The goal of this article is to expose and critique the media images of poor women that drive legislative debate in AFDC public policy issues. Part II discusses the media image and its centrality in shaping social perceptions of welfare. Part III explores the impact of media images on law-making by focusing on three statutory time periods: 1935, when the AFDC program was initially enacted as part of the Social Security Act; 1967, when the first mandatory work requirements were, added to the AFDC statute; and the present, when states are implementing widely divergent categorical eligibility requirements that restrict AFDC benefits in an attempt to change behavior. Part IV critiques the media image and elucidates its contribution to erroneous welfare policy.
Lucy A. Williams,
Race, Rat Bites and Unfit Mothers: How Media Discourse Informs Welfare Legislation Debate,
22 Fordham Urb. L.J. 1159
Available at: http://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/ulj/vol22/iss4/12