Strategies of Integration

Lynne Haney

in Inventing the Needy

Published by University of California Press

Published in print June 2002 | ISBN: 9780520225718
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520936102 | DOI:
Strategies of Integration

Show Summary Details


This chapter gives an account of client maneuverability and gender strategies provoked by the early socialist welfare regime (1948–1968) in Hungary by embarking on a historical excavation of how societal policies were implemented and how they shaped everyday life. Case files and enterprise records are analyzed for what they reveal about citizens' interpretations of and responses to the welfare society. Through citizens' words and actions as recorded in these historical documents, a view of this regime from below is constructed in which the regime ended up providing citizens with more resources than is usually posited. Paradoxically, the regime's collective focus gave individuals the ability to protect themselves by allowing them to maneuver among institutions to defend their interests. The regime's desire to control social institutions inadvertently empowered those connected to these institutions by enabling them to harness the state's concern with public and private relations to secure their own well-being. The prevailing conceptions of need bred client strategies of integration and these are illuminated by exploring how married women and single mothers appropriated state resources to transform the form and the content of their institutional relations. In doing so, both groups of clients found ways to enhance their institutional and social integration.

Keywords: client maneuverability; integration; state resources; gender strategies; collectivism; individualism

Chapter.  11502 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.