Shut Out portrays in vivid detail the economic, educational, and existential struggles that single mothers confront as they fight back against a welfare-to-work regime that denies them access to higher education and obstructs their aspirations as autonomous women, determined to exit poverty and attain family self-sufficiency. The book is a unique blend of policy analysis and lived realities. The voices of student mothers fighting to stay in school, and organizing for a different future, are embedded in an analysis grounded in the educational experiences of women in poverty across the states. Harsh and punitive public policies that are designed to keep poor women trapped in low wage work are juxtaposed against the actions of those who, together with their allies, have resistedÂinspired by a vision of a different world made possible by higher education.
Contributing authors discuss the provisions of the 1996 "welfare reform" (PRWORA) Act and the myriad of statewide responses to educational options within the framework of national legislation. In documenting the multiple obstacles and policy restrictions that low income women face, the book also highlights successful state programs, institutional practices, and community-based programs that afford low income women educational opportunities. The afterword summarizes recent legislative developments and makes policy and advocacy recommendations for the future.
âThis is a must-read book for educators and activists interested in the topics of race, class, gender, and education, but also, I believe, for everyone who cares about American democracy and social justice â¦ The bookâs style will hold readersâ attention even if they donât know much about American social policy and welfare laws.â â Alice E. Ginsberg, Feminist Teacher
ââ¦Shut Out provides a rich array of scholarship on the subject â¦ Written on the eve of the reauthorization of federal welfare reform, with even harsher work requirements, in the 108th Congress, Shut Out is a call for action.â â Feminist Collections
âAs the tide of welfare âreformâ in the United States continues to push rightward and the Congress moves to press for even more work requirements and even less opportunities for postsecondary education, this book reminds us that there are much better ways to reduce poverty and provide real economic futures for poor mothers and their families.â â Feminist Economics
âResearch that explores the perspective and daily lives of welfare recipients, particularly individuals participating in higher education or vocational training programs, has been limited. This book therefore offers an important contribution to the field.â â Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare
âThis well-organized reader by social work and education researchers on welfare recipientsâ access to postsecondary education observes â¦ that the 1996 welfare overhaul made it difficult for low-income women with children to pursue higher education.â Â CHOICE
Contributors include Stefani A. Bjorklund, Sandra S. Butler, Deborah Clarke, Luisa Stormer Deprez, Donald E. Heller, Peggy Kahn, Erika Kates, Anita K. Mathur, Christiana Miewald, Lynn Peterson, Valerie Polakow, Lizzy Ratner, Judy Reichle, Frances J. Riemer, Aiko Schaefer, Sally Sharp, Rebekah J. Smith, Julie Strawn, Julie L. Watts, and Chuck Wiseley
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