Shifting the Color Line
Race and the American Welfare State
By (author) Robert C. Lieberman
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Shifting the Color Line by Robert C. Lieberman
Book DescriptionDespite the substantial economic and political strides that African-Americans have made in th 20th century, welfare remains an issue that sharply divides Americans by race. This text explores the historical and political roots of enduring racial conflict in American welfare policy, beginning with the New Deal. Through social security and other social insurance programmes, white workers were succesfully integrated into a strong national welfare state. At the same time, African-Americans - then as now disproportionately poor - were relegated to the margins of the welfare state, through decentralized, often racist, public assistance programmes. Over the next generation, these institutional differences had fateful consequences for African-Americans and their integration into American politics. Owing to its strong national structure, social security quickly became the closest thing to a universal, colour-blind social programme. On the other hand, public assistance - especially Aid to Families with Dependent Children - (AFDC) continued to treat African-Americans badly, while remaining politically weak and institutionally decentralized. Racial distinctions were thus built into the very structure of the American welfare state. By keeping poor blacks at arm's length while embracing white workers, national welfare policy helped to construct the contemporary political divisions - middle-class versus poor, suburb versus city and white versus black - that define the urban underclass.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780674007116
(235mm x 155mm x 17mm)
Imprint: Harvard University Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publish Date: 2-Nov-2001
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Robert C. Lieberman
Oxford Handbook of American Political Development, Hardback (August 2016)
This volume provides an authoritative and accessible analysis of the study of American political development.
Shaping Race Policy, Paperback (March 2007)» View all books by Robert C. Lieberman
Investigates one of the most serious policy challenges facing US: the stubborn persistence of racial inequality in the post-civil rights era. Focusing on two key policy areas, welfare and employment, this book asks why America has had such uneven success at incorporating African Americans and other minorities into the benefits of citizenship.
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Author Biography - Robert C. Lieberman
Robert C. Lieberman is Associate Professor of Political Science and Public Affairs, Columbia University.
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