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Article
Working for Food Stamps: Economic Citizenship and the Post-Fordist Welfare State in New York City
American Ethnologist (2016)
  • Maggie Dickinson, CUNY Guttman Community College
Abstract
In the United States, the number of people receiving state-subsidized food aid has risen dramatically since 2001. This increase complicates the well-worn story that the post-Fordist welfare state has been continuously cut back in the neoliberal era, indicating instead that it is expanding to subsidize poor workers’ participation in the formal labor market. In New York City, welfare office workers operationalize policies that ease access to food assistance for poor workers who can demonstrate that they are formally employed. Meanwhile, workfare programs punish the unemployed and
marginal workers by making them work for food stamps. This conservative, paternalistic welfare regime commodifies labor, creates new patterns of stratification among the urban poor, and redraws the terms of economic citizenship.
Keywords
  • welfare,
  • poverty,
  • citizenship,
  • food policy,
  • employment,
  • social stratification,
  • New York City
Publication Date
Spring 2016
Citation Information
Maggie Dickinson. "Working for Food Stamps: Economic Citizenship and the Post-Fordist Welfare State in New York City" American Ethnologist Vol. 43 Iss. 2 (2016) p. 270 - 281
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/maggie-dickinson/2/