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Abstracts from Volume 32, Number 4
(December, 2005)

THE ROLES OF BUDDHIST TEMPLES IN THE TREATMENT OF HIV/AIDS IN THAILAND
Tomoko Kubotani and David Engstrom
Although efforts are being made to decrease the number of new HIV infections in Thailand, less support is given to the growing population that is already affected by the disease. This qualitative study explores the roles of Buddhist temples in the treatment of AIDS in Thailand, specifically the perspectives of both Buddhist monks and persons who are living with AIDS or HIV/AIDS and the care provided at the temples. Three major themes were derived from the interviews: (1) temple as a last choice; (2) temple as a support group; and (3) the role of Buddhism and monks at the temple.

QUANTIFYING SOCIAL ENTITIES: AN HISTORICAL-SOCIOLOGICAL CRITIQUE
Julian Neylan
In formulating social policy the administrative arm of government relies heavily on number-based significations of knowledge, such as needs indicators and performance measures. Relying on numbers increases administrators’ confidence in their decisions and shifts responsibility for error away from the decision-maker and towards the numbers. A close examination of the technology of social quantification reveals instability in many of the definitions and codes that needs analysts and program evaluators adopt when numerically inscribing social entities. To deal with these risks, bureaucracies must establish ways of explicitly assessing the uncertainty, imprecision and social construction that often lies behind the evidence presented as numbers, evidence that can easily be accepted on face value and be turned uncritically into decision-making rationales.

COPYING FAILURE: AMERICAN-STYLE WELFARE REFORM IN OTHER COUNTRIES

LONE MOTHERS AND WELFARE-TO-WORK POLICIES IN JAPAN AND THE UNITED STATES: TOWARDS AN ALTERNATIVE PERSPECTIVE
Aya Ezawa and Chisa Fujiwara
This paper compares recent efforts to reduce lone mothers’ reliance on cash assistance and support their increased participation in the workforce and economic independence in Japan and the United States. Similar to reforms introduced in the U.S. in 1996, lone mother policies in Japan have been subject to a series of cuts leading to the introduction of time limits and work-related programs in 2002. In this paper, we examine the character of recent welfare reforms in both countries and their implications for lone mothers’ welfare and economic independence. Based on Japan’s experience and recent lessons from the U.S., we show the limitations of a focus on
caseload reduction and work participation rates, and instead highlight the importance of addressing lone mothers’ low wages in form of policies for the working poor.

WORKFARE IN TORONTO: MORE OF THE SAME?
A RESEARCH NOTE

Ernie Lightman, Andrew Mitchell, and Dean Herd
This paper uses a recent survey of welfare leavers in Toronto to examine Workfare, a uniquely American initiative introduced into Canada, with its different welfare state history and traditions. When classic American workfare was imported by an enthusiastic government in Ontario, its application led to employment outcomes remarkably similar to those in the US (reduced caseloads, insecure and contingent employment, high recidivism). Yet, Canada’s earlier commitment to community and collective responsibility have not been entirely subsumed below the overarching
American umbrella. Welfare programs in Canada—specifically, workfare—reflect both the difficulties of maintaining great difference, and also the possibilities of following an alternate path.

FROM SELF-SUFFICIENCY TO PERSONAL AND FAMILY SUSTAINABILITY: A NEW PARADIGM FOR SOCIAL POLICY
Robert Leibson Hawkins
Current social policy that affects welfare recipients focuses on the concept of “self-sufficiency” where leaving welfare for work is the goal. While this approach has reduced welfare rolls, it has not necessarily helped low-income people improve their economic, educational, or social outlook. This paper suggests that the concept of Personal and Family Sustainability (PFS) may be a better way to evaluate and direct social policy. A definition of PFS is developed from the environmental and community development roots of sustainability and four domains for creating PFS indicators are
introduced.

