Brotherhood of St Laurence

Cheating welfare : public assistance and the criminalization of poverty /

By: Gustafson, Kaaryn S
Publisher: New York, NY New York University Press 2011Description: xi, 227 pISBN: 0814732313; ; 9780814732311Subject(s): Social Welfare Government Policy - United States | Welfare Fraud | Poverty Social Aspects | Crime And Criminals Economic Aspects | Welfare Recipients Attitudes | Disadvantaged Groups | Low Income | Welfare Rights | LawDDC classification: 362.5 GUS
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Contents: 1 Introduction -- 2 Reconstructing Social Ills: From the Perils of Poverty to Welfare Dependency 3 The Criminalization of Poverty 4 A Glimpse at the Interviewees 5 Living within and without the Rules 6 Engaging with Rules and Negotiating Compliance 7 Contextualizing Criminality, Noncompliance, and Resistance 8 Cheating Ourselves Includes bibliography pp.209-220 and index

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. (Publisher abstract)

Item type Current library Call number Copy number Status Date due Barcode
Book Brotherhood of St Laurence
362.5 GUS (Browse shelf (Opens below)) 1 Available 229515

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