Opinions of Knowledgeable Respondents about Social Agencies' Service by Social Class of Neighborhood (Detroit, 1964)
|Agency and Class||Total||Positive||Negative||N|
|aTwelve knowledgeable respondents could not be analyzed on this question, giving an N of|
1094 instead of 1106.
sonal attitudes (Chapter 5), they believe their friends and people in general do not like their agency or their clients. To make matters somewhat worse, they appear to have misperceived the support their own clients have for them. This picture is certainly a problematic one.
As we look at it from the perspectives of the late 1990s, it becomes more obvious why President Clinton signed the welfare bill. His reading was that there was limited support--politically--for welfare. These data suggest that was true even during the heyday of the Great Society, the time when, other things being equal, one would expect the greatest support for welfare. Yet even then, the country as a whole (as seen in Boston and Kansas City) distinguished sharply between those who were "on welfare" (the status poor) and those who needed "a little help from the government."
Putting these pieces together suggests that American society has a broad, situation-independent view of the poor, and it is negative. When I say that America hates the poor, it appears that even the poor may hate the poor.