Welfare reform, women, low-wage work, evaluation research


The historic 1996 welfare reform is typically regarded as a successful public policy. Using the limited success metric of "reducing welfare rolls," welfare evaluations and analysis have obscured the lived experiences of recipients, particularly among women, who are disproportionally represented among welfare recipients. While it is true that welfare numbers are down, those women who have been forced off or left behind are not doing well. In this paper we seek to explore and critically evaluate the lived experiences of women, to challenge mainstream understandings of women's "success" post-welfare, and propose a theoretical and methodological framework, based on an intersectional analysis, that will create more effective policy.

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