Wives without husbands: marriage, desertion, & welfare in New York, 1900-1935

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University of North Carolina Press,
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Shedding new light on contemporary campaigns to encourage marriage among welfare recipients and to prosecute "deadbeat dads," Wives without Husbands traces the efforts of Progressive reformers to make "runaway husbands" support their families. Anna R. Igra investigates the interrelated histories of marriage and welfare policy in the early 1900s, revealing how reformers sought to make marriage the solution to women's and children's poverty. Igra taps a rich trove of case files from the National Desertion Bureau, a Jewish husband-location agency, and follows hundreds of deserted women through the welfare and legal systems of early twentieth-century New York City. She integrates a broad range of topics, including Americanization as a gendered process, breadwinning as a measure of manhood, the relationship between consumer culture and social policy formation, the class dimensions of family law, and the Jewish community as a source of welfare policy innovation. Igra analyzes the history of antidesertion reform from its emergence in social policy debates, through the establishment of domestic relations courts, to Depression relief programs. She shows that early twentieth-century reformers, by attempting to make instrumental use of poor people's intimate relations, anticipated welfare policies in our own time that promote marriage as an answer to poverty.
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Grouped Work ID 8764fa4a-9764-15a4-f465-211f958cadd0
full_title wives without husbands marriage desertion and welfare in new york 1900 1935
author igra anna r
grouping_category book
lastUpdate 2017-08-14 05:04:50AM

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publishDate 2007
record_details external_econtent:ils:.b13228730|eBook|eBook||English|University of North Carolina Press,|c2007.|viii, 175 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
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series Gender & American culture
series_with_volume Gender & American culture
title_display Wives without husbands marriage, desertion, & welfare in New York, 1900-1935
title_full Wives without husbands [electronic resource] : marriage, desertion, & welfare in New York, 1900-1935 / Anna R. Igra
title_short Wives without husbands
title_sub marriage, desertion, & welfare in New York, 1900-1935