American welfare policies and programs frustrate both conservative and liberal advocates who fail to realize that American welfare policy cant be any more than, or any less than, the distinctly American framework in which it operates. Moral Authority, Ideology, and the Future of American Social Welfare departs from standard presentations of social welfare by dealing directly with the ideologies that have shaped the American experience and illustrates how the values these ideologies generate define the framework of American social welfare through existing ecomic, governmental, and social structures. By reviewing the ideological frameworks that have shaped the American experience, Andrew Dobelstein explains that we have tried to do much more with American social welfare policy than is possible in the present American system and that prudence suggests a reformation of American social welfare policy--which is t to do less but to do what we are capable of doing in a more effective way. This book suggests how welfare can be re-formed by taking the American ideological context as a road map for which welfare changes are possible and which are t, laying out a framework for welfare as America enters the twenty-first century.
Andrew W. Dobelstein is professor of social work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.