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The Legal Tender of Gender

Law, Welfare and the Regulation of Women's Poverty

Editor(s): Shelley A. M. Gavigan, Dorothy E Chunn
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Published: 15-02-2010
Format: PDF eBook (?)
Edition: 1st
Extent: 290
ISBN: 9781847315625
Imprint: Hart Publishing
Series: Oñati International Series in Law and Society
RRP: £29.69
Online price : £23.75
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Loren Epson

About The Legal Tender of Gender

Extensive welfare, law and policy reforms characterised the making and unmaking of Keynesian states in the twentieth century. This collection highlights the gendered nature of these regulatory shifts and, specifically, the roles played by women as reformers, welfare workers and welfare recipients, in the development of welfare states historically. The contributors are leading feminist socio-legal scholars from a range of disciplines in Canada, the United States and Israel. Collectively, their analyses of women, law and poverty speak to long-standing and ongoing feminist concerns: the importance of historically informed research, the relevance of women's agency and resistance to the experience of inequality and injustice, the specificity of the experience of poor women and poor mothers, the implications of changes to social policy, and the possibilities for social change. Such analyses are particularly timely as the devastation of neo-liberalism becomes increasingly obvious. The current world crisis of capitalism is a defining moment for liberal states – a global catastrophe that concomitantly creates a window of opportunity for critical scholars and activists to reframe debates about social welfare, work, and equality, and to reinsert the discourse of social justice into the public consciousness and political agendae of liberal democracies.

Table Of Contents

Part I: Historicizing Social Reproduction, Welfare and Neo liberalism
1. Women, Social Reproduction and the Neo-Liberal Assault on the US Welfare State MIMI ABRAMOVITZ
2. Women, the State and Welfare Law: The Canadian Experience SHELLEY AM GAVIGAN AND DOROTHY E CHUNN
Part II: Women's Agency and Activism in the Welfare State: Comparative and Historical Perspectives
3. Gender and the Rise of the Welfare State in Fin-de-Siècle New York City: The Case of Tenement Regulation FELICE BATLAN
4. 'Mothers at Work': The Welfare Rights Movement and Welfare Reform in the 1960s PREMILLA NADASEN
Part III: The Precarious Citizenship and Legal Construction of Poor Women
5. Women in the Workforce in the Context of Neo-Liberalism: The Case of Israel MIMI AJZENSTADT
6. 'Risky Women': The Role of 'Risk' in the Construction of the Single Mother KAREN SWIFT
7. Intimate Intrusions: Welfare Regulation and Women's Personal Lives JANET MOSHER
8. Retrenchment not Reform: Using Law and Policy to Restrict the Entitlement of Women with Disabilities to Social Assistance JOAN M GILMOUR
Part IV: Reconceptualizing State Forms and Socio-Legal Policy
9. Substantive Universality: Reconceptualizing Feminist Approaches to Social Provision and Child Care HESTER LESSARD
10. Women's Work and a Guaranteed Income MARGOT YOUNG


“ important and timely opportunity for 11 feminist scholars to reflect upon twentieth century welfarism, and its contemporary neo-liberal re-configurations.

...the essays are thoughtful, illuminating and well researched, providing a rich resource for further interrogation of this significant, if unglamourous, area of feminist scholarship.

” –  Helen Carr, Feminist Legal Studies, Volume 18

“This volume makes a substantial contribution to the scholarly literature on the welfare state, elucidating the socio-legal forms of neo-liberalism and their adverse effects on poor women in Canada, Israel, and the U.S. The book is well organized, the chapters show painstaking research, and the authors make powerful arguments. Commendably, the contributors connect the material and the discursive aspects of the changing welfare state.

Another strength is the volume's coherence and cohesiveness.

...the volume should be of particular interest and value to law and courts scholars. intellectually rich volume, both theoretically and empirically, that deserves to become a staple of scholarly research and graduate courses across several disciplines.

” –  Elizabeth Bussiere, Law and Politics Book Review

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