Citizens and Paupers: Relief, Rights, And Race, From The Freedmen's Bureau To Workfare

Paperback | April 1, 2008

byChad Alan Goldberg

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There was a time when America’s poor faced a stark choice between access to social welfare and full civil rights—a predicament that forced them to forfeit their citizenship in exchange for economic relief. Over time, however, our welfare system improved dramatically. But as Chad Alan Goldberg here demonstrates, its legacy of disenfranchisement persisted. Indeed, from Reconstruction onward, welfare policies have remained a flashpoint for recurring struggles over the boundaries of citizenship.

Citizens and Paupers explores this contentious history by analyzing and comparing three major programs: the Freedmen’s Bureau, the Works Progress Administration, and the present-day system of workfare that arose in the 1990s. Each of these overhauls of the welfare state created new groups of clients, new policies for aiding them, and new disputes over citizenship—conflicts that were entangled in racial politics and of urgent concern for social activists.

This combustible mix of racial tension and social reform continues to influence how we think about welfare, and Citizens and Paupers is an invaluable analysis of the roots of the debate.

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There was a time when America’s poor faced a stark choice between access to social welfare and full civil rights—a predicament that forced them to forfeit their citizenship in exchange for economic relief. Over time, however, our welfare system improved dramatically. But as Chad Alan Goldberg here demonstrates, its legacy of disenfranc...

Chad Alan Goldberg is assistant professor of sociology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

other books by Chad Alan Goldberg

Format:PaperbackDimensions:336 pages, 9 × 6 × 1 inPublished:April 1, 2008Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0226300773

ISBN - 13:9780226300771

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Table of Contents

Abbreviations
Acknowledgments

1  Paupers or Citizens? Struggles over the Status and Rights of Welfare State Claimants

Part One. Claiming Rights as Citizen-Soldiers: Struggles during Reconstruction

2  “The ‘pauper slavery’ of the poorhouse”: The Freedmen’s Bureau, 1865–1872

3  An Honorable Alternative to Poor Relief: Civil War Veterans’ Pensions, 1862–1890

Part Two. Claiming Rights as Citizen-Workers: Struggles during the New Deal

4  “They are just ‘reliefers’ and have no rights”: The Works Progress Administration, 1935–1942

5  “A different class from the ordinary relief case”: Old Age Insurance, 1935–1949

Part Three. From Citizen-Mothers to Citizen-Workers: Struggles after the New Deal

6  “Work with no rights and no pay equals slavery”: Workfare in New York City, 1993–2001

7  Respectable Aid for the Working Poor: The Earned Income Tax Credit, 1975–2001

8  Conclusion: Relief, Rights, and Race in the Development of the Welfare State

Notes
Bibliography
Index