Welfare as a Ritual: Understanding Marginalization in Post-Independence
and Richard Pozzuto, East Carolina University
The paper analyzes
the functioning of the newly created labor exchange in post-Soviet Lithuania.
It is argued that the labor exchange in post-Soviet Lithuania operates
under the conditions of a structural contradiction: welfare services
are designed to reintegrate unemployed into the labor force under the
conditions of (a) increasing competitiveness of the labor markets and
(b) a rapid decline of employment within the Lithuanian economy. As
a result, labor redundancy is produced which consists predominantly
of low skill/education individuals. Because the economy is unable to
generate employment, job searches for this segment of the population
are transformed into a highly bureaucratized and ritualized activities
directed and supervised by the labor exchange. The purpose of the activities
is to impose social order and control over those marginalized from the
labor force via the creation of the divisions between deserving and
undeserving poor. Foucault's theory of governmentality is used to examine
two types of rituals employed by the labor exchange: individual and
group based. The effectiveness of the labor exchange as a mechanism
of social control and the impact the labor exchange has on the marginalization
of some categories of the unemployed are discussed.
Work: Organizational Restructuring, Staff Buy-In, and Performance Monitoring
in Local Implementation
suggests that staff resistance to change and intentional subversion
have hampered prior welfare reform efforts, this does not appear to
be the case for the 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity
Reconciliation Act (PRWORA). This paper draws on data from a study of
East County, New York to explicate the mechanisms that have enabled
the unprecedented transformation in local implementation practice in
this case. Interviews, participant observation, and textual analysis
of legislative and program documents identify new program creation,
staff buy-in, and the environment created by stern performance measures
as instrumental in bringing about the PRWORA's successful implementation
of policy changes. Revealing workplace dynamics that mutually reinforce
and compel attention to institutional interests, these findings suggest
that further research is needed to examine how these implementation
dynamics impact staff responsiveness to clients and clients' experiences.
Casework: Where Policy and Practice Intersect
Larry P. Ortiz,
University of Maryland, Cindy Wirz, Director of Constituent Services,
San Antonio, TX, Kelli Semion, Ciro Rodriguez, Congressman, San Antonio,
casework is an ongoing activity in many state and federal legislative
offices. Although the activity carries the implication of being a social
work activity, there is little evidence from the literature, or in the
field, that social workers are more than marginally employed in these
positions. Reasons for the lack of professionally educated social workers
in this important area of practice and politics are not clear. This
paper explores the field of practice known as legislative casework,
its history and purpose, and presents generalist social work examples
from a Congressional district office wherein which professional social
workers are employed. In conclusion the authors encourage social work
presence in legislative casework and suggest increased attention to
this field of practice in social work education at both the BSW and
weighted down:" Richard R. Wright, Jr.'s contributions to social work
and social welfare
Kevin F. Modesto,
Point Loma Nazarene University
scholars, intellectuals, and social work practitioners made significant
contributions to American thought and life during the Progressive Era.
Unfortunately, their work is often overlooked by history. This paper
explores the contributions of Richard R.Wright, Jr., an African- American,
sociologist, social worker, and minister. His voice has rarely been
heard beyond the walls of the African Methodist Episcopal Church; however,
his contributions to sociology, social welfare, and the church serve
as a model of integration for scholars, social workers, and ministers.
Wright's example is particularly valuable as policy makers and the public
look to organized religion for solutions to social problems.
in Computer Access and Use Between Poor and Non-Poor Youth
Eamon, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
The main objectives
of this study were to examine the "digital divide" in home computer
ownership and to evaluate differences in academic and non-academic computer
use between poor and non-poor youth. Data from a national sample of
1,029, 10- through 14-year-old young adolescents were analyzed. Results
show that poor youth were .36 times as likely to own a home computer,
but equally as likely to use their home computer for academic purposes
as were non-poor youth. Poor youth did not differ from non-poor youth
in how often they used any computer for academic purposes, but were
less likely to use any computer for non-academic purposes. Government
initiatives to close the digital divide and foster computer use among
poor youth are suggested.
and on Welfare: The Experiences of Women with the Family Violence Option
Judy L. Postmus,
University of Kansas
Noting the incidence
of battered women on welfare, lawmakers passed the Family Violence Option
(FVO), which allows states to offer waivers from welfare program requirements.