AN EXPLORATORY STUDY OF NEIGHBORHOOD CHOICES AMONG MOVING TO OPPORTUNITY PARTICIPANTS IN BALTIMORE, MARYLAND: THE INFLUENCE OF HOUSING SEARCH ASSISTANCE
James X. Bembry and Donald F. Norris
This study examined the neighborhood choices of 150 families who participated
in the Moving To Opportunity Program (MTO) in Baltimore, Maryland. The MTO program, utilizing an experimental design, provided intensive housing search and counseling services to the experimental subjects. This study found that the counseling services were instrumental in altering the subject’s cognitive maps, and they were more likely to move to neighborhoods that were more racially integrated, safer, and, also, had higher levels of satisfaction with their new neighborhood. The authors conclude that the MTO program in Baltimore represents a clear case of public policy that, at least in the short term, worked.

LANGUAGE BARRIERS AND PERCEPTIONS OF BIAS: ETHNIC DIFFERENCES IN IMMIGRANT ENCOUNTERS WITH THE WELFARE SYSTEM
Philip Kretsedemas
This article demonstrates why research on immigrant language barriers should account for local variations in the way these barriers are experienced by different immigrant groups. It makes the argument that variations in language barriers experienced by immigrant groups are often reflective of differences in the local migration histories and socio-economic status of these groups. These themes are illustrated by discussing the findings of a comparative survey of welfare service barriers experienced by Haitian and Hispanic welfare clients in Miami-Dade county. Secondary data on South Florida migration patterns is also used to explain disparities in the bilingual fluency of welfare caseworkers, which had a significant impact
on the service barriers experienced by both groups.

HOW HAS THE VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ACT AFFECTED THE RESPONSE OF THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE?
Hyunkag Cho and Dina J. Wilke
This study uses an interrupted time series design to examine the association
between theViolence Against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA) and several different
dimensions of the criminal justice system’s involvement in violence against women. These include examining the domestic violence incidence rate, and rates of police notification, arrest, and judicial authorities’ involvement. Data from the National CrimeVictimization Survey from 1992 to 2003 is used. Results suggest that overall the incidence of domestic violence has decreased while police notification and perpetrator arrest have increased over time. Further, victim involvement with judicial authorities significantly increased after enactment of the VAWA. Interpretations and potential explanations of the results are discussed.

Hate Crimes Against the Homeless: Warning-Out New England Style
Sandra Wachholz
This article reports on the hate crime victimization experienced by thirty individuals over the course of their homelessness in a New England city. In depth interviews were conducted with the participants in order to provide a detailed, contextual account of the nature and forms of their hate crime victimization in public and semi-public spaces. Central to the article is the argument that hate crimes against homeless people function as informal social control mechanisms that impose spatial constraints, not unlike the character and objectives of the warning-out laws that were used to exclude homeless people from the public and private space of early New England communities.

BOOK REVIEWS
One Nation, Underprivileged: Why American Poverty Affects us All.
Mark Robert Rank.
Reviewed by Joel Blau.

Handbook of Social Work with Groups.
Charles D. Garvin, Lorraine M. Gutierrez and Maeda J. Galinsky (Eds.).
Reviewed by Steven Rose.

Perspectives on the Economics of Aging.
David A.Wise (Ed.).
Reviewed by Martin B. Tracy.

Practice Issues in HIV/AIDS Services.
Ronald J. Mancoske and James Donald Smith (Eds.).
Reviewed by Vijayan K. Pillay.

Insecurity and Welfare Regimes in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
Ian Gough and Geof Wood with Armando Barrientos, Philipa Bevan, Peer
Davis, and Graham Room.
Reviewed by Kwong-leung Tang.

Changing Welfare Services: Case Studies of Local Welfare Reform Programs.
Michael J. Austin (Ed.)
and
Welfare Reform in West Virginia.
Robert Jay Dilger (Ed.).
Reviewed by James Midgley.

BOOK NOTES
Designing for the Homeless.
Sam Davis.

Child Welfare Revisited: An Africentric Perspective.
Joyce E. Everett, Sandra P. Chipungu and Bogart R. Leashore (Eds.).

On Their Own: What Happens to Kids When they Age Out of the Foster Care System?
Martha Shirk and Gary Strangler.

America’s Environmental Report Card: Are We Making the Grade.
Harvey Blatt.

Mobilizing an Asian American Community.
Linda Trinh Vo.

A Future for Everyone: Innovative Social Responsibility and Community Partnerships.
David Maurrasse.

INDEX OF VOLUME XXXII, ISSUES 1–4, 2005

 

 

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