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Book cover of "So You Think I Drive a Cadillac?" Welfare Recipients' Perspectives on the System and Its Reform

"So You Think I Drive a Cadillac?" Welfare Recipients' Perspectives on the System and Its Reform

by Karen Seccombe

Publisher: Prentice Hall
Pages: 240
Paperback
ISBN: 9780205792160






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Overview of "So You Think I Drive a Cadillac?" Welfare Recipients' Perspectives on the System and Its Reform

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Synopsis of "So You Think I Drive a Cadillac?" Welfare Recipients' Perspectives on the System and Its Reform

This down-to-earth look at the welfare system provides readers with stories from welfare recipients themselves and from those who recently left welfare for work: how they got onto welfare, what the reality of welfare (and welfare reform) is for them, issues in raising their families, their plans, hopes, and dreams are for the future, and some of the struggles they face as they try to leave the welfare system.

Welfare recipients who were interviewed by the author in Florida and Oregon share their perspectives on work requirements, family caps, time limits, and other features of the new welfare reform (TANF) program. They discuss the importance of a livable wage and health insurance in providing the needed security to leave welfare for good. These qualitative interviews are theoretically grounded, and supplemented with up-to-date statewide and national data on welfare reform and its consequences.

The author says, “Underneath the political rhetoric and welfare statistics are real live human beings who are trying to make sense out of their lives.” Their voices provide a crucial counterpoint to the politicians and policy “experts” who have shaped the policy reform initiative. They show us that the so-called welfare problem is related to the insecurity of low-tier work in the United States.

About the Author, Karen Seccombe

Karen Seccombe, M.S.W, Ph.D . is a Professor of Community Health at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon. She received her Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Washington focusing on health and social welfare policy. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology from Washington State University, where she continued to develop her public policy interests in inequality, families, and health. She is the author of Families and their Social Worlds (Pearson Allyn & Bacon), Families in Poverty (Pearson Allyn & Bacon), Just Don’t Get Sick: Access to Health Care in the Aftermath of Welfare Reform, with Kim Hoffman (Rutgers University Press), and Marriage and Families: Relationships in Social Context, with Rebecca Warner (Wadsworth). She is a Fellow in the National Council on Family Relations, and a member of the American Sociological Association and the Pacific Sociological Association. Her current research explores the health care needs of families after they leave welfare. She resides in Portland, Oregon with her husband Richard and her young daughters, Natalie Rose and Olivia Lin, where they enjoy hiking, kayaking, and sampling all the kid-friendly local attractions.

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