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Abstracts from Volume 37, Number 3
(September, 2010)




JIM MIDGLEY RETIRES AS BOOK REVIEW EDITOR
Robert D. Leighninger, Jr., Editor


DERELICTION OF DUTY: TRAINING SCHOOLS FOR
DELINQUENT PARENTS IN THE 1940s
Sarah K. S. Shannon

Parental culpability for juvenile delinquency has permeated social
welfare thought and practice throughout U.S. history. This article
presents a case study of one Midwestern municipality’s efforts to
create a training school for parents as a remedy for delinquency in
the 1940s. The case study illustrates how city leaders attempted to
put theory about delinquency causation into practice by forging a
collaborative intervention strategy among various community partners
including public schools, social welfare agencies, and law enforcement.
In light of the case study, this article examines historical
and contemporary efforts to punish parents of juvenile delinquents.


LIFE HISTORY AND NARRATIVE ANALYSIS:
FEMINIST METHODOLOGIES CONTEXTUALIZING
BLACK WOMEN’S EXPERIENCES WITH SEVERE
MENTAL ILLNESS
Marya R. Sosulski, Nicole T. Buchanan, and Chandra M.
Donnell

This paper discusses a methodological approach to research that
enhances critical analysis by contextualizing qualitative research
findings within participants’ individual experiences. We demonstrate
the combined use of life history methods and feminist
narrative analysis to explore Black women’s everyday experiences
with mental illness, from their perspectives. These interpretive
methods reach beyond pathologized conceptions of identity
and adjustment that often narrowly characterize mental illness
among Black women. Instead, these methods holistically describe
a participant’s experiences and strategies she uses to pursue
goals and enhance her life. The use of the methods is illustrated
with examples from the life narrative of “Maria,” a Black woman
living with serious mental illness. Our findings underscore the
need for rigorous, culturally appropriate methods and further
research to evaluate participants’ standpoints and needs, and interventions to facilitate understanding and improved outcomes.


WORK CHARACTERISTICS AND FAMILY ROUTINES
IN LOW-WAGE FAMILIES
Amanda Sheely

The maintenance of routines is linked to positive outcomes in
children and families. Role theory asserts that resources and
constraints found in family and work environments will shape
a parent’s ability to successfully fulfill both roles. To date, there
is scant research examining the maintenance of routines in low-income
families whose work environments are often characterized
by temporary work, non-traditional shifts, and irregular hours.
This study seeks to understand the relationship between employment
characteristics on the maintenance of family routines
in a sample of low-wage families. The results of this study support
the findings of other researchers that low-wage families face
considerable work-family strain due to their jobs, but they succeed
in maintaining routines despite adverse working conditions.


“EVERYTHING HAS CHANGED”: NARRATIVES OF
THE VIETNAMESE AMERICAN COMMUNITY IN
POST-KATRINA MISSISSIPPI
Yoosun Park, Joshua Miller, and Bao Chau Van

In this qualitative study of the Vietnamese American community
of Biloxi, Mississippi, conducted three years after Katrina, we attended
not only to individual experiences but to the relationship
of individuals to their collective and social worlds. The interlocked
relationship of individual and collective loss and recovery are
clearly demonstrated in respondents’ narratives. The neighborhood
and community of Little Saigon was significant not only
as a symbolic source of identity but as a protected and familiar
space of residence, livelihood, and social connections. The post-Katrina
changes in the neighborhood are, in multiple ways, changing
participants’ experience of and relationship to their community.


SOCIAL WORK AND CIVIC ENGAGEMENT: THE
POLITICAL PARTICIPATION OF PROFESSIONAL
SOCIAL WORKERS
Sunny Harris Rome and Susan Hoechstetter

This article examines the involvement of practicing social workers
in one type of civic engagement: the use of political processes to
promote the public good. Based on a survey of 1,274 randomly selected
members of NASW, this is the largest study to date examining
the involvement of social workers in political action and policy
advocacy. Findings suggest that approximately half of social workers
demonstrate high levels of participation in the policy process.
The authors analyze the frequency with which respondents engage
in specific political and policy-related activities, and compare these
results to those of other studies. They also examine respondents’ attitudes
toward political participation and share recommendations
for increasing this aspect of civic engagement within the profession.


VOLUNTEER PATTERNS OF MID- AND LATER LIFE
AMERICAN COUPLES
Deborah B. Smith

The expectation for older people to volunteer has increased, and
married Americans are more likely to volunteer. Drawing on life
course and couple decision-making theories, this research examines
mid- and later life American couples’ volunteer patterns.
Ninety-five (95) couples are analyzed to determine characteristics
of three groups of couples—both volunteer, neither volunteer, or
only one spouse volunteers. Multinomial logistic regression comparing
all couples simultaneously finds significant differences.
Couples with no volunteers are more likely to report lower joint
marital satisfaction and at least one spouse out of the labor force
than couples where one spouse volunteers. Couples who have both
spouses volunteer are more likely to have a husband with a traditional
gender role ideology than those where only one spouse
volunteers. Caregiving has no impact on couple volunteering.
This paper addresses implications for volunteer recruitment.


BRINGING THE ORGANIZATION BACK IN: THE ROLE
OF BUREAUCRATIC CHURNING IN EARLY TANF
CASELOAD DECLINES IN ILLINOIS
Chad Broughton

Welfare reform legislation in the late 1990s lead to rapid declines in
state welfare caseloads. In contrast to prevailing accounts that emphasize
rapid job creation and those that pin caseload declines on successful
work incentives and behavioral sanctions, this article argues
that organizational rationing mechanisms explain a large portion
of the sharp initial declines in Illinois. The article first highlights
how street-level bureaucratic practices oriented toward caseload reduction
arose in TANF implementing bodies from a reordered and
narrow set of organizational incentives that had little to do with the
symbolic goals of welfare reform. Based on an analysis of state-level
administrative statistics and formal interviewing and fieldwork in
welfare offices and community-based organizations, this article
finds that bureaucratic churning, gate-keeping, and other forms of
service rationing significantly sped exits from and slowed entrances
to welfare in the decisive first three years of TANF implementation.

 

BOOK REVIEWS


Lineages of Despotism and Development: British Colonialism
and State Power.
Matthew Lange.
Reviewed by James Midgley.


Rebuild America: Solving the Economic Crisis Through Civic
Works.
Scott Myers-Lipton.
Reviewed by Frank Stricker.


More than Just Race: Being Black and Poor in the Inner City.
William Julius Wilson.
Reviewed by Marguerite G. Rosenthal.


Reforming Child Welfare.
Olivia Golden.
Reviewed by Leroy H. Pelton.


Remembering our Childhood: How Memory Betrays Us.
Karl Sabbagh. Reviewed by Susan P. Robbins.


How it Works: Recovering Citizens in Post-Welfare
Philadelphia.
Robert P. Fairbanks, II.
Reviewed by Jennifer R. Zelnick.


Why David Sometimes Wins.
Marshall Ganz.
Reviewed by Ed Marakovitz.


Negotiating Justice: Progressive Lawyering, Low Income
Clients, and the Quest for Social Change.
Corey S. Shdaimah.
Reviewed by Lolita Buckner Inniss.


Contemporary Chinese America: Immigration, Ethnicity, and
Community Transformation.
Min Zhou.
Reviewed by Shehong Chen.


Longing and Belonging: Parents, Children, and Consumer
Culture.
Allison J. Pugh.
Reviewed by Cheryl Najarian Souza.


Essential Skills of Social Work Practice: Assessment,
Intervention, and Evaluation.
Thomas O’Hare.
Reviewed by Karen M. VanDeusen.

 

 

 

 

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