There were times when I would pick up my little brother when he was covered in dirt from playing, laugh at his smudged little face and say, "you look like a little welfare baby." This was funny to me, it was easy to make light of the welfare system. Welfare recipients were lower class, which made for easier targets of ridicule. Truth be told, my family wasn't much higher on the economic scale. There were times when my mother had to use food stamps to make ends meat. However, not being on welfare made us better somehow. None of our friends were on welfare (or so we thought), and we all acted and looked the same. For the most part, we all had the same images of the welfare family - dirty, tired and lazy. I come from a family who practiced good work ethics, so relying on welfare for support never entered my mind. Was I in for a rude awakening. One day my children would be little "welfare babies" and I would be a welfare mother. I would find that what had been instilled in my mind, as the typical welfare family, was just an image that we as a society have formed. The purpose of this paper is to enlighten us on the different stereotypes and "myths", if you will, of the welfare family and to set the record straight in the minds of society.
Stereotyping is what we call these perceptions we make about others. The welfare system is full of sex and gender stereotyping. As a society, we categorize the visual world to make sense of it. This action is part of human nature. We make behavioral decisions based on perceptual cues all the time. When it comes to looking at people, we often make many judgments based on first impressions of what we observed. We also...
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R C Gardner, Peter D. McIntyre, Richard N. LaLonde. "The Effects of Multiple Social Categories on Stereotyping. "http://www.cpa.ca/cjbsnew/1995/october/gardner4.html
Gilliam, Franklin D., Jr. "The Welfare Queen Experiment." Nieman Reports Vol. 53, Iss. 2 (Summer 1999): 49-52
Kern, William S.. "Current Welfare Reform: A Return to the Principles of 1834" Journal of Economic Issues Vol. 32, No. 2 (June 1998): 427-431
Rebick, Judy. "Kick 'Em Again: Welfare/Poverty" http://www.alternatives.com/capp/v-rebick.html
Karen Seccombe, Kimberly Battle Walters, and Delores James. " 'Welfare Mothers' Welcome Reform, Urge Compassion" Family Relations Vol. 48, No. 2 (1999): 197
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