In his withering dissection of the origins and misuse of the term "underclass" to stereotype and stigmatize the poor, Herbert J. Gans shows how this ubiquitous label has relegated a wide variety of people- welfare recipients, the working poor, teenage mothers, drug addicts, the homeless, and others- to a single condemned class, feared and despised by the rest of society. Probing the deep psychological, social, and political reasons why Americans seek to indict millions of poor citizens as "undeserving," Gans calls for a cease-fire in the undeclared war against the poor. He concludes with a set of innovative, job-centered policy proposals and a multifaceted educational plan to stop the endless flow of new recruits into America's untouchable caste.
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