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Our research project provides:
- an intersectional and critical race perspective on the U.S. welfare state,
- a transatlantic research network and fellows,
- as well as knowledge transfer to the general and academic public
The socio-economic and structural inequalities in the U.S. between the white majority and racialized minorities have been steadily increasing. Current research on the U.S. welfare state seeks an explanation in the interaction of state, market, and family. Categories that create social inequality such as race and gender and their interactions, however, are rarely considered in the formation, implementation, and outcomes of welfare policies. The project "'Welfare Queens' and 'Losers'" addresses this research gap: Based on theoretical approaches of Critical Race Studies, this intersectional analysis shows for the first time the interconnectedness of race and gender in the development of the welfare state and scrutinizes underlying power structures.
The research project thus addresses three objectives:
(1) It provides a critical race perspective on the welfare state by arguing that race and gender have determined the development path of the U.S. welfare state since its inception and have gained such institutional stability that no fundamental changes occur even in phases of social change.
(2) The project scrutinizes racialized and gendered frames and discourses established in the mass media concerning social policies.
(3) Utilizing two empirical case studies from Texas and Minnesota, it demonstrates how regional conceptions of race and gender, as well as racist practices, determine the allocation and distribution of scarce resources.
The interdisciplinary research project presents an important contribution to the understanding and impact of racism and thus strengthens the American Studies at the University of Passau with the research focus on Ethnic and Racial Studies.
The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is funding the project according to the funding guideline area studies for an initial period of three years (March 2021 – February 2024).