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Abstracts from Volume 28, Number 4
(December, 2001)

The Poverty of Hard Work: Multiple Jobs and Low Wages in Family Economies of Rural Utah Households
Christina E. Gringeri
The combination of paid work and poverty, or near poverty, is a growing problem in the United States, one of which is often accentuated by residence in rural, low-wage communities where underemployment is more prevalent than in metropolitan areas. This paper examines the experiences of sixty rural families with inadequate employment using data from ethnographic interviews with a particular focus on the strategies they use to meet their family's needs in spite of low-wage work.

Family and Community Integrity
Joshua Miller
Family and community are two of the most significant social institutions in the development and daily lives of individuals. This article offers a model to conceptualize the relationship between family and community derived from research conducted in Holyoke, Massachusetts between 1995 and 1997, and inspired by Erik Erikson's concept of individual integrity. A brief profile of the City of Holyoke is presented followed by a discussion about the relationship between family and community, including consideration of the relevance of group membership and social identity, and the importance of social cohesion and community efficacy. The research results are presented within a model framework of what constitutes family and community integrity.

Group Work's Place in Social Work: A Historical Analysis
Janice Andrews
This paper uses a political/economic lens to explore the relationship of social group work to the larger social work profession. The author studied the group work collection at the Social Welfare History Archives, the journal THE GROUP from the 1940s and 1950s, the proceedings of the re-born group work organization, Association for the Advancement of Social Work with Groups, and interviewed several prominent group workers who were active in social group work from the 1940s. The author concludes that group work's decision to merge with NASW in 1955 provided the hoped-for professional identity. However, there were consequences for group workers that were not anticipated and, ultimately, resulted in the disappearance of group work as an integral part of social work education and practice.

The Impact of Privatized Management in Urban Public Housing Communities: A Comparative Analysis of Perceived Crime, Neighborhood Problems, and Personal Safety
Stan L. Bowie
A quasi-experimental design with non-equivalent groups assessed the impact of privatized management on crime and personal safety in large public housing communities in Miami, Florida. A randomly-selected sample (N= 503) of low-income African Americans living in 42 different housing "projects" were surveyed. Privatized sites had greater mean values for break-ins and thefts (m=2.03, S.D.=1.47, p<.01) and vacant apartment usage. Publicly-managed sites had higher mean values for shootings and violence (m = 2.52, S.D. = 1.67, p<.01). While there were no statistically significant differences in perceived personal safety, publicly-managed respondents expressed greater satisfaction with police services. Privatized management did not result in significantly more positive outcomes and social services utilization was associated with less violent crime. Implications are discussed for public housing crime, federal housing policy, and future research.

Serving the Homeless: Evaluating the Effectiveness of Homeless Shelter Services
George M. Glisson, Bruce A. Thyer, and Robert L. Fischer
The effects of homeless assistance services at the local level are tremendously difficult to ascertain. In this study, a four-month sample of homeless persons served by a local homeless shelter and case management program were contacted nine to eleven months after receiving services. The findings suggest that the program had some initial success in assisting the homeless clients to locate housing within the first year after leaving the shelter. However, the housing costs paid by these formerly homeless were quite high, with nearly three-quarters of them spending forty percent or more of their income on housing.

The Role of Social Capital in Reclaiming Human Capital: A Longitudinal Study of Occupational Mobility among Displaced Steelworkers
Allison Zippay, Ph.D.
This paper examines the employment and income effects of job training, education, and social network contacts over a 10-year period among a random sample of steelworkers who lost jobs to plant closings in the early 1980s in a manufacturing community in Western Pennsylvania. First interviewed in 1987, a majority of the 102 respondents were unemployed or underemployed. A second round of interviews was conducted in 1997 with 87 of the original respondents to examine changes in income and employment status, the types of training and education that had been pursued over the course of 10 years, and their use of social network contacts in the job search process. The study found that short-term training was not effective in providing training-related employment or in advancing hourly wages above the sample mean. Social network contacts were the primary means by which the respondents secured manufacturing work and other skilled positions.

Adolescence and Old Age in Twelve Communities
Pranab Chatterjee, Darlyne Bailey, and Nina Aronoff
This paper disputes the theory of universal stages of development (often called the epigenetic principle) asserted by Erikson (1963; 1982; 1997) and later developed in detail by Newman & Newman (1987, p. 33). It particularly disputes that there are clear stages of adolescence (12-18), late adolescence (18-22), old age (60-75), and very old age (75+). Data from twelve communities around the world suggest that the concept of adolescence is socially constructed in each local setting, and that the concept of late adolescence is totally absent in some communities. Further, the stage of old age (60-75) is much shorter in some communities, and that the stage of very old age (75+) is not found at all in some communities.

A Time Series Analysis of the Effect of Welfare Benefits on Earnings
Michael Anthony Lewis
Policy analysts Frances Fox Piven and Richard A. Cloward have put forth a bargaining power model of earnings. More specifically, they have argued that the higher workers' bargaining power, the higher their earnings and the higher the level of welfare bene.ts, the higher workers' bargaining power. Thus, based on Piven and Cloward's model, one would predict a positive relationship between welfare benefit levels and earnings. Using time series data I test Piven and Cloward's model and find support for it. The policy implications of my findings are discussed.

Connecting Personal Biography and Social History: Women Casino Workers and the Global Economy
Jill B. Jones and Susan Chandler
Economic globalization has been described as the "most fundamental redesign of the planet's political and economic arrangements since as least the industrial revolution" (Mander, 1996). This article explores its implications in the lives of a group of women casino workers. Based on a qualitative study in which data were collected from key informants, focus groups of community leaders and professionals, and in-depth interviews with women casino workers themselves, the study attempts, in the spirit of C.Wright Mills (1959) and social work's tradition of person-in-environment, to connect "the patterns of [individual] lives and the course of world history."

The National Domestic Workers Union and the War on Poverty
Elizabeth Beck
This article explores values, strategies, and tensions found within the War on Poverty and examines a War on Poverty-supported initiative, the National Domestic Workers Union (NDWU). The article makes the argument that the NDWU is illustrative of the War on Poverty in that each held structurally based descriptions of poverty and individually based prescriptions. The article explores the relationship of domestic service to the institutions of racism, classism, and sexism and how the NDWU strategies of training, service, and, advocacy-like those of the War on Poverty-sought to address the needs of individual domestic workers while circumventing larger and more complicated issues.

BOOK REVIEWS
Family Experience with Mental Illness. Richard Tessler and Gail Gamache. Reviewed by James W. Callicutt.

The Course of Gay and Lesbian Lives: Social and Psychoanalytical Perspectives. Betram J. Cohler and Robert M. Galatzer-Levy.
Reviewed by Ronald J. Mancoske.

The Gender Division of Welfare: The Impact of British and Welfare States. Mary Daly.
Reviewed by Rebecca A. Van Voorhis.

New Arenas for Community Social Work Practice with Urban Youth: Use of the Arts, Humanities, and Sports. Melvin Douglas.
Reviewed by Julian Chow.

BOOK NOTES
Risk, Trust, and Welfare. Peter Taylor Gooby (Ed.). Paths to Success: Beating the Odds in American Society.
Charles C. Harrington and Susan K. Boardman.

Robbing Drug Dealers: Violence Beyond the Law.
Bruce A. Jacobs.

Visions of Charity: Volunteer Workers and Moral Community.
Rebecca Anne Allahyari.

Declarations of Dependency: The Civic Republican Tradition in U.S. Poverty Policy.
Alan. F. Zundel.

 

 

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