Assumptions were made that many women would seek relief under the FVO.
However, reports indicate that less than 5 percent of welfare recipients
are receiving waivers. This paper presents the findings from a qualitative
study that sought to explore the experiences of 29 battered women with
the welfare system and the FVO in New York State. Their experiences
suggest that changes in FVO screening process are necessary to fully
implement the program in the way legislators intended.
the Middle: How Performance Funding Impacts Workforce Organizations,
Professionals and Customers
Iversen, University of Pennsylvania
policy reforms, the landscape of authority relations in welfare and
workforce development organizations has radically changed from one that
privileged internal professional autonomy to one that privileges external
authorities. Performance, rather than input funding is the medium for
this change. Longitudinal ethnographic research reveals that performance
requirements in workforce development both contribute to and challenge
organizational structure and program design, professional practices,
and job seeker outcomes. As such, when the "voices" of job-seeking customers,
directly and through their affiliated workforce organizations, professionals,
and employers, are added to the "voices" of funders under performance
funding, polyvocality may result in more consensual authority relations:
in particular, less autonomous power for professionals, less program
hegemony for funders, and greater power for job seekers over their futures.
These findings may also pertain to organizations and professionals funded
under other performance directives, such as managed care and welfare-to-work.
Assistance in the Deep South: Assessing Agency Directors' Knowledge
of Charitable Choice
Suzie T. Cashwell,
Western Kentucky University, John P. Bartkowski, Mississippi State University,
Patricia A. Duffy, Vanessa Casanova, Joseph J. Molnar, Marina Irimia-Vladu,
In recent years,
food banking has emerged as an important tool in America's fight against
hunger and malnutrition. At the same time, the charitable choice provision
of 1996 welfare reform law has significantly expanded the opportunity
for public-private partnerships in the provision of social services.
Given the new opportunities ushered in by this legislation, this study
examines the knowledge that food pantry directors in Alabama and Mississippi
possess about charitable choice. Our study reveals that food pantry
directors are generally lacking in knowledge about key charitable choice
provisions, thereby limiting the potential for this initiative to be
utilized fully in this area. We conclude by discussing the implications
of these findings and specifying directions for future research.
of Silence: Social Work, the Academy, and Iraq
University of Kansas
imposition of economic sanctions against Iraq in 1990, the social work
academy has ignored the impact of this global social policy promoted
by the international community. Though evidence existed for more than
10 years that sanctions contributed to the deaths of hundreds of thousands
of children and other vulnerable groups in Iraq, while also crippling
the nation's health care and social infrastructure, the profession has
remained silent. The implications of this case study suggest a need
for greater engagement by social work researchers and the profession
on global issues.
The Loss of a Life Partner:
Narratives of the Bereaved.
Reviewed by Amanda Smith Barusch.
Transforming Approaches to Sexual & Reproductive Well-Being.
Andrea Cornwall and
Alice Welbourn (Eds.)
Reviewed by Carol Tully.
Forced Treatment and the Rights of the Mentally Ill.
Elyn R. Saks.
Reviewed by Kai J. Bentley.
Drug Abuse Prevention: Theory Science and Practice.
Zili Sloboda & William J. Bukowski (Eds).
Reviewed by Sean R. Hogan.
of Justice: The Evolution of Morality, Human Rights, and Law.
John O' Manique.
Reviewed by Dorothy Van Soest.
Prison Control: Crime Prevention in Correctional Institutions.
Reviewed by Margaret Severson.
The Call to
Social Work: Life Stories.
Craig Winston LeCroy
Yale: The Culture of Political Science in America. Richard M. Merelman.
Marketplace: Privatization and Welfare Reform. M. Byrna Sanger.
Aging in the
New Millenium: A Global View.