Stratification of the Welfare Poor: Intersections of Gender, Race & 'Worthiness' in Poverty Discourse and Policy

Modern American, Vol. 6, p. 4, Fall 2010

11 Pages Posted: 13 Dec 2011  

Bridgette Baldwin

Western New England University School of Law

Date Written: 2010

Abstract

This Article analyzes the historical, cultural and legal treatments and representations of poor black women from Progressive Era philanthropic aid to early "work-to-welfare" reform protocol. When black women serve as the case study for a larger examination of social policy issues we see that welfare was rarely meant to remedy the structural crunch of poverty. Working class black women have been at the center of the construction of the poor and serve as the designation to determine which people deserve to be compensated for being poor.

Furthermore, the Author discusses both the ramifications and rationale of why the government never designated black women as "deserving" poor and the implications of constructed images in the post-reconstruction period, the New Deal Era, the 1960s AFDC agenda, and 1980s welfare to work reform.

Keywords: welfare, poverty, gender, race, poor, black women, African-American women, social welfare law

Suggested Citation

Baldwin, Bridgette, Stratification of the Welfare Poor: Intersections of Gender, Race & 'Worthiness' in Poverty Discourse and Policy (2010). Modern American, Vol. 6, p. 4, Fall 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1971351

Bridgette Baldwin (Contact Author)

Western New England University School of Law ( email )

1215 Wilbraham Road
Springfield, MA 01119
United States

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