Does America Hate the Poor?: The Other American Dilemma : Lessons for the 21st Century from the 1960s and the 1970s

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 1998 - Social Science - 172 pages
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Tropman examines American values and the two groups that threaten those values. One might wonder why, in the world's wealthiest society, do the poor seem so stigmatized. Tropman's answer is that they represent potential and actual fates that create anxiety within the dominant culture and within the actual poor themselves. The response in society is hatred of the poor, he contends, and among the poor themselves, self-hatred.

Two groups of poor are analyzed. The status poor--those at the bottom of America's money, deference, power, education, or occupation (and combinations of those). The status poor embody the truth that, in the land of opportunity, not all succeed. The elderly are the life cycle poor. They are deficient of future, and in the land of opportunity, to have one's own life trajectory circumscribe hope is a condition that must be denied. Poorhate is a classic example of blame the victim. Tropman explores the process of poorhate through data from the 1960s and 1970s, and he uses the past to illuminate the probelms of the present, and, hopefully, to assist in crafting a better future. A provocative work for students and scholars of social welfare policy and policymakers themselves.


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Page 10 - ... makes a policy of his mistrust. "We don't give out money any more," he says. "We just give them this chit for a food order or the rent or the utilities and they give it to the folks they deal with who know that we'll be good for it. . . ." Poor persons seeking help will have to contend with Miss Mary Cloud, the sixty-year-old welfare assistant who, while sizing up the applicants, harbors the assumption that unless she guards against it, they will perpetrate frauds against the interests and taxes...

About the author (1998)

JOHN E. TROPMAN is Professor of Social Policy, School of Social Work, The University of Michigan. Among Professor Tropman's earlier publications are Public Policy Opinion and the Elderly, 1952-1978 (Greenwood Press, 1987), Entrepreneurial Systems for the 1990s with Gersh Moringstar (Quorum Books, 1989), and The Management of Ideas in the Creating Organization (Quorum Books, 1998).

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