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Abstracts from Volume 37, Number 2
(June, 2010)


LIMINAL LIVING AT AN EXTENDED STAY HOTEL:
FEELING “STUCK” IN A HOUSING SOLUTION
Terri Wingate-Lewinson, June Gary Hopps, and Patricia Reeves

As a result of unaffordable housing, many of America’s working
poor are forced to seek shelter in hotels to avoid homelessness.
The concept of liminality has been used in discussions of
place to describe the subjective experience of feeling in-between
two states of being. Research is scant on the liminal experiences
of low-income hotel residents, who are culturally invisible
in society. This paper draws from data qualitatively collected
via semi-structured interviews from ten low-income residents
living in an extended-stay hotel. Descriptions of these residential
experiences are presented along with recommendations for
social workers practicing with families in this liminal situation.


FAMILY CHARACTERISTICS, PUBLIC PROGRAM
PARTICIPATION, & CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
Richard K. Caputo

This study tested for differences on the type and extent of civic engagement
between use of visible programs such as Food Stamps and
Medicaid and less visible programs such as the Earned Income Tax
Credit while accounting for family and sociodemographic characteristics.
Policy feedback theory guided the study which used data from
the 1979 cohort of the National Longitudinal Surveys. Challenging
prior research, means-tested Food Stamps, Medicaid, or EITC
program participants were as likely as non-participants to devote
time to activities aimed at changing social conditions. What social
service agencies can do to enhance civic engagement is discussed.

RECONSTRUCTING CITIZENSHIP IN A GLOBAL
ECONOMY: HOW RESTRICTING IMMIGRANTS FROM
WELFARE UNDERMINES SOCIAL RIGHTS FOR U.S.
CITIZENS
Rupaleem Bhuyan

Scrutiny of immigrants’ use of public benefits is a reoccurring
theme in U.S. politics. Yet while the tough stance on immigrants
taps into popular anti-immigrant sentiment, the consequences
of such scrutiny are shared by all welfare recipients.
Drawing upon interpretive policy frames, I examine how new
requirements to verify citizenship and identity for Medicaid directly
impacts social entitlements for both citizen and non-citizen
populations. Analysis of state reports and policy studies of
citizenship verification requirements for Medicaid illustrate that
verification costs may exceed the costs of fraudulent misuse by
unqualified immigrants. I argue that devolutionary shifts in welfare
and immigration policy from federal to state governments
further constrains who can benefit from the full range of rights
and entitlements associated with citizenship in the United States.

WHY YOU SHOULD CARE ABOUT THE THREATENED
MIDDLE CLASS
Jill Littrell, Fred Brooks, Jan Ivery, and Mary L. Ohmer

In the last two decades, the income and security of the individual
middle class worker has declined and the gap between the middle
class and the wealthy has widened. We explain how this is bad for
democracy, the economy, and the aggregate health of the nation.
We examine the governmental policies and interventions that increased
the middle class following the depression and maintained
its vigor through the post-World War II period. The impetus for
these changes in governmental policies in the 1930s was to end
the Great Depression. We pose the question of whether a nation
can recover from a depression without invigorating the middle
class. We conclude that in order to recover from the current economic
and financial crisis, the middle class must be strengthened.

SKEW SELECTION THEORY APPLIED TO THE
WEALTH AND WELFARE OF NATIONS
Susan F. Allen and Deby L. Cassill

According to skew selection theory, working citizens who build
wealth and, at the same time, share portions of their wealth with
those in need are more likely to survive economic downturns than
citizens who hoard wealth. In this article, skew selection is employed
as a theoretical framework to support governmental efforts to develop
social policies that protect the income of working citizens and, at the
same time, provide for vulnerable, non-working children and elders.
To illustrate its applicability, the social policies of Japan, Sweden
and the United States—all of which are challenged by decaying
ratios of working to non-working citizens—are compared through
the lens of skew selection. Policy recommendations are discussed.

