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Social Amelioration through Mass Insurgency? A Reexamination of the Piven and Cloward Thesis

Robert B. Albritton
The American Political Science Review
Vol. 73, No. 4 (Dec., 1979), pp. 1003-1011
DOI: 10.2307/1953984
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1953984
Page Count: 9
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Social Amelioration through Mass Insurgency? A Reexamination of the Piven and Cloward Thesis
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Abstract

Frances Fox Piven and Richard A. Cloward (1971, 1977) have argued that mass insurgency in the United States, occurring especially between 1964 and 1969, produced a series of responses by government, one of the most significant being massive expansion of welfare rolls. Using data on which they base their claim, this study examines the hypothesis that there is a positive association between social disorders and welfare caseload increases. The conclusion is that associations specified by Piven and Cloward are not supported by the data and a plausible rival hypothesis is offered to explain the massive increases in welfare caseloads.

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