Motherhood, social welfare, punishment, social theory, feminist state theory, public welfare


Scholarship on the changing nature of the welfare state in both the United States and in Britain has revealed how the influence of neoliberal ideologies has heightened the experience of punishment for poor mothers. Through a comparative literature review on the welfare states in the United States and in Britain, this article builds upon prior research to consider how the welfare state’s contemporary focus on discipline may be the product of neo- liberalism and may encourage similarities across different contexts. Furthermore, this article considers how the welfare state’s different agencies may be united in their goals and treatment of poor mothers.

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