From Welfare to Workfare

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This book examines the causes of the shift from welfare to workfare and documents the effects of this policy change on women, especially single mothers, in Canada and the United States. The author argues that soaring budget deficits, combined with neoliberal economic reform in both Canada and the United States, produced a conservative discourse about spending on social programs that legitimized welfare cuts.


“This contribution is invaluable because it shows how single mothers are easy targets that allow the state to displace its own responsibility for burgeoning budget deficit problems, which exist because of the continued incentives and tax-break support that the state affords capitalist interests. ... Dr. Pinder’s book makes a thoughtful intervention to radical and transformative politics that places low-income people across gender, ethnicity, race and class at the heart of her analysis of the workfare state.” - Kanchana N. Ruwanpura, Lecturer, School of Geography, University of Southampton, England

“This important work should be read not just by academics and policy-makers in Canada and the United States, but also by all those interested in the evolution of modern welfare programs in the context of neo-liberal global markets. ... From a theoretical standpoint, the strength of the book is in the critical examination of four paradigms of welfare policies – gender-centered, class-centered, state-centered and race-centered perspectives. ... It becomes clearer why single mothers should be viewed as a distinctive category of analysis, which would allow decision-makers to re-conceptualize the issue of reproductive unpaid work without becoming trapped in traditional conceptions of gender roles.” - Monica Ciobanu, Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology, Plattsburgh State University of New York

Table of Contents

Preface by Kanchana N. Ruwanpura
Introduction - The Thrust of the Argument
1 Conceptual Framework for Understanding Welfare Reform in Canada and the United States
2 The History of Welfare and Women in Canada and the United States
3 Workfare, Single Mothers, and Child Care in Canada and the United States
4 Budget Deficit, Welfare Reform, and Workfare in Canada and the United States
5 Globalization, the Welfare State, and Workfare in Canada and the United States
Conclusion - Reflections

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