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Caring for Our OwnWhy There is No Political Demand for New American Social Welfare Rights$
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Sandra R. Levitsky

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199993123

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199993123.001.0001

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Caring for Our Own

Caring for Our Own

(p.166) Chapter 7 Caring for Our Own
Caring for Our Own

Sandra R. Levitsky

Oxford University Press

This chapter explains why American families don’t translate their unmet social welfare needs into demands for social policy reform. First, existing social policies and services are a powerful source of cultural models for state intervention. But many families lack access to these social services, and relative to other advanced democracies, the United States has very few social policies in place to offer material resources for families providing chronic care. Second, discursive integration—the process of integrating new models or political logics with existing values, beliefs, and practices—produces understandings of social welfare provision that typically reinforce traditional norms about family responsibility. And finally, to effectively communicate collective grievances, individuals need advocacy organizations to provide information about how and when and where to get involved. But individuals who experience unmet long-term care needs today often lack the necessary links to advocacy organizations to express their grievances as political demands.

Keywords:   social welfare, long-term care, advocacy organizations, grievances, policy reform, family responsibility

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