Sociology Social Policy

Sociology Social Policy - 1 The Family the State and Social...

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1 The Family, the State, and Social Policy (11/15) The Family and the State The Welfare State – Family A: receive food stamps, live in government housing, children go to government provided school start program, receive Medicaid 1920s with the Great Depression that the people really looked to the government for help; President Hoover was opposed to government intervention led to defeat by Roosevelt Under Roosevelt administration that federal government created, developed, and implemented a number of programs to assist the unemployed and to care for their dependents First legislation was Social Security Act 1935, unemployment compensation, provided aid to families with dependent children (single-headed families) Program of Financial Assistance became known as Welfare Changed to become much more difficult to attain and much more temporary assistance in the 1996 Welfare Act Government welfare has expanded considerably over the years, based on the notion or concern about the well-being of children and the elderly; most of the programs assume that most adults can work and should work, only those that are dependent that are really targeted by the welfare programs Most government programs that affect families do so for the dependents of the family; most programs reflect concern for the public family Programs were conceived and designed at a time when the family is very different than it is today: far fewer divorces, cohabitation before marriage, and when recipients in need were fewer in number, not surprising then that the Welfare Act of 1996 was passed Typically the welfare system has been gendered, women and men are treated differently and developed the family wage system as best with mother at home and father working The Family Wage System – Family B: college educated parents, own their own home, raising two kids, receiving no cash assistance, elderly parents receive benefits so don’t have to provide, receive income tax credit for having children and for part of cost of day care; even middle class families receive some form of government assistance Thought family system works best similar to breadwinner model with one parent working outside of the home making enough to provide for their families and the other parent at home taking care of the children; cultural ideology, many cannot afford Social security act of 1935 followed this view of a family wage system, provided pensions only to those who had earned it (worked 10 years in the labor force);
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2 expectations were that the recipients of these pensions would be men, passed legislation that women could collect these pensions after their husbands died Congress assuming family wage system never anticipated that large numbers of women might need assistance because they were divorced nor did they ever anticipate that so many women would be working outside of the home and qualify for social security benefits themselves, not through their spouses
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This note was uploaded on 10/13/2008 for the course SOCI 130 taught by Professor Cohen during the Fall '08 term at UNC.

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Sociology Social Policy - 1 The Family the State and Social...

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