Author: Kaaryn S. Gustafson
Publisher: NYU Press
Release Date: 2011-07-25
Over the last three decades, welfare policies have been informed by popular beliefs that welfare fraud is rampant. As a result, welfare policies have become more punitive and the boundaries between the welfare system and the criminal justice system have blurred—so much so that in some locales prosecution caseloads for welfare fraud exceed welfare caseloads. In reality, some recipients manipulate the welfare system for their own ends, others are gravely hurt by punitive policies, and still others fall somewhere in between. In Cheating Welfare, Kaaryn S. Gustafson endeavors to clear up these gray areas by providing insights into the history, social construction, and lived experience of welfare. She shows why cheating is all but inevitable—not because poor people are immoral, but because ordinary individuals navigating complex systems of rules are likely to become entangled despite their best efforts. Through an examination of the construction of the crime we know as welfare fraud, which she bases on in-depth interviews with welfare recipients in Northern California, Gustafson challenges readers to question their assumptions about welfare policies, welfare recipients, and crime control in the United States.
Author: Kaaryn S. Gustafson
Publisher: NYU Press
Release Date: 2011
Over the last three decades, welfare policies have been informed by popular beliefs that welfare fraud is rampant. As a result, welfare policies have become more punitive and the boundaries between the welfare system and the criminal justice system have blurredOCoso much so that in some locales prosecution caseloads for welfare fraud exceed welfare caseloads. In reality, some recipients manipulate the welfare system for their own ends, others are gravely hurt by punitive policies, and still others fall somewhere in between. In Cheating Welfare, Kaaryn S. Gustafson endeavors to clear up these gray areas by providing insights into the history, social construction, and lived experience of welfare. She shows why cheating is all but inevitableOConot because poor people are immoral, but because ordinary individuals navigating complex systems of rules are likely to become entangled despite their best efforts. Through an examination of the construction of the crime we know as welfare fraud, which she bases on in-depth interviews with welfare recipients in Northern California, Gustafson challenges readers to question their assumptions about welfare policies, welfare recipients, and crime control in the United States.
Arguing that people of color are most often the casualties in the governments' desire to roll back the welfare state, this analysis delves into the current myths and stereotypes about racial difference. In exploring such myths in conjunction with the enforcement of welfare fraud policies, this study shows how people of color are constructed as potential "cheaters" and "abusers" of the system, and how this has allowed for the stigmatizing and discriminatory treatment of certain races to persist unchallenged. With an analysis of the criminalization and penalization of poverty—including the increased surveillance and control of welfare recipients—this argument sheds new light on the perspectives of poverty advocates.
Author: John Gilliom
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Release Date: 2001-12-01
In Overseers of the Poor, John Gilliom confronts the everyday politics of surveillance by exploring the worlds and words of those who know it best-the watched. Arguing that the current public conversation about surveillance and privacy rights is rife with political and conceptual failings, Gilliom goes beyond the critics and analysts to add fresh voices, insights, and perspectives. This powerful book lets us in on the conversations of low-income mothers from Appalachian Ohio as they talk about the welfare bureaucracy and its remarkably advanced surveillance system. In their struggle to care for their families, these women are monitored and assessed through a vast network of supercomputers, caseworkers, fraud control agents, and even grocers and neighbors. In-depth interviews show that these women focus less on the right to privacy than on a critique of surveillance that lays bare the personal and political conflicts with which they live. And, while they have little interest in conventional forms of politics, we see widespread patterns of everyday resistance as they subvert the surveillance regime when they feel it prevents them from being good parents. Ultimately, Overseers of the Poor demonstrates the need to reconceive not just our understanding of the surveillance-privacy debate but also the broader realms of language, participation, and the politics of rights. We all know that our lives are being watched more than ever before. As we struggle to understand and confront this new order, Gilliom argues, we need to spend less time talking about privacy rights, legislatures, and courts of law and more time talking about power, domination, and the ongoing struggles of everyday people.
Author: Mary Frances Berry
Release Date: 2011-07-20
From the head of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission and noted professor of law and history at the University of Pennsylvania, a groundbreaking book that examines both civil and criminal court cases from the Civil War to the present, to reveal the impact of stereotyping--race, class, gender--on the American legal system. The question Mary Frances Berry asks: Whose story most strongly influences the making of legal decisions in the American justice system? Using previously unexamined material from state appellate civil and criminal court cases--cases of rape, seduction, and paternity disputes, and cases dealing with murder, inheritance, and property disputes in which sexual relations are at the heart of the story--Berry takes us through two centuries of American case law to show how attitudes toward gender, race, class, and sexuality have materially affected, and continue to affect, judicial decision-making. Among the many cases Berry discusses: Alabama, 1867--A white woman sues her husband for divorce in both the lower and state supreme courts because of his sexual relationship with a former slave, and is denied her petition on the basis that a sexual relationship between a white man and a black woman is "of no consequence." New York, 1932--In a surprising victory, the longtime mistress of a theater owner successfully contests her lover's will and proves her right to inherit a wife's portion of the estate. Texas, 1984--A suit by a woman against her female lover ends in a decision that allows the court to avoid acknowledging the existence of a lesbian relationship. And, in the 1990s, we see the cases of William Kennedy Smith, Mike Tyson, and O. J. Simpson in a new context. Moving stories, shocking stories, ironic stories, tragic stories--a book that fascinates in terms of its human drama, by its demonstration of the ways in which prejudice affects justice, and by its account of how the law has evolved (or hasn't) as our racial, social, and sexual attitudes have changed. From the Hardcover edition.
