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Abstracts from Volume 36, Number 2
(June, 2009)


GETTING TO THE GRASSROOTS: FEMINIST
STANDPOINTS WITHIN THE WELFARE RIGHTS
MOVEMENT

Cynthia Edmonds-Cady

This article presents historical evidence of how standpoints were
used in women’s participation in the welfare rights movement from
1964-1972. Results of a qualitative study using archival sources
and oral history interviews are presented. An intersectional analysis
of race, class, and gender, informed by feminist standpoint
theory, provides lessons for current social movement work. Findings
reveal that class-based standpoints were strong motivators for
the recipients of welfare in their movement participation. Genderbased
standpoints were important in non-recipients’ participation
in the movement; however, race formed a strong standpoint for
the African American non-recipients in this study. Participants
in social movements may exhibit unique standpoints, and understanding
how these emerge and vary is important for mobilization.


THE SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF CLIENT
PARTICIPATION: THE EVOLUTION AND
TRANSFORMATION OF THE ROLE OF SERVICE
RECIPIENTS IN CHILD WELFARE AND MENTAL
DISABILITIES

Terry Mizrahi, Mayra Humphreys-Lopez, and Denise Torres

This article presents a comparative analysis of client participation
(CP) in child welfare and mental health and mental retardation
systems. It identifies three rationales for client participation
(philosophical, pragmatic, and political), along with the limitations
surrounding each rationale. It uses social construction theory to
examine the historical and ideological underpinnings of organized,
institutionally-sanctioned client involvement inside and outside
government. In order to enhance the capacity of clients to influence
service and benefit systems, their role must evolve through
the mutual efforts of government—strengthening client participation
policies and independent organizing from the bottom
up through community development and advocacy programs.


CHAT-ROOM VOICES OF DIVORCED NONRESIDENTIAL
FATHERS

Pauline Irit Erera and Nehami Baum

This study uses postings by divorced fathers to an unmoderated
Internet chat room to sound and analyze their voices. The findings
show that the posters expressed an acute sense of powerlessness
with respect to their status as non-residential fathers, the imposition
of child support, the mothers of their children, the family
courts, and lawyers and helping professionals. Although most
of their grievances have already been reported in the literature
on non-custodial post-divorce parenting, the anonymous postings
allow us to hear an intensity of feeling that comes through
much more faintly in studies based on interviews or focus groups.
Since the posters seem to be a particularly aggrieved and angry
group of men who are unlikely to seek professional counseling,
the authors suggest professional intervention via the Internet.
The challenges that chat room data poses to research are noted.


BUILDING THEIR READINESS FOR ECONOMIC
“FREEDOM”: THE NEW POOR LAW AND
EMANCIPATION

Anne O’Connell

Contemporary studies that track the new racialization of poverty
in Canada require an historical account. The history we invoke
in North America is often borrowed from the British poor laws,
a literature that is severed from its counterpart: the histories of
racial slavery, racial thinking, White bourgeois power and the
making of White settler societies. The effects of severing the history
of poor relief from racial classifications and racism(s) are
far reaching. Systems of oppression come to be seen as separate
structures in which the New Poor Law appears as a domestic
policy in Britain unrelated to racial thinking and racial slavery.
This paper argues that attempts at managing and civilizing the
poor in Britain and Upper Canada were racial projects suited to
colonial ambitions and enterprises. Our histories of social welfare
are deeply tied to the creation of White bourgeois subjects
enlisted into the management and extension of empire. This history
continues to organize contemporary social policy debates,
and views on globalization and the racialization of poverty.


RACIAL/ETHNIC DIFFERENCES IN THE PROVISION
OF HEALTH-RELATED PROGRAMS AMONG
AMERICAN RELIGIOUS CONGREGATIONS

R. Khari Brown and Amy Adamczyk

Using national data from the Faith Communities Today 2000
survey, the current study builds upon Lincoln and Mamiya’s
(1990) argument of the civically active Black Church. Originally
used to assess the relative activism of Black and White congregations,
the current study suggests that Black congregations are more
likely to provide health programs than are predominantly White,
Hispanic and Asian congregations. The greater involvement of
Black congregations in the provision of health programs likely
has much to do with the historical and continued cultural, spiritual,
and political role that churches play in Black communities.


