An American Dilemma?
Globalization and Welfare series
Edited by Pauli Kettunen, Sonya Michel and Klaus Petersen
Chapter 4: The US welfare state’s punishment of black women’s childbearing and care giving
Race has always governed the meaning of welfare in the United States. White Americans’ fears that blacks will benefit from public assistance have worked to make welfare in the United State both puny and punitive. Two chief systems within the US welfare state – public aid and child protection services – penalize black women for their role as mothers. This chapter examines public policies toward black women’s childbearing and care giving by the US welfare state in order to elucidate how race helps to maintain welfare’s punitive features in the United States.
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