Frances Fox Piven (Summary)

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Frances Fox Piven is a prominent U.S. sociologist, writer and socialist activist. Married to the late Richard Cloward, a sociologist and socialist, the two made a formidable team, making waves with their Cloward-Piven Strategy which they delivered at the 1966 Socialist Scholars Conference. The strategy was designed to so over-burden the state with obligations to welfare recipients that revolutionary crisis and change would become inevitable. Since that time, Fox Piven has been a key speaker at the annual Democratic Socialists of America-sponsored Socialist Scholars Conference, which is now known as the Left Forum. Fox Piven has strong ties with the Socialist International-affiliated DSA, currently serving as an honorary chair for the organization. In the 1980s she was a member of the DSA's Feminist Commission. She has affiliations with many other top leftist groups. She was listed as a lecturer for the Institute for Policy Studies in 1979, was a New Party builder in 1994, was one of the founders of Campaign for America's Future in 1996, endorsed the founding of the anti-Iraq War newspaper War Times in 2002, and as at 2009, serves on the advisory board of Minnesota-based Wellstone Action. In August 2004 Fox Piven endorsed an anti “Bush Team” Protest at the Republican National Convention in New York, organized by Not In Our Name, an organization closely associated with CODEPINK, United for Peace and Justice, and the Revolutionary Communist Party. In Sept. 2010, Fox Piven stated that violence was acceptable if it was "a big part of your strategy," and in Dec 2010, she renewed her 1966 call for revolution - this time exemplifying the recent violent student protests in England. (more...)