Chapter

Introduction

Robert P. Fairbanks

in How It Works

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print September 2009 | ISBN: 9780226234083
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226234113 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226234113.003.0001
Introduction

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This book is a study of the recovery house movement and its place in the new urban order wrought by welfare reform. To find out what life is like in these recovery houses, it goes inside one particular home in the Kensington neighborhood. The politics of poverty in the Kensington recovery house movement is broad and complex. The book considers how self-help in the Philadelphia recovery house movement may be operating as a technique for solving social and political problems such as addiction, poverty, devolution, and retrenchment. The movement may therefore enact the inner logic of welfare policy mechanisms designed to provide, simultaneously, the means for individual autonomy, minimal security, and risk management in the post-welfare age. The book uses the recovery house, as well as the concept of recovery, to analyze how impoverished alcoholics and addicts are governed in post-industrial Philadelphia. It explores the extent to which recovery houses enable the state to achieve multiple regulatory objectives at a single site.

Keywords: Philadelphia; recovery houses; welfare reforms; poverty; social problems; political problems

Chapter.  9843 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Urban and Rural Studies

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