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Abstracts from Volume 31, Number 4
(December, 2004)

“Curiously Uninvolved”: Social Work and Protest Against the War in Vietnam.
Susan Kerr Chandler
This article reviews four leading social work journals from 1965–1975 for content on the War in Vietnam and the social issues arising from it. It finds that social work’s major journals carried nearly no articles, letters, editorials, or short subjects related to the war and concludes that the dominant discourse constructed in the journals excluded meaningful engagement with the war or protest against it.

Legislating the Family: Heterosexist Bias in Social Welfare Policy Frameworks.
Amy Lind
This article addresses the effects of heterosexist bias in social welfare policy frameworks on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals and families in the United States. It discusses the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA), the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), federal definitions of family and household, and stereotypes about LGBT individuals. It argues that poor LGBT individuals and families lack full citizen rights and access to needed social services as a result of these explicit and implicit biases.

Examining the Relationship between Community Residents’ Economic Status and the Outcomes of Community Development Programs.
Christopher R. Larrison and Eric Hadley-Ives
In designing and implementing community development interventions the economic status of targeted participants is a demographic characteristic worth considering. The findings from this research indicate that even within the limited economies of rural Mexican villages there are variations in economic status that affect the ways in which the outcomes of community development programs are perceived. The poorest of the poor are likely to be less satisfied with development projects than those with average or better-off economic status. This is true whether a development project uses a bottomup approach or a top-down approach. The more participatory approach does not attenuate the relationship between economic status and satisfaction with development programs. On the contrary, it may exacerbate it.

The Benefits of Marriage Reconsidered.
Barbara Wells and Maxine Baca Zinn
This paper suggests that analyses of marriage experience take into account both structures of inequality and context. Although marriage is widely viewed as producing economic well-being and family stability, this analysis of a sample of White rural families finds the likelihood of realizing these benefits to be closely related to social class position. Marriage failed to produce these benefits for many working class and poor families. Although gains in economic self-sufficiency are viewed as an explanation for White women’s perceived retreat from marriage, the limited opportunity structure for women in this rural place provides a context in which women continue to rely on marriage for economic survival.

Measuring and indigenizing social capital in relation to children’s street work in Mexico: The role of culture in shaping social capital indicators.
Kristin M. Ferguson
Drawing from social capital theory, this study assessed the relevance of existing conceptions of social capital—largely from the United States and Canada—in the Mexican context, in an effort to contribute novel variables to the street-children literature. Using a cross-sectional survey design, 204 mothers of street-working and non-working children were interviewed within one community in Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico. Factor analysis was used to corroborate the internal construct validity of two dimensions of social capital: family social capital and community social capital. Findings reveal that culture can play an influential role in how social capital indicators are defined and measured.

The Welfare Myth: Disentangling the Long-Term Effects of Poverty and Welfare Receipt for Young Single Mothers. Thomas P. Vartanian and Justine M. McNamara
This study investigates the effects of receiving welfare as a young woman on long-term economic and marital outcomes. Specifically, we examine if there are differences between young, single mothers who receive welfare and young, single mothers who are poor but do not receive welfare. Using the 1968–1997 Panel Study of Income Dynamics, our findings suggest those who receive welfare for an extended period as young adults have the same pre-transfer income over a 10 to 20 year period as those who are poor but do not receive welfare as young adults. While we found some differences between the two groups in income levels and the likelihood of having relatively low income when control variables were not included in our models, once appropriate controls were used, these differences became statistically insignificant. The only statistically significant difference found between the two groups in our 10, 15, and 20 year models was the likelihood of being married in year 15. Our results indicate that it is income level as a young adult, as well as such factors as the unemployment rate in the area of residence, but not welfare receipt, that affect long-term income and marital outcomes.

Adoption in the U.S.: The Emergence of a Social Movement.
Frances A. DellaCava and Norma Kolko Phillips
The Adoption Movement, which has been evolving in the U.S. since the late 1970s, is now fully formed. As a proactive, reformative social movement, adoption has reached the organizational, or institutional, stage. Evidence is seen in the roles assumed by government and voluntary agencies and organizations, as well as other systems in society, to support adoption, and in the extent to which adoption has been infused in the American culture, making it a part of our everyday landscape. Implications of the adoption movement for the helping professions are discussed, as is its impact on increasing cultural and racial diversity in the U.S.

Intimate Partner Violence and Use of Welfare Services Among California Women.
Rachel Kimerling and Nikki Baumrind
The current study is a population-based investigation of the association between past-year exposure to intimate partner violence (IPV) and current welfare use, while also accounting for the effects of other violence experienced in adulthood and symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These data indicate that acute exposure to intimate partner violence is significantly over-represented among women currently on welfare. However, it appears to be a woman’s cumulative exposure to interpersonal violence and associated symptoms of PTSD that are uniquely associated with welfare participation. These data highlight the prevalence of violence against women and its consequences for this population. Results suggest that the prevention and detection of violence is an important welfare issue, and highlight the need for more research in this area.

Cleavage in American Attitudes toward Social Welfare.
William M. Epstein
Opinion polls probing both the narrow and broad senses of social welfare among Americans indicate hardly any substantial differences over crucial social sentiments among a variety of groups with at least theoretically divergent interests: rich and poor, men and women, blacks and whites, a variety of ethnic groups, union and nonunion households. The items mainly concern the provision of welfare to the poor through AFDC, now TANF, and Food Stamps but also cover OASDHI. Consistently over more than sixty five years of systematic opinion polling, there is an astonishing consensus, so large in fact that it may undermine any effort to move the American citizenry into a more congregational series of provisions for each other. In fact, the consensus is antagonistic to the public welfare. Americans by their very actions, opinions, and codified intentions have canceled the notions of class and caste in subverting a generous welfare state.

BOOK REVIEWS
Assessing Outcomes in Child and Family Services: Comparative Design and Policy Issues.
Anthony N. Malucchio, Cinzia Canali and Tiziano Vecchiato (Eds.)
Reviewed by Sherill Clark.

Why I Burned My Book and Other Essays on Disability.
Paul K. Longmore.
Reviewed by Juliet Rothman.

Western Welfare in Decline: Globalization and Women’s Poverty.
Catherine Kingfisher.
Reviewed by Silvia Borzutsky.

Newcomers to Old Towns: Suburbanization of the Heartland. Sonya Salamon.
Reviewed by Joseph Deering.

Crime, Control and Social Justice: A Delicate Balance.
Darnell F. Hawkins, Samuel L. Meyers, Jr. and Randolph N. Stone (Eds.).
Reviewed by Elizabeth Pomeroy.

The Persistence of Poverty in the United States.
Garth L. Mangum, Stephen L. Mangum and Andrew M. Sum.
Reviewed by James Midgley.

The Two-income Trap: Why Middle Class Mothers and Fathers are Going Broke.
Elizabeth Warren and Amelia Warren Tyagi.
Reviewed by James Midgley.

BOOK NOTES
Seasons Such as These: How Homelessness Took Shape in America.
Cynthia J. Bogard.

Social Work and Aging in an Aging Society: Education, Policy, Practice and Research.
Barbara Berkman and Linda Harootyan (Eds.).

Drugs, Alcohol and Social Problems.
James D. Orcut and David R. Rudy (Eds.).

Regressive Taxation and the Welfare State: Path Dependence and Policy Diffusion.
Junko Kato.

Public Pensions: Gender and Civic Service in the States, 1850–1937.
Susan M. Sterett.

 

 

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