Race, Ethnicity and Welfare States

Race, Ethnicity and Welfare States

An American Dilemma?

Globalization and Welfare series

Edited by Pauli Kettunen, Sonya Michel and Klaus Petersen

In this interdisciplinary volume, leading and emerging scholars examine the relationship between homogeneity and welfare state development. They trace Gunnar Myrdal’s influence on thinking about race in the US and explore current European states’ approaches to the strangers in their midst, and what social citizenship looks like from a global perspective.

Chapter 4: The US welfare state’s punishment of black women’s childbearing and care giving

Dorothy Roberts

Subjects: politics and public policy, migration, social policy and sociology, comparative social policy, migration, welfare states


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.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information