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Cheating WelfarePublic Assistance and the Criminalization of Poverty$
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Kaaryn S. Gustafson

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780814732311

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814732311.001.0001

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Reconstructing Social Ills

Reconstructing Social Ills

From the Perils of Poverty to Welfare Dependency

(p.17) 2 Reconstructing Social Ills
Cheating Welfare

Kaaryn S. Gustafson

NYU Press

This chapter traces the history of welfare policies and welfare politics in the United States, with particular emphasis on the genealogy of the complex, sometimes contradictory, and increasingly punitive welfare rules and regulations. It begins with an overview of how welfare made the transition from charitable aid to government-sponsored relief before turning to the Social Security Act of 1935 and its early years. It then considers the growth of aid to dependent children before discussing the War on Poverty mobilized by the administration of Lyndon B. Johnson. It also examines the rise of the welfare rights movement and its effects on the welfare system, along with the increase in concerns about welfare cheating and the emergence of the symbol of the welfare queen under the Reagan administration, Finally, it explores welfare reform and the convergence of the welfare and criminal justice systems during the 1990s.

Keywords:   welfare policies, welfare politics, welfare rules, welfare system, welfare, Social Security Act of 1935, War on Poverty, welfare rights movement, welfare cheating, welfare reform

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