MISgoverned: CONNECTIONS, the Welfare Management System, and the Erosion of Welfare Rights
17 Pages Posted: 1 Aug 2011 Last revised: 26 Aug 2011
Date Written: 2011
Welfare administration technologies exploded in the U.S. after 1996, becoming increasingly dispersed, variable, decentralized, rapidly expanding across government programs and state lines, linking a variety of organizations and actors. Counter to most claims, social service clients and frontline caseworkers are less concerned with questions of privacy and confidentiality when they encounter IT in the social service system, and more concerned with issues of power, oppression, and autonomy. This paper explores lessons learned from a four-year research project on how technologies shape citizenship and political subjectivity in the welfare office. What kinds of citizens and relationships are they creating? Do they (re)produce power asymmetries? Divert clients from collecting assistance?
Keywords: welfare, technology, women, poverty, neoliberalism, governance, new punitiveness
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