Farewell to Maternalism: Welfare Reform, Liberalism, and the End of Mothers' Right to Choose Between Employment and Full-time Care
AbstractThe 1996 welfare system reform is widely recognized as a turning point, which might be characterized as the ending of the maternalist strand of U.S. social policy that dates back to the 1910s and 1920s. Less noticed, but potentially as significant, has been the expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which assists poor employed parents; here one may identify the expansion of the employment-based strand of U.S. social policy. I assess how welfare reform and the more incremental changes in the EITC have changed the gen-dered character of social policy, or gender policy regime. I offer an analysis of this change, making use of a feminist policy regime frame-work I developed in a 1993 paper. This conceptualizes the dimen-sions of social policy regimes as the character of social provision in terms of social rights versus discretionary social assistance, the institutional relationships among state, market, and family, and the patterns of stratification shaped by social provision. Welfare reform itself should be understood as incorporating at least three components: (1) it eliminates a social right, while eliminating caregiving as a base for making claims within the U.S. welfare state; (2) it expands the role of the market in the provision of income and care; and (3) it marks a shift toward gender "sameness" in that institutionalized expectations for mothers no longer are distin-guished from those for fathers‹both are required to be in employ-ment, and programmatic distinctions now follow lines of differenti-ation in labor markets, rather than a family/employment dualism. Meanwhile, the expansion of the EITC reinforces these changes from a more positive direction: It channels resources to poor parents, but only if they are employed, linking support to caregiving to labor market participation for both men and women. These changes have important implications for the future gender politics of social policy.
Download InfoTo our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
1. Check below under "Related research" whether another version of this item is available online.
2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Institute for Policy Resarch at Northwestern University in its series IPR working papers with number 00-7.
Date of creation:
Date of revision:
You can help add them by filling out this form.
reading lists or Wikipedia pages:Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Thomas Krichel).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.