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Welfare reform and liberal governance: disciplining Cambodian-American bodies


The impact of the 1996 US welfare reform act on Southeast Asian-Americans has been an important topic for research in recent years. Many studies have focused on issues of limited access, culturally/linguistically inappropriate services, and responses of community-based organisations. Although these studies help us assess the material implications of welfare reform on group life, they reveal little about the ideological consequences. This article examines how contemporary welfare reform governs and disciplines the lives of its recipients. Based on in-depth interviews with Cambodian-American families in Long Beach, California, this article examines the imposition of governance upon its recipients by the welfare state.

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