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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

. Western and Northern Welfare Backlashes: California and New York

. Western and Northern Welfare Backlashes: California and New York

(p.86) 6. Western and Northern Welfare Backlashes: California and New York
Backlash against Welfare Mothers

Ellen Reese

University of California Press

This chapter investigates how racism interacted with other factors to shape the welfare backlashes in California and New York. Attacks on welfare mothers were more powerful in California than in New York, mainly because large farmers played a politically dominant role there. The campaign against Proposition 4 helped unite business leaders around an antiwelfare agenda. Business and political groups opposed to welfare were closely interconnected. Racialized opposition to welfare was less common in California than it was in other states. In California, large farmers mainly allied themselves with other business groups and rural county officials. In New York, where black and Puerto Rican welfare use was widely publicized, politicians appealed to racial hostility toward Black and Puerto Rican migrants and targeted newcomers for cutbacks. In both these states, strong resistance to these welfare backlashes developed, especially from urban interest groups.

Keywords:   welfare backlash, California, New York, racism, Proposition 4, large farmers, racial hostility

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