Thomas F. Jackson

University of Pennsylvania

Thomas F. Jackson, Mellon Fellow in the Humanities at the University of Pennsylvania, will conduct research for a narrative history of the United States welfare reform debate from 1950 to the present. The American welfare system derives its unique shape from a convergence of cultural, political, and moral forces, and in particular the notions of worthiness and dependency which have been continually recast in the political arena. Jackson's work examines the experiences of the poor, minorities, and women on welfare alongside the processes by which they have been stigmatized in the media, in the public opinion, and in the electoral arena. He also looks at ways in which alternative views of welfare have become increasingly marginalized.


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