Inventing the Needy: Gender and the Politics of Welfare in Hungary

Inventing the Needy: Gender and the Politics of Welfare in Hungary

Inventing the Needy: Gender and the Politics of Welfare in Hungary

Inventing the Needy: Gender and the Politics of Welfare in Hungary

Synopsis

"In her beautifully written, deeply researched, and elegantly argued book, Lynne Haney shows how much American policy-makers can learn from Hungary's social welfare experience. By unpacking the very different strategies that Hungary has adopted during the past half-century, Haney's account illuminates basic policy choices about how a society--any society--addresses the problems of poverty. It makes indispensable reading for those, on both sides of the Atlantic, who care about the lives of the poor."--David Kirp, author of "Gender Justice

""Inventing the Needy is a theoretically engaged and methodologically innovative ethnography of Hungarian welfare regimes from 1948 to 1996. Studying the state 'from below, ' her multi-layered and multi-sited analysis of the transformations in state policies and institutional practices, and their effects on everyday life, is an important contribution to comparative studies of welfare states, the social construction of the materialization and materialization of need, as well as to critical socialist, postsocialist, and feminist studies. Well-written, lucidly argued, thoughtful, and thought-provoking!"--Gail Kligman, author of "The Politics of Duplicity: Controlling Reproduction in Ceausescu's Romania

""Inventing the Needy stands at the forefront of a new generation of revisionist scholarship. It dispenses with the sharp dichotomies of capitalism and communism and forsakes triumphal interpretations of the transition to the free market and liberal democracy. Looking at Hungary through the eyes of women and their experiences with successive welfare regimes, Lynne Haney offers a more balanced and variegated picture of the state socialist past and a moresober account of the capitalist present. "Inventing the Needy is a brilliant combination of ethnography, history, and theory."--Michael Burawoy, co-author of "Global Ethnography: Forces, Connections, and Imaginations in a Po

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