from Volume 27, Number 1
American Mosaic: An Introduction
This article, in addition to introducing the special journal issue on
the changing American mosaic, provides a synthesis of issues associated
with changing demographic trends as the number of people of color increase
between 20002050.Welfare reform, structural inequality, and the
convergence of race, class and gender issues are discussed in a civil
rights context. A brief summary of the other journal articles by Glen
Loury; Stanley Eitzen and Maxine Baca Zinn; Ruth Sidel; Mary Krist,
Douglas Gurak, Likwang Chen; Doris Wilkinson and Margaret Gibelman is
Years of Black America: Two Steps Forward and One Step Back?
Glenn C. Loury
The nature of social and economic inequality as it exists now between
Blacks and Whites in the United States is explored in this paper. Summary
statistics on education, earnings, employment, family structure, incarceration
and life expectancy are presented by age, sex and race. It is suggested
that, while progress has been made in narrowing the racial gap in social
standing, there remains a significant disparity that warrants continuing
Safety Net and Families: A Progressive Critique of the New Welfare Legislation
D. Stanley Eitzen and Maxine Baca Zinn
This is an overview essay on the 1996 welfare legislation and its consequences.
The paper is divided into five parts: (1) The basic elements of the
legislation; (2) The conservative assumptions undergirding this legislation
and the progressive responses to them; (3) The consequences of the legislation
for individuals and families; (4) The missing elements in the new welfare
legislation; and (5) The progressive solution to welfare.
Within: The Demonization of Poor Women
The denigration and demonization of poor women was central to the
effort to repeal Aid to Families with Dependent Children by the passage
of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act
of 1996. The utilization of negative stereotypes involving race, class
and gender effectively marginalized impoverished women and their children,
who were blamed for virtually all of the social problems of the United
States during the 1990s. Despite the massive concentration of wealth
and income in the hands of the wealthiest Americans and the ever-widening
gap between rich and poor, the United States continues to ignore the
need for fundamental economic and social reform.
Immigrants: Their Composition and Living Arrangements
Mary M. Kritz, Douglas T. Gurak, and Likwang Chen
This paper describes how the composition of elderly immigrants is
changing and how elderly immigrants differ from natives in terms of
living arrangement and demographic and socioeconomic characteristics.
The determinants of living alone are investigated for 11 ethnic origin
categories and natives. The analysis utilizes data from two samples
of the 1990 U.S. Census: the PUMS-A 5% sample and an independent 3%
sample of households containing at least one member 60 or more years
of age. Between 1970 and 1990 immigrants from Asia and Latin America
moved from forming a minor component of the elderly to being a significant
and rapidly growing part of the elderly population which is also expanding
rapidly. Elderly immigrants from developing countries have distinctly
different living arrangement profile from natives and from other immigrant
elderly. They are significantly more likely to be living with children
as well as with others, and distinctly less likely to be living alone
or with spouse only. However, there is no single pattern for all immigrants
and even within the broad categories of developing and developed origin
groups there is considerable heterogeneity of living arrangements. The
most important source of differences in the odds of elderly living alone
is the degree of integration, indexed by English language frequency,
duration of U.S. residence, and citizenship status. Economic resources
also significantly influence the odds that elderly from developing countries
live alone. Demographic and physical limitation factors, while important
in influencing type of living arrangement in general, do not contribute
significantly to immigrant group differentials in living arrangements.
the Concept of "Minority": A Task for Social Scientists and Practitioners
Although sociologists have articulated the components and scope
of the "minority" concept, many of the characteristics are no longer
germane. Originally those placed in the category were viewed as subordinate
and as possessing cultural or physical qualities not approved or preferred
by the larger population. There has been no systematic questioning of
ingrained seductive words and value-based constructions like "minority".
This brief critique offers an evaluation of the "minority" conception
that is so pervasive in the social and behavioral sciences, the print
and broadcast media, politics, and the entire language system.
about Racial Inequality?
Glenn C. Loury
The issue of Affirmative Action is discussed, identifying some
difficulties with the way that this policy has been pursued in the past:
Racial preferences can be a poorly targeted method of closing the gap
in social status between Blacks and Whites, and can have negative unintended
consequences for incentives and for the reputations of its beneficiaries.
Nevertheless, it is argued that some form of affirmative action continues
to be needed. The concept of "developmental affirmative action" is introduced.
This form of racially targeted policy focuses primarily on the enhancement
of competitive skills. In so doing, it avoids many of the aforementioned
Action at the Crossroads: A Social Justice Perspective
This article reviews the basis for the policy of affirmative action
within the context of changing social values. Both the aims and unanticipated
consequences of affirmative action are explored, the latter of which
have resulted in substantial backlash and the real possibility of policy
overturn. Within this context, the position of the social welfare community
toward and involvement in affirmative action is traced. An agenda for
social work in current and future debates about affirmative action is
offered which takes into account the original social problem--discrimination--within
redefined societal values and political realities. Alternative remedies
to affirmative action, it is argued, can be congruent with the mission
and values of the social welfare community in its quest to achieve social
justice. Such options include targeting specific professions that interface
with the inner city African-American underclass; reframing the purpose
of affirmative action from that of correcting injustice for the victims
of racial discrimination to social engineering; and targeting specific
geographical areas which are characterized by economic deprivation.
The Global Emergence of Gay and Lesbian Politics: National Imprints
of a Worldwide Movement. Barry D. Adam, Jan Willem Duyvendak and
Andre Krouwel (Eds.).
Reviewed by Carol T. Tully, Tulane University.
The East Asian
Welfare Model: Welfare Orientalism and the State. Roger Goodman,
Gordon White and Huck-ju Kwon (Eds.).
Reviewed by Kwong-leung Tang, University of Northern British Columbia.
and Retirement Around the World. Jonathan Gruber and David A. Wise
Reviewed by Martin B. Tracy, Southern Illinois University.
Development. David Stoesz, Charles Guzzetta and Mark Lusk.
Reviewed by Anthony Hall, London School of Economics and Political Science.
The Future of
Child Protection. Jane Waldfogel.
Reviewed by Leroy H. Pelton, University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Recasting Egalitarianism: New Rules for Communities, States and
Markets. Samuel Bowles and Herbert Gintis.
Gender. Myra Marx Ferree, Judith Lorber and Beth B. Hess (Eds.).
and Welfare in Europe. Christine Cousins.
in Human Services. Stephen P. Wernet.