Making clients and citizens: Welfare policy as a source of status, belief, and action

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    67 Scopus citations


    Over the past two decades, the question of how to cultivate "good citizenship" has come to play a remarkable role in American welfare politics. Debates that once centered on how much aid should go to low-income families now focus on how the terms of assistance can be used to promote work, sexual restraint, and other behaviors deemed to be social responsibilities. The intellectual force behind this shift has been the new paternalism, a movement that promotes directive and supervisory uses of public policies to enforce civic obligations and to provide a moral teaching to the poor (Mead 1997a; Besharov and Gardiner 1996). In federal and state governments, paternalist ideas have captured the legislative imagination and helped to underwrite a major realignment of social policies (Weaver 2000).To a striking degree, welfare provision in the United States has become detached from the goal of income support and entwined with aspirations to make better clients and citizens (Schram 2000).

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publicationDeserving and Entitled
    Subtitle of host publicationSocial Constructions and Public Policy
    PublisherState University of New York Press
    Number of pages38
    ISBN (Print)0791463419, 9780791463413
    StatePublished - Dec 1 2005

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