Sample Cultural and Ethics Studies Paper on The Stereotype: Families on TANF have Lots of Children

The Stereotype: Families on TANF have Lots of Children

The average number of children in the TANF (Temporarily Assistance for Needy Families) program is two. “Over a quarter of families headed by non-cohabiting single parents live below the poverty line.” 287 The economic deprivation experienced by lone mothers constitutes one reason why almost one in five children under 18 lives in poverty in the United States – a rate higher than that of any other affluent nation. Only 45% of the Native American families with children in Shannon County are headed by married couples. “Another 41% of families with children are single-mother headed – a status that is consistently associated with poverty.”[1] Assistance in getting child support and other methods of forcing delinquent ex-spouses and boyfriends to pay for their children are not forthcoming. “We already to know that poverty is experienced differently by African American and Latino children than by white children.” [2]Poor children of color are far more likely to live in poor neighborhoods, filled with violence, and with little access to resources or role models that offer a chance at a better life.

Through the TANF program, for example, children situated similarly in regard to need as needy elderly, first are treated differently in accordance with different programs for children and elderly, and second are treated differently, one child from another, through arbitrary restrictions unique to that program.  Thus they are targeted for double discrimination. As a result, the attempts are social engineering in policy making often, perhaps inevitably, ends up as group-frame policies in many individuals do not in any sense get what they deserve, such as children who are denied welfare benefits in clumsy attempts to sanction their mothers. Although the policies’ intentions are expressed in terms of incentive and desert stemming from the desert frame, the children are used merely as props, much as in the story of Job, in concert with the group frame.[3]

Conn: Greenwood Press.

Notably, the current TANF policy has not solved the unemployment problems, and it also has important consequences for the children of these women. “If mothers are poorly educated, they their children are likely to have more cognitive and behavioral problems.”[4]

Bibliography

Lind, Amy, and Stephanie Brzuzy. 2008. Battleground women, gender, and sexuality. Westport,

                   Conn: Greenwood Press. http://public.eblib.com/choice/publicfullrecord.aspx?p=329203.


[1] Lind. Amy, and Stephanie Brzuzy, Batleground Women, gender, and sexuality.(Westport) 388-430

[2] Ibid

[3] Lind, Amy, and Stephanie Brzuzy. 2008. Battleground women, gender, and sexuality. Westport, p. 422

[4] Ibid, p. 422