaving poor children at home with their mothers emerged as the most generally acceptable alternative to the orphanage, along with an ambitious new conception of social reform. Instead of sheltering vulnerable children in institutions designed to transform them into virtuous citizens, the reformers of the Progressive Era tried to integrate poor children into the larger society, while protecting them from its perils.

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