Types of Welfare States? A Methodological Deconstruction of Comparative Research
Rebecca A. Van Voorhis
Research on modern welfare states has been strongly influenced by the
theory that they develop according to patterns, which form distinct
regimes- liberal, corporatist, and social democratic. These regimes
are characterized by several key variables, among which the decommodification
of labor is heavily weighted. This article examines the operational
assumptions, measures, and calculations used in the most widely cited
empirical study around which distinct regime theory has developed over
the last decade. The findings reveal critical methodological weaknesses
in the conceptualization and quanti.cation of decommodification measures,
which form the empirical cornerstone of distinct regime theory.
Work to Human Services
Social work has forfeited its professional mandate and should be replaced
by "human services." In three traditional areas of responsibility-child
welfare, public welfare, and mental health-social work has failed to
meet its societal obligation. Meanwhile the profession has used postmodern
thought to justify a focus on internal constituency groups. A template
for professional education in human services is proposed.
"For Their Own
Good?": Sex work, social control and social workers, a historical perspective
This article provides an overview of the social responses to prostitution
since the mid 1800s and how the responses of social workers have been
shaped by shifting social contexts. Understanding the complex interplay
of these forces is key to mapping out the divergent social work practice
approaches with sex workers and their influence over time. The article
presents three main constructs which have influenced social work responses
to sex work; 1) the notion that women needed to be protected for their
own good, 2) competing class values and, 3) social control.
Research in Public Social Service Agencies: As Assessment of Dissemination
Teresa Dal Santo, Sheryl Goldberg Pamela, Michael J. Austin
The purpose of this study was to investigate how nine exploratory research
studies were disseminated and utilized by social services agencies in
four California counties. It is based on in-depth interviews with sixteen
key social service agency staff members in four counties who were involved
in the planning and implementation of the research projects. While reports
were disseminated internally to agency management staff, the results
revealed that fewer were shared with supervisory and line staff. All
of the studies in.uenced agency thinking and, in some cases, specific
agency decisionmaking processes. The key factors influencing the utilization
of research included: (a) characteristics of the findings and recommendations,
(b) specific project situations, (c) practitioner and researcher characteristics,
and (d) communication. Implications for future research and practice
are identified in relationship to improving the scope of work, strengthening
the agency-researcher partnership, developing a research networking
program, and increasing media strategies for bringing research to the
Social Workers' Activities with People with Disabilities: Predicters
of Community Practice
Richard L. Beaulaurier
The purpose of this study was to explore the extent to which hospital
based social workers were actively involved in community practice on
behalf of disabled people. The study attempted to identify what variables
influence social workers in health settings to engage in community practice.
A sample of 286 social workers employed in 57 different hospital and
rehabilitation settings participated in a survey that focused on advocacy
and related topics. A questionnaire explored participants' perspectives
and the levels and kinds of practice activities they engaged in relation
to the needs of people with disabilities. Most respondents indicated
that community practice was part of their professional responsibility
and that disabled clients needed such assistance. Regression analyses
showed that self-reports of community practice activities were nevertheless
highly related to selfreported advocacy activities. However, their reports
of their actual advocacy activities consistently fell below their recognition
Exploring the Life Stages of Two
Canadian Street Youth Shelters
Youth shelters have emerged as significant resources for homeless and
runaway adolescents. Through participant observations of shelter culture,
review of agency archival materials, and in-depth interviews with 21
shelter workers (front line staff, middle managers, and upper-level
executives), this analysis explores the life stages of two Canadian
street youth shelters, highlighting the dramatic transformations in
their internal operations and external environments. This paper also
offers an understanding of organizational evolutionary processes.
Neighboring: An Exploration into Household Assets
and Efforts to be a Good Neighbor
A non-random, cross-sectional sampling procedure was utilized in this
study to explore the relationship between the level of household assets
and their corresponding level of neighboring. Surveys from111 households
were collected from September 1997, to April 1999, in seven Ohio counties
to elucidate the relationship between the level of assets in working
poor households and selected household demographic variables, and their
propensity to provide various forms of community assistance over the
previous month from the time of survey. Findings revealed that households
1) with more than one adult and 2) with lower levels of monthly earned
income were more likely to provide community assistance to their neighbors.
The implications of an asset-based social welfare policy strategy will
Not in My
Social World: A Cultural Analysis of Media Representations, Contested
Spaces, and Sympathy forthe Homeless
James A. Forte
The social constructionist approach offers conceptual tools that may
augment social workers' persuasive powers and problem solving capacities.
In this case study, I examine a newspaper campaign to cast the homeless
in negative terms and justify the closing of a shelter. Findings are
presented as seven themes used by competing claims-makers. Each constructs
a different depiction of the homeless, of homelessness, and of preferred
solutions. Linkages between community memberships and favored problem
definitions are identified. I conclude with suggestions for how "intelligent
social reconstruction" might help social workers function as sympathy
brokers for the vulnerable. (Key words: homelessness,NIMBY, mass media,
constructionist approaches to social problems).
Interracial Marriage. Maria P. Root.
Review by Dianne
Privilege: California Politics, Propositions, and People of Color.
and Teiahsha Bankhead.
Review by Devon
Services and ChildWell-Being: Exploring Issues in Policy, Practice,
Theory, and Research.
Patricia Sandau-Beckler and Marc Mannes (Eds.)
Review by Sherrill
and the State: Decision-making and Child Participation.
Review by Eileen
HIV, AIDS, and
the Law, Hawthorne, Donald
Review by Ronald
and SocialWelfare: Living Standards and Their Distribution in the United
States. Daniel T. Slesnick.
Review by Sondra
The Road not
Taken: A History of Radical Social Work in the United States.
and Janice Andrews.
Failures and Remedies. Alvin L. Schorr.
Welfare Reform in an Era of Transition. Robert A. Mof.tt and Michele
Ver Ploeg (Eds.).
of Social Policy. Robert F.Drake.
The New Poverty
Studies: The Ethnography of Power, Politics and Impoverished People
in the United States. Judith Goode and Jeff Maskovsky (Eds.).