Politics and Society 31 (2):283-323 (2003)

Margaret Somers
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
In 1996, the U.S. Congress passed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunities Reconciliation Act that ended the entitlement of poor families to government assistance. The debate leading up to that transformation in welfare policy occurred in the shadow of Speenhamland—an episode in English Poor Law history. This article revisits the Speenhamland episode to unravel its tangled history. Drawing on four decades of recent scholarship, the authors show that Speenhamland policies could not have had the consequences that have been attributed to them. The article ends with an alternative narrative that seeks to explain how the Speenhamland story became so deeply entrenched.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1177/0032329203252272
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 72,634
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Transitional Temporality.Daniel Hirschman - 2021 - Sociological Theory 39 (1):48-58.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Does the Welfare State Help the Poor?Tyler Cowen - 2002 - Social Philosophy and Policy 19 (1):36-54.
United States Welfare Policy in the New Millennium.Thomas Massaro - 2003 - Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics 23 (2):97-118.
A Case for In-Kind Transfers.Steven Kelman - 1986 - Economics and Philosophy 2 (1):55.
Protecting the Entrepreneurial Poor: A Human Rights Approach.Jahel Queralt - 2019 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 18 (4):336-357.
Response to One Point in Gingras’s Review of Gravity’s Shadow.Harry Collins - 2008 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 39 (1):151-153.
Race, Poverty, and Domestic Policy.C. Michael Henry (ed.) - 2004 - Yale University Press.
Poverty and the Politics of Capitalism.R. Edward Freeman - 1998 - Business Ethics Quarterly 8 (S1):31-35.


Added to PP index

Total views
2 ( #1,458,228 of 2,533,753 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #389,210 of 2,533,753 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes