Public Assistance Stigma

667 Words3 Pages
There are many stigmas attached to receiving public assistance. People who depend on welfare to survive are often seen to use welfare because of “their laziness, drug use, lack of human capital, personal choice, or other personal shortcomings or irresponsible behavior.” The mothers in the study conducted by Seccombe, James, and Walters found that women receiving public assistance were all too aware of these stigma. These women understood that other people looked at them differently when they found out that they were on welfare. The surprising finding in this study, however, is that while individual women saw themselves as victims of a system, they stigmatized other women on public assistance under the same stereotypes that they were subjected to by others. These women saw “clear distinctions were drawn between ‘me’ and them’.” The disconnect between how a person sees themselves in the system in comparison to others may be a defense mechanism that is used in order to cope with being on welfare. People use distancing language in order to…show more content…
It is very difficult to think that the parents I work with do not see how others are also victims of the system. In one account, a woman “did not socialize with neighbors, usually kept her curtains closed, and generally did not allow her young daughter to play outside.” This ideology, which has been inherited from the days of Raeganomics, creates distance within the communities we work with and further isolates our clients. However I think that this propaganda worked to discourage the creation of communities and further isolate welfare recipients. When we contract with our clients, we talk a lot about their support system and community supports are really lacking in their lives. I feel that this disempowers our clients and they cannot work together towards a common goal when there are issues within the
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