ETHNICITY MATTERS: THE SOCIOECONOMIC
GRADIENT IN HEALTH AMONG
ASIAN AMERICANS

Emily S. Ihara

This study examines the relationship between socioeconomic indicators
and health status among Asian Americans using data
from the 2001 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS), a
population-based random-digit-dial survey with race-ethnic
supplemental samples. Multivariate logistic regression analyses
show that the inverse relationship between socioeconomic
position and health status is similar for Asian Americans when
measured as an aggregate group compared to Whites. However,
when specific Asian American ethnic groups are examined, the
relationship varies greatly. For example, among Chinese Americans
and Vietnamese Americans, education is a significant predictor
of poor health status, but household income is more significant
among Korean Americans. The importance of disaggregation
for subgroup populations in research and policy is discussed.


WOMEN’S EXPERIENCES OF VICTIMIZATION AND
SURVIVAL

Margaret Severson, Judy L. Postmus, and Marianne Berry

In an effort to more fully understand the experiences and aftermath
of girlhood and adult woman physical, sexual and psychological
victimization, research was undertaken that explored the prevalence
and the consequences of such victimization, and the survival
strategies women activate at various points in their lifespan in
the aftermath of that violence. Women participants were recruited
from five different communities; three urban, one rural and the
only correctional facility for women in a Midwestern state. These
venues were selected as ideal sites in which to secure a racially,
ethnically and geographically diverse sample of women age 18 and
older. Findings yielded from the total sample of 423 women reveal
a significantly high rate of multiple types of victimization amongst
the entire sample population. Certain health and mental health-related
adult outcomes for these women are reported, as are the relationships
between the types of victimization experienced and those
adult outcomes and the influence of certain factors on those adult
outcomes. Finally, women’s experiences using and evaluating the
helpfulness of a variety of services post-victimization are presented.


EXPECTATIONS OF THE CONSEQUENCES OF NEW
INTERNATIONAL ADOPTION POLICY IN THE U.S.

Jo Daugherty Bailey

In 2006, the State Department published its Final Rules for implementation
of the Hague Convention and the Intercountry Adoption
Act. This new rule, which took effect in 2008, signifies a
departure from previous practice by specifying national, uniform
conditions and terms for international adoption practice by U.S.
agencies and professionals. Interviews with adoption professionals
reveal their predictions regarding the potential consequences of the
new rule. Participants indicate the new rule will protect children
and families from unscrupulous adoption practices, thereby fulfilling
its stated purposes. Paradoxically, they also predict that the
new rule will have latent consequences that will negatively impact
waiting children, prospective families, and adoption agencies.

BOOK REVIEWS


Reclaiming Social Work: Challenging Neoliberalism and
Promoting Social Justice.
Ian Ferguson.
Reviewed by James Midgley.

Youth-Led Community Organizing: Theory and Action.
Melvin Delgado and Lee Staples.
Reviewed by Wilma Peebles-Wilkins.

Low Income, Social Growth and Good Health: A History of
Twelve Countries.
James C. Riley.
Reviewed by Kristen Gustavson.

Unequal Under Law: Race in the War on Drugs.
Doris Marie Provine.
Reviewed by Christine Lou.


Ordinary People: In and Out of Poverty in the Gilded Age.
David Wagner.
Reviewed by John M. Herrick.

Social Welfare in Japan: Principles and Applications.
Kojun Furukawa.
Reviewed by Christina Miyawaki.

Empowering Vulnerable Populations: Cognitive-Behavioral
Interventions.
Mary Keegan Eamon.
Reviewed Maria Y. Hernandez.

Valuing Children: Rethinking the Economics of the Family.
Nancy Folbre.
Reviewed by Lorelei Mitchell.

Drug Smugglers on Drug Smuggling: Lessons from the Inside.
Scott H. Decker and Margaret Townsend Chapman.
Reviewed by E. Michael (Mike) Gorman.

Rural Communities: Legacy and Change.
Cornelia Butler Flora and Jan L. Flora.
Reviewed by James Midgley.

The Failed Welfare Revolution: America’s Struggle over the
Guaranteed Income Policy.
Brian Steensland.
Reviewed by James Midgley.

 

 

 

 

College of Health and Human Services
Western Michigan University
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