Inspired by the political interventions of feminist women of color and Foucauldian social theory, Anna Marie Smith explores the scope and structure of the child support enforcement, family cap, marriage promotion, and abstinence education measures that are embedded within contemporary United States welfare policy. Presenting original legal research and drawing from historical sources, social theory, and normative frameworks, the author argues that these measures violate the rights of poor mothers. Drawing on several historical precedents the author shows that welfare policy has consistently constructed the sexual conduct of the racialized poor mother as one of its primary disciplinary targets. The book concludes with a vigorous and detailed critique of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's support for welfare reform law and an outline of a progressive feminist approach to poverty policy.

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