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Abstracts from Volume 38, Number 3
(September, 2011)



Net Worth Accumulation by Different Income Quintiles of Older Adults Approaching Retirement Age and 10 Years Later
Martha N. Ozawa and Yeong H. Yeo


The shift in responsibility for income security from the government
to individuals makes the accumulation of net worth a vital issue.
We investigated the rate of net worth accumulation for people aged
51 to 61 in 1991 (N=7,544) and 61 to 71 in 2001 (N=5,711) using
the RAND Health and Retirement Study. We found that the rate
of net worth accumulation by the fifth (top) quintile was extremely
high in 1991, and the distribution of net worth became more skewed
in favor of the wealthy in 2001. Older adults in the first and second
quintiles are unable to face the challenge of the shift in responsibility
for income security from the government to individuals.

Foster Care Workers' Emotional Responses to Their Work
Alissa Schwartz

The field of child welfare struggles with high rates of job turnover.
This study describes the contributors to and experiences of
foster care workers’ emotional responses to their work. Uniquely
drawing from the field of Positive Psychology, it describes and
conceptualizes the relationships of multi-level contributors to
foster care workers’ emotional reactions at work. In-depth interviews
conducted with 25 foster care workers found that negative
emotions were more prominently featured than positive, but that
working in an agency with positive workplace characteristics mitigated
this relationship. Theoretical implications and limitations of
taking a Positive Psychology approach to the study are discussed.

Social Work and Conditional Cash Transfers in Latin America
Cindy Calvo

Conditional cash transfer (CCT) programs are a recent anti-poverty
strategy in Latin America. CCT programs provide cash benefits to
finance basic needs and foster investment in human capital to extremely
poor households. These benefits are conditioned on certain
behaviors, usually related to investments in nutrition, health, and
education. In the literature, there is a recognizable lack of analyses
from social science disciplines related to CCT program implications.
This paper contributes in this arena by analyzing the particular
role of social work in CCT anti-poverty programs. The educational
element of these programs and its theoretical foundation based on
the human capital model, the debate around issues of conditionality
and targeting, the possible role of CCT programs in a broader reform
of social protection systems, and professional practice implications
using the Chilean CCT program as a model will be addressed.

Child Support as Labor Regulation
Yiyoon Chung

The development of child support policy over the past three decades
provides an emblematic case study of the ways in which a new
policy that reflects the rise of moral arguments about individual and
family responsibility, once established, produces significant consequences
for both the economic sphere and political dialogues. I use
social control theory to examine a rarely appreciated consequence
of child support policies: labor regulation. Particularly, I demonstrate
the ways in which the discourse embedded in child support
has exalted the importance of work even under the lowest terms,
and has deflected public attention away from labor market issues.

Anything Goes: Science and Social Constructions in Competing Discourses
Philip Dybicz

This paper examines, then disproves, the claim that social work
practices based upon postmodern thought are either anti-science,
or at the very least, weak on their respect for and application of
scientific knowledge. Postmodern thought does attack the epistemological
theory of positivism as well as the correspondence
theory of truth. Hence, postmodern social work practices do seek
to displace the role that scientific knowledge plays in guiding the
helping situation. Rather than diagnosing causes and effects in
a problem-solving endeavor, science is used to circumscribe the
boundaries within which a postmodern endeavor at consciousness-
raising takes place. Describing this new role for scientific
knowledge within postmodern practice is the object of this study.

The Role of the Neighborhood in Making Welfare Reform Possible
David I. Siegel

This article will analyze the role of the neighborhood in making
welfare reform possible. It will consider the neighborhood and
its environment as a context for welfare reform, the influence of
neighborhood conditions and effects, recent neighborhood theory
building, the neighborhood as a source of relevant values, and finally
neighborhood programs that contribute to welfare reform.

Sanctioning Policies—Australian, American and British Cross-National Reflections and Comparisons
Harry Savelsberg

Over the last two decades welfare policies have undergone major
reforms in Anglo-Western nations such as the U.S., U.K. and
Australia. Central to these reforms have been the revision of
welfare recipient entitlements and responsibilities and the emergence
of a responsibility and obligations agenda. The essence of
this agenda is conditionality and reciprocity, and it includes the
threat of punitive sanctions for failing to comply with mandatory
participation requirements. This paper highlights the potent influence
of the ideas of American conservatives on policy reforms in
the U.S., the U.K. and Australia and provides a thematic crossnational
comparison of sanctioning policies in these nations.

BOOK REVIEWS

Invisible Hands: The Businessmen’s Crusade Against the
New Deal.
Kim Phillips-Fein.
Reviewed by Robert Leighninger.

Democracy without Decency: Good Citizenship and the
War on Poverty.
William M. Epstein.
Reviewed by Gertrude Schaffner Goldberg.

Organizing for Educational Justice: The Campaign for Public
School Reform in the South Bronx.
Michael B. Fabricant.
Reviewed by Eva Gold.

Remaking Citizenship: Latina Immigrants and New
American Politics
. Kathleen M. Coll.
Reviewed by Lirio K. Negroni.

American Uprising: The Untold Story of America’s Largest
Slave Revolt.
Daniel Rasmussen.
Reviewed by Phillip Seitz.

The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s
Great Migration.
Isabel Wilkerson.
Reviewed by Richard Sherman.

Living the Drama: Community, Conflict, and Culture
among Inner-City Boys.
David J. Harding.
Reviewed by Wilma Peebles-Wilkins.

Moving to Opportunity: The Story of an American Experiment
to Fight Ghetto Poverty.
Xavier de Souza Briggs, Susan J.
Popkin & John Goering.
Reviewed by Margeurite Rosenthal.

Democratic Insecurities: Violence, Trauma, and Intervention in
Haiti.
Erica Caple James.
Reviewed by Amy Wilentz.

World Crisis Effects on Social Security in Latin America and
the Caribbean: Lessons and Policies.
Carmelo Mesa-Lago.
Reviewed by Vladimir Rys.

From Madness to Mental Health: Psychiatric Disorder and
its Treatment in Western Civilization.
Greg Eghigian (Ed.).
Reviewed by Christopher Hudson.

Suicide: Foucault, History and Truth. Ian Marsh.
Reviewed by Oona Morrow.

 

 

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