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Political Science Prof Publishes New Book

November 20, 2017

Dr. Matthew Gritter of the Angelo State University political science faculty has published a new book that explores attempts to reform the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps.

Rowman and Littlefield LogoTitled “Undeserving: SNAP Reform and Conceptions of the Deserving Poor,” the 102-page book is published through the Rowman & Littlefield independent publishing company in Lanham, Md. It argues that a growing focus on punitive policies attempts to characterize SNAP recipients as undeserving of governmental assistance. 

Dr. Matthew GritterDr. Matthew GritterIn his book, Gritter explores three areas of reform efforts: attempts to limit the types of food that can be purchased, attempts to implement drug testing, and attempts to restrict Able Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWDs) from accessing SNAP. The book argues that these reform efforts are based on conceptions of the deserving and undeserving poor rather than concrete data about SNAP recipients, and warns that if states are allowed greater flexibility, SNAP could be reformed in a way that significantly reduces enrollment and leaves many Americans without a safety net. 

The book is available in hardcover and e-book through Rowman & Littlefield at, as well as on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other online booksellers. 

Gritter, an assistant professor of political science, joined the ASU faculty in 2012. “Undeserving” is his third book, and he has also published more than a dozen journal articles, book chapters and book reviews. He has also presented more than two dozen papers at professional meetings and conferences, and he has become a regular source for the San Angelo news media on various political issues. 

Prior to joining the ASU faculty, Gritter taught at Siena College in New York, Oberlin College in Ohio and Monmouth College in Illinois. He holds a Ph.D. in political science from the New School for Social Research in New York.

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