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How Welfare Became a Dirty Word

Program #GORL001. Recorded in Portland, OR on March 07, 1997.

Although welfare takes up only a small part of the budget, it generates an enormous amount of political and media attention. One Beltway pundit says it's "the most despised government program." Talk show hosts feed their listeners a steady diet of rhetoric about welfare queens. Welfare recipients are stigmatized as lazy and dependent. The larger issues of poverty, racism and inequality are ignored.

Speaker(s):

Linda Gordon

Linda Gordon is one of the foremost authorities on the intersection of race and gender in social policy. A professor of history at the University of Wisconsin, her classic book is Pitied But Not Entitled: Single Mothers & the History of Welfare.

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