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"So you think I drive a Cadillac?" : welfare recipients' perspectives on the system and its reform

Author: Karen Seccombe
Publisher: Boston, MA : Pearson Allyn & Bacon, ©2007.
Edition/Format:   Print book : English : 2nd edView all editions and formats
Summary:
"This look at the welfare system provides readers with stories from welfare recipients themselves: how they got onto welfare, what the reality of welfare (and welfare reform) is for them, issues with raising their families, and what their plans, hopes, and dreams are for the future. Welfare recipients who were interviewed by the author share their perspectives on work requirements, family caps, time limits, and  Read more...
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Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Seccombe, Karen, 1956-
"So you think I drive a Cadillac?".
Boston, MA : Pearson Allyn & Bacon, ©2007
(OCoLC)607814278
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Karen Seccombe
ISBN: 0205487394 9780205487394
OCLC Number: 62282725
Description: x, 254 pages ; 24 cm
Contents: 1. Introduction : putting a face on welfare --
Critical and feminist frameworks --
Specific contributions of this study of lived experience --
Welfare and public policy --
Where are the voices of welfare recipients in the discussion? --
A national profile of welfare recipients --
Who are the participants in this study? --
Conclusion and organization --
Critical thinking questions --
2. Historical and persisting dilemmas : how do we explain poverty, what should we do about it? --
History of cash assistance --
Recent attempts at welfare reform --
Explanations of poverty and welfare use --
Individualism --
Social structuralism --
Culture of poverty --
Fatalism --
Critical thinking questions --
3. Stigma and discrimination --
Awareness of societal attitudes toward welfare recipients --
Racism and welfare --
Contexts where stigma and discrimination occur --
Managing stigma --
Denial --
Distancing themselves from other welfare recipients --
Blaming external forces : "it's not my fault" --
Extolling the importance of motherhood --
Critical thinking questions --
4. Why welfare? --
The influence of social structure --
Employment --
The risk of losing health insurance --
Childcare --
Fathers' involvement --
Transportation --
Racism and sexism --
The welfare system breeds "dependence" on the system --
Fatalism --
Bad luck --
Poor health --
The termination of relationships --
Violence --
Why the inconsistency between explanations of their own and others' use of welfare? --
Critical thinking questions. 5. Day-to-day living and decision making --
Daily activities : wild living or depressing routine? --
Making ends meet with "the check" --
Living and surviving on food stamps --
Juggling bills --
Coping with the stress --
Affording life's "luxuries" --
Supplementing welfare --
Critical thinking questions --
6. Living and surviving welfare : the importance of family, friends, and formal support --
Informal support : help from families, friends and neighbors, and children's fathers --
Assistance from families --
Assistance from friends and neighbors --
Assistance from children's fathers --
Formal support : help from charities and social services --
Working side jobs : is this fraud? --
Critical thinking questions --
7. Insiders' perspectives on the welfare system --
Florida WAGES : a case example --
The role of government --
Opinions of the welfare system --
Strengths of the welfare system --
Weaknesses of the system --
Welfare reforms --
Time limits --
Work requirements --
Family caps --
Ideas for reform --
Critical thinking questions --
8. Getting off welfare --
The women in the middle : why increasing human capital is not the only answer --
Education and employment training --
Work experience --
The importance of our social structure --
Not enough jobs --
Types of jobs available for women on welfare --
The value of health insurance --
Why some women on welfare are hesitant to take jobs --
Critical thinking questions --
9. Conclusion : lessons learned and visions of change --
The gendered nature of welfare and welfare reform --
Has welfare reform been a success or a failure? --
The reasons for its failure --
Insights from other countries --
Critical thinking questions --
Appendix. Websites of interest.
Responsibility: Karen Seccombe.

Abstract:

"This look at the welfare system provides readers with stories from welfare recipients themselves: how they got onto welfare, what the reality of welfare (and welfare reform) is for them, issues with raising their families, and what their plans, hopes, and dreams are for the future. Welfare recipients who were interviewed by the author share their perspectives on work requirements, family caps, time limits, and other features of the new welfare reform (TANF) program. These qualitative interviews are theoretically grounded, and supplemented with up-to-date statewide and national data on welfare reform and its consequences."--Jacket.

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