Get Regulating the Poor: The Functions of Public Welfare PDF

By Frances Fox Piven, Richard A. Cloward

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly
Originally released in 1971, this social technological know-how vintage outlines the social services of welfare courses.

"Uncompromising and provocative....By blending historical past, political interpretation and sociological research, Piven and Cloward give you the top rationalization thus far of our current situation...no destiny dialogue of welfare can come up with the money for to disregard them."--Peter Steinfels, the recent York occasions e-book evaluation

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Additional info for Regulating the Poor: The Functions of Public Welfare

Sample text

We are, obviously, borrowing the expression ‘functionings’ from Sen. However, in this context we are interpreting it in a narrower sense than he does. Instead of all the important activities that people may value engaging in, we concentrate on those functionings which come about from the provision of basic social services – that is, the ability to lead healthy, literate, knowledgeable lives. g. of being healthy) is an attribute of an individual, we are here interested in achieved functionings at an aggregate or societal level.

With these ends in view, we propose an alternative approach to integrate economic and social policies. One may well wonder why we propose income-poverty reduction as a goal, rather than reduction of inequality. That is because not all reductions in inequality will reduce poverty, particularly if the reductions in inequality are among those in the richest six or seven deciles of the population. Ravallion (2004) defines pro-poor growth as any increase in GDP that reduces poverty. Such a definition is too broad: it implies that most real-world instances of growth are pro-poor, even if poverty decreases only slightly and income distribution worsens during a period of strong growth, or inequality improves but leaves the incomes of the poorest where they were.

These two synergies are linked by the presence of basic social services (BSS) found in both. The difference is that in the first synergy basic services are inputs; in the second, BSS interventions appear in the form of health and educational outcomes. However, this difference is highlighted merely for expository purposes, since in fact poverty reduction, economic growth and health/education outcomes 16 ELIMIN ATING HUM A N POV ERT Y cannot be realized without independent inputs/interventions. These inputs, when transformed into outputs or outcomes, have a synergistic effect in continuous feedback loops.

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