Book Review: Kathleen M. Shaw, Sara Goldrick-Rab, Christopher Mazzeo, and Jerry A. Jacobs, Putting Poor People to Work: How the Work-First Idea Eroded College Access for the Poor

Sandra K. Danziger
Content Type
Journal Article
Political Science Quarterly
Issue Number
Publication Date
Fall 2008
Academy of Political Science
How does the ideology under girding national policy reform trickle down to state and local-level policy and front line service delivery? What are the ripple effects of such changes for other institutions and for population outcomes? This book assesses trends in welfare reform and workforce training and effects for single mothers. The authors trace the prominence and causal role of the idea of “work first” at multiple levels and institutional settings. They find it has become the singular operating rationale for welfare recipients and low income adults more generally across the United States since the late 1990s. They further argue that it has shut doors to higher education.
Political Geography
United States