Disciplining the Poor: Neoliberal Paternalism and the Persistent Power of Race

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University of Chicago Press, Nov 30, 2011 - Political Science - 368 pages
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Disciplining the Poor explains the transformation of poverty governance over the past forty years—why it happened, how it works today, and how it affects people. In the process, it clarifies the central role of race in this transformation and develops a more precise account of how race shapes poverty governance in the post–civil rights era. Connecting welfare reform to other policy developments, the authors analyze diverse forms of data to explicate the racialized origins, operations, and consequences of a new mode of poverty governance that is simultaneously neoliberal—grounded in market principles—and paternalist—focused on telling the poor what is best for them. The study traces the process of rolling out the new regime from the federal level, to the state and county level, down to the differences in ways frontline case workers take disciplinary actions in individual cases. The result is a compelling account of how a neoliberal paternalist regime of poverty governance is disciplining the poor today.

 

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Contents

1 Introduction
1
2 The Rise of Neoliberal Paternalism
18
3 The Color of Neoliberal Paternalism
53
4 Race and Social Control in the States 196095
83
5 Race and Federalism in Welfares Disciplinary Turn
112
Why and How
141
7 The Local Politics of Discipline
153
8 The Marketization of Poverty Governance
176
9 Performance Perversity and Punishment
207
10 Caseworker Discretion and Decisions to Discipline
233
11 Does Neoliberal Paternalism Matter for the Poor?
262
12 Conclusion
293
Notes
309
References
323
Index
351
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About the author (2011)

Joe Soss is the Cowles Professor for the Study of Public Service in the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. Richard C. Fording is professor in and chair of the Department of Political Science at the University of Alabama. Sanford F. Schram teaches social theory and policy in the Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research at Bryn Mawr College.


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