Being a Mother of Two under a Reformed Welfare System Analytical Essay by scribbler

Being a Mother of Two under a Reformed Welfare System
An analysis of the welfare reform in the state of Connecticut from two sociological perspectives.
# 153176 | 2,662 words | 6 sources | APA | 2013 | US

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This paper explores Emile Durkheim's theory of functionalism and its perspective on institutions in society, as well as Karl Marx's theory of social conflict, and discusses the advantages and disadvantages of both perspectives. The paper uses these two theories to analyze the latest welfare reforms which began in 1996 and shows how they were good for society if analyzed from a functionalist perspective, but discriminatory towards the poor and the people of color if analyzed from a conflict theory perspective. The paper then focuses on a fictional African-American mother of two children in Hartford, Connecticut, to demonstrate how the latest welfare reforms have made life much harder for her.

Durkheim and Functionalist Perspective
Marx and Conflict Theory
Being a Mother of Two under a Reformed Welfare System

From the Paper:

"Although various forms of sociological inquiry have always existed in almost all societies, modern understanding of sociology began to develop in Europe in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Various sociological theorists have emerged since then. Of these, two theorists have been especially important: Emile Durkheim and Karl Marx. Durkheim is known for studying the suicide phenomenon in Europe. Durkheim tried to explain the various suicide rates across Europe and he argued that suicide was a social problem, rather than an individual problem. He also argued that the suicide rate was linked to group membership--that is, the less attached we are to other members of the society, the more likely we are to commit suicide (Witt, 2011). Durkheim has also coined the term "anomie," referring to a situation when one has lost track of life. Being in the state of anomie is characterized by normlessness in life and the person who commits suicide in this state, according to Durkheim, has committed an anomic suicide (Schaefer, 2009).
"Another legacy of Durkheim is his contribution to the development of functionalist perspective in sociology. This perspective--which is also known as functionalism--states that the society is like a living organism in which each part of the society contributes to its overall stability."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Berger, P. (1963) Invitation to Sociology. Doubleday, NY: Anchor Books.
  • Grant, B.F. (1996) Alcohol and Drug Use, Abuse and Dependence Among Welfare Recipients. American Journal of Public Health, 86(10): 1450-1454.
  • Macionis, J.J. (2008) Social Problems. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.
  • Schaefer, R. (2009) Sociology: A Brief Introduction. New York: McGraw Hill.
  • Schram, S.F. (2005) Contextualizing Racial Disparities in American Welfare Reform: Toward a New Poverty Research. Perspectives on Politics, 3(2): 253-268.

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

Being a Mother of Two under a Reformed Welfare System (2013, May 05) Retrieved December 10, 2023, from

MLA Format

"Being a Mother of Two under a Reformed Welfare System" 05 May 2013. Web. 10 December. 2023. <>