The feminization of poverty is increasingly recognized as a
global phenomenon, affecting women not only in third world
countries but also in the West. Taking globalization as its
starting point, Western Welfare in Decline explores the plight of
poor single mothers in five English-speaking nations that have
implemented welfare restructuring: the United States, Canada,
Britain, Australia, and Aotearoa/New Zealand. This restructuring is
analyzed in relation to the emergence of neoliberalism, which
valorizes the free market, individualism, and a circumscribed role
for the state.
Contributors to Western Welfare in Decline creatively
combine theoretical and empirical analysis, emphasizing the
economic and social goals of welfare reforms and the discourses of
labor, gendered subjectivity, and the separation of public and
private spheres. They document how the neoliberal project of
welfare reform interacts with local cultures to create both similar
and divergent new cultural formations and identify opportunities
for asserting the social rights of poor single mothers who are
being denied these rights at the level of the nation-state.
Subjects: Population Studies
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