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The Politics of Social Welfare in America examines how politicians, theorists, and citizens discuss need, welfare, and disability with respect to theoretical and political projects. Glenn David Mackin argues that participants in these discussions often miss the way their perceptions of those in need shape their discourse. Professor Mackin also explores disability rights groups and welfare rights activism in the 1960s and 1970s to examine the ways that those designated as needy or incompetent often challenge these designations, thus making the issue of welfare an ongoing conflict over who counts as competent and generating new ways of understanding democracy and equality.