Regulating the Lives of Women: Social Welfare Policy from Colonial Times to the Present


This critical historical analysis of U.S. social welfare policy argues that the "feminization of poverty" is not a recent development but dates back to colonial times. Abramovitz (social work, Hunter) demonstrates how rules and regulations of social welfare programs have been ideologically based, related to the assignment of homemaking and childcare responsibilities to women. She examines this policy, which has served women poorly, and its relationship to key programs: Social Security, AFDC, unemployment insurance. Ambitious and well researched, despite reliance on sweeping historical overview; of wide interest. Marie Marmo Mullaney, Caldwell Coll., N.J.


Review

 

Social welfare policy history is presented from colonial to modern times in a revised edition of a classic. Abramovitz provides a strong and important analysis of the role of gender in American social welfare, exploring the ideology, economics, and politics of relief programs. An important coverage evolves. — Midwest Book Review

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