Improving Poor People: The Welfare State, the "Underclass," and Urban Schools as History
Princeton University Press, 02/04/1997 - 191 من الصفحات
"There are places where history feels irrelevant, and America's inner cities are among them," acknowledges Michael Katz, in expressing the tensions between activism and scholarship. But this major historian of urban poverty realizes that the pain in these cities has its origins in the American past. To understand contemporary poverty, he looks particularly at an old attitude: because many nineteenth-century reformers traced extreme poverty to drink, laziness, and other forms of bad behavior, they tried to use public policy and philanthropy to improve the character of poor people, rather than to attack the structural causes of their misery. Showing how this misdiagnosis has afflicted today's welfare and educational systems, Katz draws on his own experiences to introduce each of four topics--the welfare state, the "underclass" debate, urban school reform, and the strategies of survival used by the urban poor. Uniquely informed by his personal involvement, each chapter also illustrates the interpretive power of history by focusing on a strand of social policy in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries: social welfare from the poorhouse era through the New Deal, ideas about urban poverty from the undeserving poor to the "underclass," and the emergence of public education through the radical school reform movement now at work in Chicago.
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Because they traced extreme poverty to drink, laziness, and other forms of bad behavior, many nineteenth-century reformers tried to use public policy and philanthropy to improve the character of poor people rather than to attack the ...
Of course, as a reform strategy, improving poor people did not end with the nineteenth or earlytwentieth centuries, ... regularity since the third quarter of the nineteenth century critics have alleged the failure of public schools.
In the nineteenth century, even at times in the early twentieth, public was a term of honor signifying civic pride and the assumption of important social responsibilities by communities and government. More recently, public evokes ...
... policy in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries: social welfare from the poorhouse era through the New Deal; ... It suggests answers by drawing on the lives of some of the poorest people in early-twentieth-century New York City.
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