Welfare recipients, higher education, welfare reform, matrix of domination


This qualitative study uses Patricia Hill Collins' "both/and" conceptual framework to explore experiences of both oppression and resistance among welfare recipients attending college. It examines how children, social networks, integration into campus life, and interactions with caseworkers affect welfare recipients' college attendance and college persistence. As is well established in the sociological literature, having children complicates college attendance and persistence. But this research shows that children also provide the predominant incentive for poor mothers to attain higher education. Moreover, this study reveals complexities in welfare recipients' experiences with their social networks, work-study jobs, and caseworkers that are often overlooked by current research on higher education and welfare reform.

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