Reformed American Dreams explores the experiences of low-income single mothers who pursued higher education while on welfare after the 1996 welfare reforms. This research occurred in an area where grassroots activism by and for mothers on welfare in higher education was directly able to affect the implementation of public policy. Half of the participants in Sheila M. Katz's research were activists with the grassroots welfare rights organization, LIFETIME, trying to change welfare policy and to advocate for better access to higher education. Reformed American Dreams takes up their struggle to raise families, attend school, and become student activists, all while trying to escape poverty. Katz highlights mothers' experiences as they pursued higher education on welfare and became grassroots activists during the Great Recession.
Katz chronicles the inspiring 'survival narratives' and grassroots activism of mothers receiving public assistance as they negotiate the many barriers to achieving the American Dream. They offer powerful lessons for remaking it from a materialist and individualist vision to one that nurtures community-building and well-being for all. --Nancy Naples Author of Grassroots Warriors: Activist Mothering, Community Work, and the War on Poverty Recommended. --Nancy Naples Choice The American Dream is betrayed by policies that promotes college for some but not all. In this must-read, Sheila Katz reveals this harsh reality in painstaking detail and, as a scholar-activist, demands that we do something about it. --Sara Goldrick-Rab Founding Director of the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice Well written and well organized and is an approachable read for undergraduate or graduate students in public policy, sociology, poverty, and/or women's studies. Importantly, the policy recommendations she presents in her book are based on the analysis of the experiences and lives of the single mothers themselves. The American Dream can have meaning beyond economic mobility to include living a fulfilling life through education and time spent with family and community. --Nancy Naples Gender & Society Selected New Books on Higher Education compiled by Ki-Jana Deadwyler and Ruth Hammond https: //www.chronicle.com/article/Selected-New-Books-on-Higher/246666?key=137mX8P5kNfptPQAJSOgWMNQT5_Zvkgu5NT2iXPiz_vwC1tQHEYfJH7qLUkMonygb0NxU1VfZFRIQU1qYk85Q1lTS0xaLUtnQkloUUZuZTUzOUdjdDlzYkhmRQ--Nancy Naples Chronicle of Higher Education Sheila Katz's study of single women with children on CalWORKS in the San Francisco bay area should be read by those who have stereotyped low-income women in need of assistance, who we often gratuitously denigrate. Katz's interviews demonstrate these women are willing to work and--against all odds (and sometimes the bureaucracy)--seek to advance their fortunes and those of their children by seeking higher education. It is an important, empathic, empowering story. --Robert Hauhart author of Seeking the American Dream