The Politics of Disgust: The Public Identity of the Welfare Queen

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NYU Press, Dec 1, 2004 - Political Science - 210 pages
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Winner of the 2006 Race, Ethnicity, and Politics Organized Section Best First Book Award from the American Political Science Association

Winner of the 2006 W.E.B. DuBois Book Award from the National Conference of Black Political Scientists

Ange-Marie Hancock argues that longstanding beliefs about poor African American mothers were the foundation for the contentious 1996 welfare reform debate that effectively "ended welfare as we know it." By examining the public identity of the so-called welfare queen and its role in hindering democratic deliberation, The Politics of Disgust shows how stereotypes and politically motivated misperceptions about race, class and gender were effectively used to instigate a politics of disgust.

The ongoing role of the politics of disgust in welfare policy is revealed here by using content analyses of the news media, the 1996 congressional floor debates, historical evidence and interviews with welfare recipients themselves. Hancock's incisive analysis is both compelling and disturbing, suggesting the great limits of today's democracy in guaranteeing not just fair and equitable policy outcomes, but even a fair chance for marginalized citizens to participate in the process.

 

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Dr. Hancock was hands-down my favorite professor at USF. I can't wait to read her book. Read full review

Contents

The Face of Welfare Reform
1
2 Political Culture and the Public Identity of the Welfare Queen
23
Constructing the Politics of Disgust?
65
Haunted by Ghosts of Welfare Queens Past
88
Public Identity through Welfare Recipients Eyes
117
The Impact of Public Identity and the Politics of Disgust on Democratic Deliberation
138
Public Identity and the Politics of Disgust in the New Millennium
152
Citations for News Media Data Set Analyzed in Chapter 3
158
Congressional Record Documents Analyzed in Chapter 4
166
Data Analysis Procedures
168
Notes
185
Bibliography
191
Index
203
About the Author
210
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About the author (2004)

Ange-Marie Hancock is assistant professor of political science and African American studies at Yale University.

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