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Abstracts from Volume 32, Number 3
(September, 2005)

Education Problems with Urban Migratory Children in China
Fei Yan
In China, due to the Residence Registration System and Segmented Governmental Management of Education, the educational problems with urban migratory children have been overlooked for a long time. The results are, on one hand, these children have no access to Public-Funded School because they are not categorized as local residents; on the other hand the illegal Schools for Migrant Workers’ Children exist in many cities. The satisfactory solution to the problem will be a win-win process: the promotion of migratory children’s education will not only benefit this minority group
and the communities in which they live, but also contribute to the healthy
development of the society and country.

Culture as Deficit: A Critical Discourse Analysis of the Concept of Culture in Contemporary Social Work Discourse
Yoosun Park
This paper is a critical discourse analysis of the usage of the concept of“culture” in social work discourse. The paper argues that “culture” is inscribed as a marker for difference which has largely replaced the categories of race and ethnicity as the preferred trope of minority status. “Culture” is conceived as an objectifiable body of knowledge constituting the legitimate foundation for the building of interventions. But such interventions cannot be considered other than an instrument which reinforces the subjugating paradigm from which it is fashioned. The concept of culture, constructed from within an orthodoxic, hegemonic discursive paradigm, is deployed as
a marker of deficit.

Applying Rawlsian Social Justice to Welfare Reform: An Unexpected Finding for Social Work
Mahasweta M. Banerjee
This paper sketches social workers’ understanding of social justice and reliance on Rawls (1971), highlights findings about “hard to employ” welfare recipients facing welfare reform, and articulates the parameters of Rawlsian justice (Rawls, 1999a; 2001) with particular emphasis on people who have been on welfare for long. The paper shows that social workers do not have any space to maneuver in Rawlsian justice to uphold justice for long-term welfare recipients, and welfare reform’s “work first” stipulation does not violate Rawlsian justice. The paper raises some questions about social workers’ continued reliance on Rawls. It suggests social workers
update the literature to reflect Rawls’s revised and clarified vision of justice and apply it appropriately.

English Non-fluency and Income Penalty for Hispanic Workers
Song Yang
Using the 2001–2002 California Workforce Survey, this paper examines the income gap between Hispanic and Caucasian workers. I attribute the income gap between Hispanic and Caucasian workers to differentials in their human capital. However, data analyses indicate that classical human capital indicators such as education, job training, and work experiences are not sufficient to account for the observed income gap between Hispanics and Caucasians. Instead, English fluency is a highly valuable aspect of human capital for Hispanic workers. English non-fluency, along with
less education, job training, and work experiences explain why Hispanic workers earn less than Caucasian workers. However, variations in English fluency do not affect the incomes of Asian workers. Those findings suggest that English non-fluency is a unique source of income penalty for Hispanic workers. It may be attributed to stereotyping by employers.

Reforming Welfare Reform Postsecondary Education Policy: Two State Case Studies in Political Culture, Organizing and Advocacy
Charles Price
Welfare reform had the unforeseen effect of causing large numbers of public assistance recipients to drop out of college, discouraging their pursuit and acquisition of postsecondary education (PSE) credentials. There is a growing body of research that shows the value of postsecondary education in getting public assistance recipients onto a path toward occupational and social mobility. The restrictions of Temporary Assistance to Needy Families PSE policy, coupled with the recognition that college participation should be an option for qualified welfare recipients, influenced the emergence of many successful state and county-level movements focused on reforming welfare reform PSE policy. Their work provides the few contemporary
examples of civil society groups shaping welfare policy through advocacy and organizing. This article summarizes some of the issues and research on welfare and PSE, and chronicles the activities of TANF PSE reform movements in Maine and Kentucky. The case study conceptual framework draws upon Daniel Elazar’s (1972; 1994) conception of political culture to provide historical, institutional, political and social context. Through documentation of how reform occurred in different states, the account provided may be useful to people interested in welfare reform and PSE,
especially in regard to the lingering uncertainty of what will be the final provisions that constitute the reauthorization of welfare reform.

