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Backlash against Welfare MothersPast and Present$
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Ellen Reese

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780520244610

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520244610.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 18 September 2021

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

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

Chapter:
(p.20) 2. Attacking Welfare, Promoting Work and Marriage: Continuity and Change in Welfare Opposition
Source:
Backlash against Welfare Mothers
Author(s):

Ellen Reese

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520244610.003.0002

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

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