Synopses & Reviews
In his withering dissection of the origins and misuse of the term underclass” to stereotype and stigmatize the poor, Herbert J. Gans shows how this ubiquitous label has relegated a wide variety of peoplewelfare recipients, the working poor, teenage mothers, drug addicts, the homeless, and othersto a single condemned class, feared and despised by the rest of society. Probing the deep psychological, social, and political reasons why Americans seek to indict millions of poor citizens as undeserving,” Gans calls for a cease-fire in the undeclared war against the poor. He concludes with a set of innovative, job-centered policy proposals and a multifaceted educational plan to stop the endless flow of new recruits into Americas untouchable caste.
For most of its history, America has been fighting a vicious war that cannot be won: a war against its poor. Herbert J. Gans argues that by withholding the opportunity for decent jobs and incomes, we are also killing the spirit of an already large portion of the population. And, he warns, as more well-paying and secure jobs disappear from the American economy, a growing number of workers will join its ranks. The book ends with an imaginative set of economic policy ideas for a twenty-first-century America that may never again be able to supply enough decent jobs for everyone.
"In his withering dissection of the origins and misuse of the term underclass” to stereotype and stigmatize the poor, Herbert J. Gans shows how this ubiquitous label has relegated a wide variety of pe"
Includes bibliographical references (p. -186) and indexes.
About the Author
Herbert J. Gans, author of Levittowners and The Urban Villagers, is professor of sociology at Columbia University and the former president of the American Sociological Association.