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Over the years, welfare has become highly intertwined with ideological beliefs involving gender, race, and poverty. As the nature of welfare transformed to include non-white recipients, the perception of welfare recipients as single "worthy white widows" was replaced by the "lazy African-American breeders." This study examined how television news may have appropriated this negative image in its coverage of the changes in the U.S. welfare system that took place during the 1990s. News stories presented by the major U.S. television networks from 1993 to 2000 were examined. The analysis showed that news stories tended to depict the typical welfare recipient as being female and black, and often depicted the recipient as responsible for her welfare status.

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12 Race, Gender & Class 10