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The Faltering Safety Net in a Reluctant Nation
Women's Studies International Forum (2014)
  • Lisa Morris, University of Southern Maine
While the U.S. has always been a reluctant welfare state, political opposition to the safety net is
at an all-time high. Many safety net programs in the U.S. have either been downsized or
eliminated or are being threatened with such. Women are especially at risk. The safety net is
an essential source of support for them, especially women with children, poor and working
class women, and women of color. In this paper we describe the U.S.'s long-standing
ambivalence towards the safety net and its impact on women. We explore how a romanticized
devotion to “traditional” work and family norms, complicated by class and race, influence and
shape public attitudes, and continue to be inscribed in the design and delivery of safety net
programs. We also review proposed changes and evaluate their potential to either help or
undermine women's control over their lives and their ability to achieve economic security.
Publication Date
November, 2014
Citation Information
Lisa Morris. "The Faltering Safety Net in a Reluctant Nation" Women's Studies International Forum Vol. 47 Iss. B (2014) p. 255 - 268
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