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‘Overworked and Underpaid’ : Low-level Bureaucrats and the Politics of Neoliberal Food Assistance Administration.

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Title: ‘Overworked and Underpaid’ : Low-level Bureaucrats and the Politics of Neoliberal Food Assistance Administration.
Author: Tung, Diana
Advisor: Hart, Laurie Kain; Shipley, Jesse
Department: Haverford College. Dept. of Anthropology
Type: Thesis (B.A.)
Issue Date: 2010
Abstract: In this essay I examine how neoliberalism, in the form of revitalized market-based ideologies and policies, impact the ways in which low-level bureaucrats deliver food assistance policies to their low-income clients. The justification of government retrenchment and devolution in the post-Welfare Reform era can be seen as a convergence of pre-existing ideologies, such as individual responsibility and historical racial/ethnic prejudices. Neoliberalism promotes policies that mandate stringent eligibility criteria for clients to separate the "deserving" from the "undeserving" poor, and to transform citizens into economic actors. Neoliberalism also promotes the cutting back of administrative budgets, which inadvertently creates systematically overworked caseworkers. The bureaucrat, operating within this framework, enacts the neoliberal project through implementing official policies that craft citizens into economic "subjects of value," and utilizing "bureaucratic disentitlement" to de-incentivize clients from accessing food stamps. I demonstrate how the configuration of these elements serves to manage poverty and food insecurity, rather than work toward their eradication. Ultimately, these processes further perpetuate conditions of poverty, rather than address their root causes.
Subject: Neoliberalism -- United States
Subject: Food relief -- United States -- Management
Subject: Food relief -- Government policy -- United States
Terms of Use: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/us/
Permanent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10066/5986

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Citation

Tung, Diana. "‘Overworked and Underpaid’ : Low-level Bureaucrats and the Politics of Neoliberal Food Assistance Administration.". 2010. Available electronically from http://hdl.handle.net/10066/5986.

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http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/us/ Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/us/

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