Who Cares?

Life on Welfare in Australia

Eve Vincent
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Who Cares?

Life on Welfare in Australia

Eve Vincent
The welfare state meets the 2020s in Australia
The twentieth-century Australian welfare state made the bold promise to care for its citizens. But since the 1990s, social security has become increasingly conditional and punitive in its provision of this so-called care. Who Cares? outlines the perspectives of people affected by two recent welfare measures, offering an urgent account of the implications of these reforms. Eve Vincent has interviewed people who have been affected by the controversial cashless debit card, which limits discretionary spending, as well as those looking after small children who are compulsory participants in the program ParentsNext. Vincent challenges the very category of 'welfare recipient', which defines people exclusively by their relationship to paid work. And she asks who bears the burden of looking after vulnerable people once the welfare state's duty of care is displaced by surveillance and punishment? Who Cares? offers a new and deeply humane account of life on welfare today.
The twentieth-century Australian welfare state made the bold promise to care for its citizens. But since the 1990s, social security has become increasingly conditional and punitive in its provision of this so-called care. Who Cares? outlines the perspectives of people affected by two recent welfare measures, offering an urgent account of the implications of these reforms. Eve Vincent has interviewed people who have been affected by the controversial cashless debit card, which limits discretionary spending, as well as those looking after small children who are compulsory participants in the program ParentsNext. Vincent challenges the very category of 'welfare recipient', which defines people exclusively by their relationship to paid work. And she asks who bears the burden of looking after vulnerable people once the welfare state's duty of care is displaced by surveillance and punishment? Who Cares? offers a new and deeply humane account of life on welfare today.

Eve Vincent

Eve Vincent

Eve Vincent is chair of Anthropology in the Macquarie School of Social Sciences. She is the author of ‘Against Native Title’: Conflict and Creativity in Outback Australia and co-editor of Unstable Relations: Indigenous People and Environmentalism in Contemporary Australia. Her writing has appeared in Sydney Review of Books, Griffith Review, Meanjin, Overland and Inside Story.

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Paperback
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Available on publication date
Other formats available