Implications of Media Scrutiny for a Child Protection Agency
Lindsay D. Cooper
This study examines media impact on job efficacy in a child protection agency. The research uses inductive, holistic research methods to examine the effect of media scrutiny on changes in management dictates, worker duties and responsibilities, and agency services. Data were collected from media sources, interviews, archival materials, and participant observation, then analyzed via qualitative content analysis, providing a basis for rich ethnographic description of perceptions and behavior of diverse groups of people involved in child protection. The study reveals how contradictions in American national culture generate a need for increased communication, understanding, agreement, and support, between various groups of people who influence child protection.

Is Inter-Organizational Collaboration Always a Good Thing?
Richard A. Longoria
The human service literature suggests that the concept and outcomes of inter-organizational collaboration are not well understood. Nonetheless, inter-organizational collaboration has emerged as a statement of direction for social welfare policy and professional practice. In light of an unclear understanding of collaboration, this analysis suggests the concept has powerful symbolic qualities, which perpetuates its continued use. While the general notion of collaboration is promising, human service administrators and stakeholders must couple critical thinking and action to clarify the meaning, intent, application, and outcomes of inter-organizational collaboration. This article raises the question as to whether the popularity of inter-organization collaboration is grounded in its proven efficacy as a means of achieving specific human service recipient outcomes or symbolism and ideology.

Saving for Post-Secondary Education in Individual Development Accounts
Min Zhan and Mark Schreiner
Low-income people have less access to opportunities for post-secondary education, and the welfare reform in 1996 further limited access for welfare recipients. Since welfare reform, there has been an increasing interest in strategies meant to enhance the well-being of low-income people through education and the development of human capital. In this study, we examine how low-income people saved for post-secondary education in Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) in a nationwide demonstration. IDAs provide matches for savings used primarily for home purchase,
microenterprise, and post-secondary education. We examine how savings outcomes differed between participants who intended to use their savings for post-secondary education and other participants. We also look at how these differences in savings outcomes were associated with difference in participant characteristics and in IDA design across different programs in the demonstration.
Results indicate that the savings outcomes of “education savers” were different from other participants. Furthermore, savings for post-secondary education moderated some relationships between savings outcomes and other characteristics of participants and of IDA programs. Implications are discussed for policy and social-work practice for using IDAs to promote human-capital development by low-income people.

Welfare Recipients Attending College: The Interplay of Oppression and Resistance
Karen Christopher
This qualitative study uses Patricia Hill Collins’ “both/and” conceptual framework to explore experiences of both oppression and resistance among welfare recipients attending college. It examines how children, social networks, integration into campus life, and interactions with caseworkers affect welfare recipients’ college attendance and college persistence. As is well established in the sociological literature, having children complicates college attendance and persistence. But this research shows that children also provide the predominant incentive for poor mothers to attain higher
education. Moreover, this study reveals complexities in welfare recipients’ experiences with their social networks, work-study jobs, and caseworkers that are often overlooked by current research on higher education and welfare reform.

BOOK REVIEWS
Social Work: Theory and Practice for a Changing Profession.
Lena Dominelli.
Reviewed by Mel Gray.

Voices from the Edge: Narratives about the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Ruth O’Brien.
Reviewed by Juliet C. Rothman.

The Decline of Life: Old Age in Eighteenth-Century England.
Susannah R. Ottaway.
Reviewed by John M. Herrick.

Technology and the African American Experience: Needs and Opportunities for Study.
Bruce Sinclair (Ed.).
Reviewed by John McNutt.

An American Travesty: Legal Responsibility to Adolescent Sexual Offending.
Franklin Zimring.
Reviewed by Matthew T. Theriot.

Lessons from Abroad: Adapting International Social Welfare Innovations.
M. C. Hokenstad and James Midgley (Eds.).
Reviewed by Doreen Elliott.

BOOK NOTES
Migration and Immigration.
Maura I. Toro-Morn.

A Handbook of Comparative Social Policy.
Patricia Kennett (Ed.).

Social Theory: The Multicultural and Classical Readings.
Charles Lemert.

Shut Out: Low Income Mothers and Higher Education in Post-Welfare America.
Valerie Polakow, Sandra Butler, Luisa Stormer Deprez and
Peggy Kahn (Eds.).

Inheritance Law and the Evolving Family.
Ralph C. Brashier.

Social Policy Analysis and Practice.
Thomas M. Meenaghan, Keith M. Kilty, and John G. McNutt.

 

 

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