Frances Fox Piven (born October 10, 1932) is an American professor of political science and sociology at The Graduate Center, City University of New York, where she has taught since 1982. Previously, she had been a member of the political science faculty at Boston University.
Life and education..
Piven was born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, of Russian immigrants. Piven immigrated to the United States when she was one and was naturalized as a United States Citizen in 1953. She was raised in Jackson Heights, Queens, New York. She attended P.S. 148 and Newtown High School. She received a B.A. in City Planning in 1953, an M.A. in 1956, and a Ph.D. in 1962, all from the University of Chicago. She attended on a scholarship and she waitressed for living expenses.
Piven was married to her long-time collaborator Richard Cloward until his death in 2001. Together with Cloward, she wrote an article in the May 1966 issue of The Nation titled “The Weight of the Poor: A Strategy to End Poverty” advocating increased enrollment in social welfare programs in order to collapse that system and force reforms, leading to a guaranteed annual income. This political strategy has been referred to as the “Cloward–Piven strategy”. During 2006/07 Piven served as the President of the American Sociological Association.
While at Boston University, she and her political science department colleagues Murray Levin and Howard Zinn refused to go back to work after the settlement of the 1979 American Association of University Professors strike. Clerical and support staff had also gone out on strike at the time of the AAUP, and Piven, Levin, Zinn and others refused to cross their picketline. The “B.U. Five” were threatened with dismissal by B.U. President John Silber.
Silber later backed down, and Piven and the others eventually returned to the classroom. Piven eventually left B.U. for C.U.N.Y.
Activism and legislation..
Throughout her career, Piven has combined academic work with political action. In 1968, she signed the “Writers and Editors War Tax Protest” pledge, vowing to refuse tax payments in protest against the Vietnam War. In 1983 she co-founded Human SERVE (Service Employees Registration and Voter Education), an organization with the goal of increasing voter registration by linking voter registration offerings with the use of social services or state Departments of Motor Vehicles. Human SERVE’s initiative was incorporated by the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, colloquially known as the “Motor Voter Bill”.
She is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America and serves as one of the eight honorary chairs of that organization.
Some of Piven’s major works include Regulating the Poor written with Richard Cloward, first published in 1972 and updated in 1993, which is a scrutiny of government welfare policy and how it is used to exert power over lower class individuals; Poor Peoples’ Movements, published in 1977, an analysis of how rebellious social movements can induce important reforms; Why Americans Don’t Vote, published in 1988 and a follow up book Why Americans Still Don’t Vote published in 2000, each of which look at the role of current American electoral practices which tend to discourage the poor working class from exercising their right to vote; The War at Home published in 2004, a critical examination of the domestic results of the wars initiated by the Bush administration; Challenging Authority: How Ordinary People Change America, a look at the interaction of disruptive social movements and electoral politics in generating the political force for democratic reform in American history. (Source, Wikipedia)
Editorial: Frances Fox Piven is an individual who came to America from Canada with parents who I can only assume came to America for a better life? As I can find little or nothing is written about Ms. Piven’s parents other than that they were Russian immigrants. I will give them the benefit of the doubt and assume that they were good people.
As for Frances Fox Piven herself? All one has to do is read: “The Weight of the Poor: A Strategy to End Poverty.” ..to understand that the women is at best, “at least in my opinion” ..a disgruntled ingrate.
Tune in tomorrow and I’ll provide it for you.