WOMEN’S RIGHTS=HUMAN RIGHTS: PAKISTANI
WOMEN AGAINST GENDER VIOLENCE
Filomena M. Critelli

Gender-based violence constitutes a major public health risk
and is a serious violation of basic human rights throughout the
world. Counter to many Western images of Muslim women as
passive victims, women’s groups in Pakistan have begun to organize
to respond to these conditions. This study is based upon
in-depth interviews conducted with the founders and senior staff
of Dastak (Knock on the Door), a shelter for women in Lahore,
Pakistan that uses a human rights framework to provide services
and advocate for public support for women’s rights to safety
and security. The study explores how Pakistani women are taking
action against violence within their social, cultural and political
reality and analyzes how the of human rights approach has
been applied in a non-Western, Muslim, developing country.

PREVENTING VIOLENCE IN LOW-INCOME
COMMUNITIES: FACILITATING RESIDENTS’ ABILITY
TO INTERVENE IN NEIGHBORHOOD PROBLEMS
Mary L. Ohmer, Barbara D. Warner, and Elizabeth Beck

The violence found in low-income communities, including areas
of concentrated poverty, is often extensive and can involve illegal
drugs, juvenile delinquency, and even homicide. A large body of
research has emerged which points to the positive effects of informal
social control and social capital in preventing violence in low-income
communities, including neighbors taking leadership roles
by intervening themselves. This article contains a description of an
exploratory study of a pilot training program the authors developed
to facilitate residents’ ability to intervene in neighborhood problems
in a low-income community in Atlanta, Georgia. The training incorporated
concepts from restorative justice, peacemaking criminology,
and macro social work, particularly consensus organizing. The
results demonstrated that after their participation in the training,
residents were more likely to intervene in a variety of neighborhood
problems and were more likely to use direct, non-violent and peaceful
intervention strategies. Participants also improved their attitudes
about intervening, feeling it was appropriate to intervene and their
neighborhood was safer if residents intervened in problem behaviors.
This article provides an important step in exploring the development
of informal social control and social capital in low-income
neighborhoods. Moreover, the strategies used in the training program
can be used by social workers to design programs to prevent violence.

BOOK REVIEWS

Both Sides Now: The Story of School Desegregation’s
Graduates.
Amy Stuart Wells, Jennifer Jellison Holme,
Anita Revilla, and Awo Korantemaa Ayamda.
Reviewed by Kala Chakradher.

Towards Positive Youth Development: Transforming Schools
and Community Programs.
Marybeth Shinn and Hirokazu Yoshikawa (Eds.).
Reviewed by Amy D. Benton.

Indigenous Social Work Around the World: Towards Culturally
Relevant Education and Practice.
Mel Gray, John Coates, and Michael Yellowbird (Eds.).
Reviewed by Jon K. Matsuoka.

The Politics of Exclusion: The Failure of Race-Neutral Policies
in Urban America.
Leland T. Saito.
Reviewed by Jaehee Yi.

Our Bodies, Our Crimes: The Policing of Women’s
Reproduction in America.
Jeanne Flavin.
Reviewed by Debra Durham.

Women’s Health and Social Change.
Ellen Annandale.
Reviewed by Marcia Russell.

Homelessness in America (3 volumes).
Robert Hartman McNamara.
Reviewed by John Q. Hodges.

Children Families and Social Exclusion: New Approaches to
Prevention.
Kate Morris, Marian Barnes, and Paul Mason.
Reviewed by James Midgley.

Childhood, Youth and Social Work in Transformation:
Implications for Policy and Practice.
Lynne M. Nebell, Jeffrey J. Shook, and Janet L. Finn.
Reviewed by Ann Reyes Robbins.

The Delinquent Girl.
Margaret A. Zahn (Ed.).
Reviewed by Cara Pohle.

The Legacy of Edward W. Said.
William Spanos.
Reviewed by James Midgley.


 

 

 

 

 

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