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A Better Way Four Interviews On The Welfare System Myths surrounding the issue of welfare in our country today are so prevalent that it is difficult for individuals to determine the exact source of their learned misconceptions Whether it be through the media family peers or elsewhere Americans become indoctrinated with the stereotype of the welfare recipient to a greater degree than any other I can pinpoint From extensive discussions with others on the subject as well as from personal experience in addition to the four interviews I did for this paper I have come to realize that the media plays a huge role in peoples misconception of the reasons for welfare dependency and this misinformation is never corrected by readings such as we have had in this class nor discussions with welfare recipients themselves These popular misconceptions create a problem in and of themselves since they are at least in part the cause of the stigmas that recipients often feel are associated with their being on welfare These stigmas can lead to a loss of the feeling of self-worth that is absolutely necessary if one is to cease government dependency and return to the workforce rather than resigning themselves and thereby failing to seek alternatives I have done four interviews with Duke students from a variety of backgrounds two of whom have themselves received welfare assistance and found some surprising results Though four interviews are certainly not enough to draw any groundbreaking conclusions there are several themes common to all First of all they all identify a common stereotype an inner-city black woman with several children whose parents were most likely on welfare too Secondly they assert that welfare is a cycle that is very difficult if not impossible to break And finally they all believe that if one is to be successfully weaned from welfare the government has a responsibility to educate them about available resources and help them to
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