Chapter

. Attacking Welfare, Promoting Work and Marriage: Continuity and Change in Welfare Opposition

Ellen Reese

in Backlash against Welfare Mothers

Published by University of California Press

Published in print July 2005 | ISBN: 9780520244610
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520938717 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520244610.003.0002
. Attacking Welfare, Promoting Work and Marriage: Continuity and Change in Welfare Opposition

Show Summary Details

Preview

This chapter addresses continuities and changes in welfare politics and puts them into the context of both the early history of government aid for poor mothers and other perspectives on U.S. welfare retrenchment. Employers’ demands for labor, fiscal constraints, and discrimination against unwed mothers and racial minorities limited welfare coverage in the early years, which helped minimize opposition to it. The chapter then investigates how class, race, and gender politics have historically interacted during conservative political periods to generate strong cross-class support for welfare cutbacks. The analysis combines insights from three theoretical perspectives on welfare retrenchment, usually kept separate, which highlight political and institutional factors, class, race, and gender ideologies, and business interests. In the United States, most of the opposition to welfare historically came from low-wage and ideologically conservative employers and white voters.

Keywords: welfare politics; poor mothers; United States; labor; welfare retrenchment; class; race; gender; marriage

Chapter.  5308 words. 

Subjects: Marriage and the Family

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.