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Flat Broke with Children: Women in the Age of Welfare Reform by Sharon Hays

By Sharon Hays

Hailed as an exceptional luck, welfare reform ended in a dramatic decline within the welfare rolls--from 4.4 million households in 1996 to 2.1 million in 2001. yet what does this "success" seem like to the welfare moms and welfare caseworkers who skilled it? In Flat Broke, With teenagers, Sharon Hays tells us the tale of welfare reform from contained in the welfare workplace and contained in the lives of welfare moms, describing the demanding situations that welfare recipients face in coping with their paintings, their households, and the principles and rules of welfare reform. Welfare reform, skilled at the floor, isn't really a rosy photo. the vast majority of grownup welfare consumers are mothers--over ninety percent--and the deadlines imposed by way of welfare reform throw hundreds of thousands of those generally single, determined girls into the hard work industry, the place they have to settle for low wages, the main menial paintings, the poorest hours, without merits, and little flexibility. Hays presents a vibrant portrait in their lives--debunking a few of the stereotypes we've of welfare recipients--but she additionally steps again to discover what welfare reform finds concerning the that means of labor and relatives existence in our society. particularly, she argues that an inherent contradiction lies on the center of welfare coverage, which emphasizes conventional family members values at the same time its ethic of "personal accountability" calls for ladies to paintings and depart their childrens in childcare or at domestic on my own all day lengthy. Hays committed 3 years to vacationing welfare consumers and welfare places of work, one in a medium-sized city within the Southeast, one other in a wide, metropolitan region within the West. Drawing in this hands-on learn, Flat Broke, With teenagers is the 1st ebook to discover the impression of contemporary welfare reform on motherhood, marriage, and paintings in women's lives, and the 1st e-book to supply us a portrait of the way welfare reform performs out in millions of neighborhood welfare workplaces and in hundreds of thousands of houses around the kingdom.

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Extra resources for Flat Broke with Children: Women in the Age of Welfare Reform

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I spent hours hanging out in waiting rooms and observing the goings-on. I visited the homes of welfare mothers and interviewed them there. And I spent a lot of time in housing projects. In the end, I accumulated hundreds of pages of field notes, mountains of welfare forms and welfare manuals, and more than a thousand pages of transcriptions from the nearly 90 interactions and interviews that I had tape-recorded. 40 Taken together, my inter views, ethnographic research, and analysis of welfare policy provide a portrait of welfare reform as it is played out at the local level.

It was terrible. " Shortly after the rape, she escaped that situation and moved in with her sister, but lost her job. By the time she gave birth, she was suffering from a nervous breakdown. ("He had drove me insane: that's what they said, in the letter from the psychiatrist") It was following her hospitalization for that breakdown, ten years before I met her, that she first went on welfare with her then two-month-old baby girl. By the time her daughter was two years old, Carolyn went back to work.

Any houses or land? Or is your name on someone else's property, like your parents have a joint deed with you or anything like that? Do you own any cars or trucks, motorcycles, campers, boats, motor homes? Do you have any kind of health insurance at all? Any life insurance policies? In the last two years have you traded, sold, or given away any of these resources that we talked about or listed on the application? Any lawsuits you might be receiving a settlement on? Do you receive any kind of commissions, bonuses, tips?

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