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The New Welfare Trap: Case Managers, College Education, and TANF Policy
Pearson, A. Fiona
Article from Journal - ilmiah internasional
Gender and society; vol. 21 no. 05 (Oct. 2007)
After U.S. welfare was reformed in 1996, many states reduced their support of postsecondary education and instead emphasized work-first programs. This study uses in-depth interviews and participant observation to examine how case managers implement work-first policies when dealing with students desiring a college education. Case managers are expected to reconcile the goals of their clients with those of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, while negotiating cultural definitions of “work” that frequently serve to reproduce gender, race, and class inequalities. In this context, overburdened case managers, many of whom support proffering educational solutions, nonetheless find themselves promoting work over education. As a result, many economically poor women are dissuaded from pursuing postsecondary degrees that have the potential of increasing their chances of achieving financial self-sufficiency.
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