Author: William A. Galston
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release Date: 2010-09-20
This multi-authored book explores the ways that many influential ethical traditions - secular and religious, Western and non-Western - wrestle with the moral dimensions of poverty and the needs of the poor. These traditions include Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism, among the religious perspectives; classical liberalism, feminism, liberal-egalitarianism, and Marxism, among the secular; and natural law, which might be claimed by both. The basic questions addressed by each of these traditions are linked to several overarching themes: what poverty is, the particular vulnerabilities of high-risk groups, responsibility for the occurrence of poverty, preferred remedies, how responsibility for its alleviation is distributed, and priorities in the delivery of assistance. This volume features an introduction to the types, scope, and causes of poverty in the modern world and concludes with Michael Walzer's broadly conceived commentary, which provides a direct comparison of the presented views and makes suggestions for further study and policy.
Author: James Messerschmidt
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Release Date: 1997-01-04
Genre: Social Science
The author of this volume skillfully demonstrates that a vital component to understanding crime is to be able to view it as more than a single activity. James W. Messerschmidt argues that crime operates subtly through a complex series of gender, race and class practices and these interwoven elements must be seen as part of all social existence, not viewed independently.
Constructing Crime examines why particular behaviours are defined and enforced as crimes and particular individuals are targeted as criminals. Contributors interrogate notions of crime, processes of criminalization, and the deployment of the concept of crime in five areas � the enforcement of fraud against welfare recipients and physicians, the enforcement of laws against Aboriginal harvesting practices, the perceptions of disorder in public housing projects, and the selective criminalization of gambling. These case studies and an afterword by Marie-Andr�e Bertrand challenge us to consider just who is rendered criminal and why.
Author: Barbara Ehrenreich
Publisher: Metropolitan Books
Release Date: 2010-04-01
Genre: Social Science
Our sharpest and most original social critic goes "undercover" as an unskilled worker to reveal the dark side of American prosperity. Millions of Americans work full time, year round, for poverty-level wages. In 1998, Barbara Ehrenreich decided to join them. She was inspired in part by the rhetoric surrounding welfare reform, which promised that a job -- any job -- can be the ticket to a better life. But how does anyone survive, let alone prosper, on $6 an hour? To find out, Ehrenreich left her home, took the cheapest lodgings she could find, and accepted whatever jobs she was offered. Moving from Florida to Maine to Minnesota, she worked as a waitress, a hotel maid, a cleaning woman, a nursing-home aide, and a Wal-Mart sales clerk. She lived in trailer parks and crumbling residential motels. Very quickly, she discovered that no job is truly "unskilled," that even the lowliest occupations require exhausting mental and muscular effort. She also learned that one job is not enough; you need at least two if you int to live indoors. Nickel and Dimed reveals low-rent America in all its tenacity, anxiety, and surprising generosity -- a land of Big Boxes, fast food, and a thousand desperate stratagems for survival. Read it for the smoldering clarity of Ehrenreich's perspective and for a rare view of how "prosperity" looks from the bottom. You will never see anything -- from a motel bathroom to a restaurant meal -- in quite the same way again.
Author: Elizabeth Hinton
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Release Date: 2016-05-09
How did the land of the free become the home of the world’s largest prison system? Elizabeth Hinton traces the rise of mass incarceration to an ironic source: not the War on Drugs of the Reagan administration but the War on Crime that began during Johnson’s Great Society at the height of the civil rights era.
Author: Michael A. Stegman
Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
Release Date: 2010-12-01
Genre: Political Science
Beginning this year, federal payment recipients will receive their government benefits through electronic funds transfer (EFT)-- what most of us call direct deposit. Although cost-cutting is the driving force behind the move to a virtually all-electronic federal payment system, Michael Stegman believes the initiative has a far broader potential: to bring poor Americans into the banking mainstream. In this book Stegman outlines how many families will enter the mainstream banking system through EFT '99, as the program is called. He explains in careful detail the thinking behind the shift to EFT and the implementation of the program this year. He also argues that, for maximum success, EFT '99 should be combined with a program of national Individual Development Accounts (IDAs), dedicated savings accounts for low-income people that can be used for purchasing a first home, acquiring more education or job training, or starting a small-business. Essentially, EFT '99 will bring people into the banking system, and IDAs will give them an incentive to use the system to its fullest in order to make their money work for them and their children. There are other steps that the government can take to boost EFT's ability to help public aid recipients achieve self-sufficiency. It can: add a direct deposit option to state benefits payments programs; give banks significant additional Community Reinvestment Act Credit for establishing accounts for EFT recipients; and regulate fees for cashing government benefits and voluntary accounts so that people are not charged excessively for accessing their money. This book demonstrates that — with careful planning and a relatively small investment — the government's EFT initiative can have a major payoff in real assets and improved prospects for those who have been, for far too long, on the fringes of the country's mainstream banking system. Brookings Metro Series
Author: Gillian Crowther
Publisher: University of Toronto Press
Release Date: 2018-05-15
Genre: Social Science
From ingredients and recipes to meals and menus across time and space, this highly engaging overview illustrates the important roles that anthropology and anthropologists play in understanding food and its key place in the study of culture. The new edition, now in full colour, introduces discussions about nomadism, commercializing food, food security, and ethical consumption, including treatment of animals and the long-term environmental and health consequences of meat consumption. New feature boxes offer case studies and exercises to help highlight anthropological methods and approaches, and each chapter includes a further reading section. By considering the concept of cuisine and public discourse, Eating Culture brings order and insight to our changing relationship with food.