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Week 3 readings help us continue our examination of the kinds of ideas and corresponding structures being used to address the problem of poverty–along with other needs, including for cheap labor, etc. In class during Week 2 we also noted that the stories being told about the poor serve a number of functions, including affecting actions and inactions, as well as legitimizing both structures (rules, laws, regulations, practices) and behaviors toward the poor.
In the readings for Week 3, Trattner Chapter 4 offers a number of examples that look like they reflect this sort of “idea/structure” pairing, where certain ideas are catching on about poverty, the poor, economic exchange and the role of government, and those ideas in turn help shape and inform innovative structures. See if you can identify a couple of those idea/structure pairs and explore whose interests were being met, and how. Reflect on how identifying idea/structure sets and aims might be useful for us as students of policy and policy analysis.
Barnes (2017) is a perfect addition to our thinking about what is happening in relatively new states right after the American Revolution concerning rules about race. As you read through this article, think about paths taken and not taken affecting this northern state and the effects of those actions (and inactions) on racial justice during the early 1800s in Ohio. What does this article tell us about the relevance of political power?
In Chapter 5, Trattner is exploring the Civil War and the kinds of changes in addressing public health and welfare necessitated by the war and its aftermath. As you read this chapter, identify some of the kinds of innovations emerging at this time. Things are also shifting around responses to public welfare issues related to race and gender. What are you noticing in these dimensions? What are you noticing about the idea/structure and interest model along these lines as well? What might we need to include in our emerging model, if anything, to account for what we are seeing during this period of time?
Luker (1984) describes the responses of Blacks to addressing social welfare needs in Northern Black communities during the latter part of the 1800s. How does Luker help us build out our understanding of how poverty and social welfare needs of black men and women were being addressed during this period? What insights might we generate if we add political context into our thinking about responses to social welfare?
from the book :
Tratner, W.I. (1998). From Poor Law to Welfare State: A History of Social Welfare in America [6th
ed.]. New York: The Free Press.
If you need me to scan pages from the book and upload let me know.

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