Contemporary articles citing Orloff A (1993) Am Sociol Rev
welfare, women's, states, concept, feminist, state, had, program, resources, gender
- Orloff, Ann. 2009. "Gendering the Comparative Analysis of Welfare States: an Unfinished Agenda." Sociological Theory. 27:3 317-343.
- Can feminists count on welfare states-or at least some aspects of these complex systems-as resources in the struggle for gender equality ? Gender analysts of ``welfare states'' investigate this question and the broader set of issues around the mutually constitutive relationship between systems of social provision and regulation and gender. Feminist scholars have moved to bring the contingent practice of politics back into grounded fields of action and social change and away from the reification and abstractions that had come to dominate models of politics focused on ``big'' structures and systems, including those focused on ``welfare states.'' Conceptual innovations and reconceptualizations of foundational terms have been especially prominent in the comparative scholarship on welfare states, starting with gender, and including care, autonomy, citizenship, (in)dependence, political agency, and equality. In contrast to other subfields of political science and sociology, gendered insights have to some extent been incorporated into mainstream comparative scholarship on welfare states. The arguments between feminists and mainstream scholars over the course of the last two decades have been productive, powering the development of key themes and concepts pioneered by gender scholars, including ``defamilialization,'' the significance of unpaid care work in families and the difficulties of work-family ``reconciliation,'' gendered welfare state institutions, the relation between fertility and women's employment, and the partisan correlates of different family and gender policy models. Yet the mainstream still resists the deeper implications of feminist work, and has difficulties assimilating concepts of care, gendered power, dependency, and interdependency. Thus, the agenda of gendering comparative welfare state studies remains unfinished. To develop an understanding of what might be needed to finish that agenda, I assess the gendered contributions to the analysis of modern systems of social provision, starting with the concept of gender itself, then moving to studies of the gendered division of labor (including care) and of gendered political power.
- Goldberg, CA. 2001. "Welfare Recipients or Workers? Contesting the Workfare State in New York City." Sociological Theory. 19:2 187-218.
- This paper addresses how New York City's workfare program has structural opportunities for collective action by welfare recipients. As workfare blurs the distinction between wage workers and welfare recipients, it calls into question accepted understandings of the rights and obligations of welfare recipients and fosters new claims on the state. The concept of ``cultural opportunity structures'' can help to explain the political mobilization of workfare participants if it is linked to a Durkheimian tradition of cultural analysis attentive to symbolic classification. The dramaturgic approach to culture exemplified in the work of Erving Goffman can usefully complement this structural approach if a narrow focus on frames and framing process is broadened to include interaction rituals and ceremonial profanation.
- Thistle, S. 2000. "The Trouble With Modernity: Gender and the Remaking of Social Theory." Sociological Theory. 18:2 275-288.
- There is continued frustration over the failure of established social theory to be altered despite dramatic developments in women's lives and feminist theory. I argue that this process has been blocked by an overly static conception of society and gender itself. Close examination of the actual circumstances of African American and white women in the nineteenth- and twentieth-century United States reveals the relationship between gender and economic and political development has been a dynamic historical one, culminating recently in a radical transformation of women's lives and work. I develop the implications of this argument for older analytic divisions between work and home, or productive and reproductive labor, and for recent shifts in theory. Coherent grasp of the events currently altering women's lives provides a clear way to join gender with earlier theoretical concerns, as another moment of social transformation brought about by a still-infolding process of economic and political development.
- Hobson, B & M Lindholm. 1997. "Collective Identities, Women's Power Resources, and the Making of Welfare States." Theory and Society. 26:4 475-508.
- Soysal, YN. 1997. "Changing Parameters of Citizenship and Claims-making: Organized Islam in European Public Spheres." Theory and Society. 26:4 509-527.
- Korteweg, AC. 2003. "Welfare Reform and the Subject of the Working Mother: ``get a Job, a Better Job, Then a Career''." Theory and Society. 32:4 445-480.
- Until 1996, poor single mothers in the United States could claim welfare benefits for themselves and their children under the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program if they had no other source of income. With the 1996 passage of the Personal Responsibility Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA), paid work and work-related activities became a mandatory condition for receiving aid. At the same time, the law promotes marriage as a route out of poverty. Using a feminist reinterpretation of Althusser's concept of interpellation, I turn to Job Clubs, mandatory week-long workshops that teach job search skills, to analyze the citizen-subject generated by front-line representatives of the state in the context of this new legislation. Based on participant-observation, I conclude that while PRWORA ostensibly promotes both marriage and paid employment, Job Club trainers enforced a masculine worker-citizen subject through the deployment of three discursive strategies. These discursive strategies 1) promoted paid work over welfare-receipt as both a pragmatic and moral choice, 2) posited an individual-psychological account of women's welfare receipt, and 3) portrayed parenting skills as marketable skills. In the conclusion, I speculate that current welfare reform efforts require the generation of a self-reproducing worker-citizen and that workshops like Job Club become a site in which the existence of this autonomous citizen is affirmed.