Gender and Welfare in Mexico
- Publish Date: 9/13/2011
- Dimensions: 6 x 9
- Page Count: 184 pages Illustrations: 1 map
- Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-271-04887-1
- Paperback ISBN: 978-0-271-04888-8
“Gender and Welfare in Mexico connects the development of ideas about family and gender globally to the development of Mexico City's professional class and the evolution of the Mexican postrevolutionary political system in original and important ways. Engagingly written, richly researched, and rigorously argued, this book will matter deeply to anyone concerned with the history of twentieth-century Mexico and with the transnational history of gender and the welfare state.”
“Placing the rise of professional women in the field of social work within an international movement of eugenics, diplomacy, and institution building, Nichole Sanders shows how it formed an integral part of the expansion of the postrevolutionary middle class and the consolidation of the PRI. Sanders considers both the social workers and the clients of social welfare and adroitly shows that if within consumer culture the chica moderna was defined as modern by her independence, within welfare rhetoric the modern woman was a scientific mother, living in a ‘properly’ formed family with disciplined children. Social workers, politicians, national and international agencies, and clients of social services come alive in this engaging history of the ever-changing relationship between public and private social assistance—a topic of seminal importance in our times.
"Gender and Welfare in Mexico engages because it examines shifts: from private Catholic charity to the rhetoric of public state-sponsored welfare; from a cardenista rhetoric that sought to protect those marginalized within capitalism to one that largely eschewed class politics in its celebration of the mother and child; from the rise of the Pan American Congress to its eclipse by UNICEF during the 1950s (in which women tended to play a lesser role); and the changing priorities of international players such as the U.S. government and UNICEF. The book breaks open the period of the 1940s and 1950s, contributing to the history of state formation, political legitimacy, childhood, family, women, and cross-class relations.
"Gender and Welfare in Mexico is an important contribution to the history of women’s expansion of their own cultural, social, and political influence prior to obtaining the right to vote. It is exciting for the way it opens up the histories of specific individuals such as Mathilde Rodríguez Cabo, Enelda Fox, and Margarita Delgado.”
“Nichole Sanders has produced a study of welfare in politics in mid-twentieth-century Mexico that places middle-class social workers and their impoverished urban clients at the center of the analysis. This important research sheds light on the ways in which international health trends and domestic political imperatives coincided, clashed, and created new opportunities for improving social conditions in the clinics, soup kitchens, and public dormitories of postrevolutionary Mexico City.”
The twentieth-century “Mexican Miracle,” which solidified the dominant position of the PRI, has been well documented. A part of the PRI’s success story that has not hitherto been told is that of the creation of the welfare state, its impact (particularly on the roles of women), and the consequent transformation of Mexican society. A central focus of the PRI’s welfare policy was to protect women and children. An important by-product of this effort was to provide new opportunities for women of the middle and upper classes to carve out a political role for themselves at a time when they did not yet enjoy suffrage and to participate as social workers, administrators, or volunteers. In Gender and Welfare in Mexico, Nichole Sanders uses archival sources from the Ministry of Health and Welfare and contemporary periodical literature to explain how the creation of the Mexican welfare state was gendered—and how the process reflected both international and Mexican discourses on gender, the family, and economic development.
List of Abbreviations
1 Gender, Race, and the Pan-American Child Congresses
2 Welfare Reform in Mexico: Stabilizing the Family
3 Single Mothers and the State
4 The Postwar Years: Disease Eradication, Sanitation, and Development
5 The Rise of Social Work in Mexico
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