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Selling Welfare Reform – Work-First and the New Common Sense of Employment - NYU Press Scholarship Online
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Selling Welfare Reform: Work-First and the New Common Sense of Employment

Frank Ridzi


The 1996 Welfare Reform Act promised to end welfare as we knew it. This book uses rich ethnographic detail to examine how new welfare-to-work policies, time limits, and citizenship documentation radically changed welfare, revealing what really goes on at the front lines of the reformed welfare system. It chronicles how entrepreneurial efforts ranging from front-line caseworkers to high-level administrators set the pace for restructuring a resistant bureaucracy. At the heart of this remarkable institutional transformation is a market-centered approach to human services that re-framed the defini ... More

Keywords: 1996 Welfare Reform Act, welfare-to-work, citizenship documentation, welfare system, welfare staff, low-wage labor market, poverty, vulnerable Americans, poor Americans

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2009 Print ISBN-13: 9780814775936
Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016 DOI:10.18574/nyu/9780814775936.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Frank Ridzi, author