Contradictions in the Gender Subtext of the War on Poverty: The Community Work and Resistance of Women from Low Income Communities.

Author:

Naples, N.

Editor:

Date:

1991

Region:

Theme:

Gender, Community and Disaster

Language:

English

Publisher:

Full Harvard Reference:

Naples, N. (1991). Contradictions in the Gender Subtext of the War on Poverty: The Community Work and Resistance of Women from Low Income Communities. Social Problems, Vol 38. I 3, 1. pp. 316-332.

This article examines the community-based work of women from low income neighbourhoods who were hired by the anti-poverty programs established by the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964. This examination reveals the ways in which gendered assumptions, gender-differentiated policies, and the gender division of labour inform the organization of the state. As the community workers brought their previous unpaid work experience into their state supported jobs, they challenged the assumptions of the state that included (1) narrow interpretations of community needs, (2) bureaucratic organization and reliance on credentialed knowledge as a basis for decision-making, (3) separation of political action from state provisions of social welfare, and (4) a limited definition of labour. The workers' resistance reveals the contradictions of state-sponsored, community-based employment of women from low-income communities.