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Lives on the Edge: Single Mothers and Their Children in the Other America Hardcover – March 15, 1993

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Gracefully and forcefully written, this study charges that the male-dominated culture in the U.S. has always created myths that allow society to cast poor single mothers and their children into "otherness." The most prevalent myth, according to Polakow, who teaches educational psychology and early childhood studies at Eastern Michigan University, is that poor people got that way because of their own sociocultural or psychological pathology. Our "public policy of detachment," writes Polakow, stems from our historical attitudes about the nature of motherhood and childhood and about "normal families," contentions Polakow substantiates in her interviews with women who tell horrifying stories of how they fared under our welfare system when in need. Polakow calls for an overhaul of this country's social policies to make health care, housing, child care allowances and parental leave mandatory entitlements for all provided by government.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

The author of The Erosion of Childhood (Univ. of Chicago Pr., 1992) here takes an in-depth look at female-headed families enmeshed in poverty and the inept American welfare system, which she portrays as essentially hostile to single mothers. The book chronicles the history of poverty in the United States as it has affected women raising children alone, then examines the present-day lives of single mothers and their families, with particular attention to the children's experiences in school. Polakow (early childhood education, Eastern Michigan Univ.) offers example after depressing example to support her point that the welfare system traps women rather than helping them. Disturbing and often heartbreaking to read, this thought-provoking book is highly recommended for all libraries.
- Jennifer Langlois, Missouri Western State Coll. Lib., St. Joseph
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 232 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Chicago Press; First edition (March 15, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226671836
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226671833
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,446,393 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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on July 4, 2015
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
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