Charity, Ideology, and Exclusion: Continuities and Resistance in U.S. Welfare Reform

Yvonne Luna, Josefina Figueira-McDonough

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The welfare state will probably always be a contested terrain to the extent that it decommodifies social needs and redistributes costs of risks in a market economy. Yet opinion polls show that across countries most people disagree that social security benefits are too expensive and should be reduced (Ferrera, 1997). As Marshall (1985) foresaw, once a social right is granted, citizens will strongly resist its withdrawal. At the same time, it is clear that not all elements of the welfare state are equally popular. Targeted (categorical) programs are considerably less popular (Taylor-Gooby, 1996). Furthermore, signs suggest generational polarization between those supporting pensions, health care, and aging benefits versus those supporting youth programs, family benefits, employment benefits, and education (Anderson, 1990). Evidence from welfare programs shows that the elderly group tends to be favored, largely because their voting participation is the highest of all age groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationWomen at the Margins
Subtitle of host publicationNeglect, Punishment, and Resistance
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9781136578243
ISBN (Print)9780203057681
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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