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Abstracts from Volume 40, Number 1
(March, 2013)

PAPERWORK FIRST, NOT WORK FIRST: HOW CASEWORKERS USE PAPERWORK TO FEEL EFFECTIVE 
Tiffany Taylor

A great deal of research has explored welfare agency caseworkers, especially how they use discretion. Paperwork in county welfare bureaucracies, however, is often taken-for-granted by caseworkers and researchers studying welfare. In this case study of a county welfare program in rural North Carolina, I focus on how caseworkers use paperwork through document analysis, interviews, and observation data. My findings illustrate caseworkers spend far more time on paperwork than they actually spend assisting program participants find employment. Finally, I show how caseworkers use paperwork to feel effective in a job that offers little to help clients move from welfare to work. 


INFLUENCES OF ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS ON THE PHYSICAL FUNCTIONING OF OLDER ADULTS IN URBAN CHINA
Fei Sun, Chuntian Lu, and Jordan I. Kosberg

This study examined the influence of municipal-level environmental factors (i.e., economy, pollution, health care) on the physical functioning of the elder population in urban China using a two-level hierarchical linear model (HLM) method. Data came from the 2005 wave of the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey, including 3,830 older adults (Mage = 86.4) randomly selected from 152 cities across China. Municipal-level data retrieved from the Chinese Statistical Yearbook 2005 include indictors of economic development, pollution, and health service availability. Higher gross domestic product (GDP) per capita and more doctors were associated with fewer functioning limitations. The effect of self-rated health on functioning limitations was moderated by indicators of health service availability. Policies need to eliminate disparities in economic development and health care access across regions. 

ARE HOUSING FIRST PROGRAMS EFFECTIVE? A RESEARCH NOTE Danielle Groton

This paper briefly reviews studies comparing the effectiveness of various Housing First programs to Continuum of Care programs for outcomes related to housing retention, substance use, and mental health. A literature search was completed entering the search term "Housing First" in electronic databases (PsycINFO, JSTOR, and Web of Science) to find potential studies. Of the 67 items produced by the literature search, after screening for outcome studies of Housing First programs that evaluate housing retention, substance use, and/or mental health in comparison to other programs or treatment as usual, 5 final studies were selected for inclusion in the review. Of the five studies selected, all had recruited samples of either chronically homeless individuals or homeless individuals with a mental health diagnosis, and all reported results favored Housing First programs over Continuum of Care programs for housing retention. Substance use and mental health outcomes generally stayed constant regardless of program type.While Housing First does appear to show strong promise, the methodological flaws in the studies revewied, including strong research affiliation with the Housing First agencies being evaluated, calls for more rigorous studies to be completed by more objective investigators.

PHENOMENOLOGY AND HBSE: MAKING THE CONNECTION 
Phillip Dybicz

A number of postmodern practitioners have turned to theorists such as Foucault, Derrida, and Wittgenstein to inform their intervention efforts. Yet it may be difficult for the average practitioner, or educator teaching HBSE, to make the connection between these theorists and human behavior. Phenomenology, as a theory of ontology, serves as a fundamental theory of the postmodern paradigm. As such, phenomenological concepts such as existence and essence, presence and absence, and distinctness and vagueness offer much in illustrating the link between postmodern theories of meaning-making and intervention efforts seeking change in human behavior.

THE FIRST AND THE LAST: A CONFLUENCE OF FACTORS LEADING TO THE INTEGRATION OF CARVER SCHOOL OF MISSIONS AND SOCIAL WORK, 1955
Tanya Smith Brice and Laine T. Scales

The Carver School of Missions and Social Work, affiliated with the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, was an all-female social work program that eventually became the first seminary-affiliated social work program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. This article examines Carver's efforts towards racial integration during the late 1950s, which was a time of heightened racial tensions across the United States. This article is informed by a series of oral histories of the two African American women who integrated Carver in 1955. 

HEALTH INEQUALITIES AND WELFARE STATE IN EUROPEAN FAMILIES
Simone Sarti, Marco Alberio, and Marco Terraneo

Using EU-Silc data from 2005, our aim in this article is to estimate how self-assessed health and the gradient between education and health vary among individuals in different European countries, considering their contextual socioeconomic vulnerability. In order to do this, we use a hierarchical model with individuals nested in households at the second level, and in various European countries at the third level. Our main research interest is on the modelling variables associated with better health conditions and their improvement or worsening according not only to micro/individual and macro/national levels but also to the household: a level on which social protection (of whatever nature) exerts its influence. Different household contexts receive different amounts of resources, by transfers, social care and health services, which could directly affect health and also modify the gradient between education and health. Moreover, these relations are likely to change among European countries, on the basis of various welfare assets, as the identification of beneficiaries' categories and the weight of category-based measures on the overall welfare expenditure varies among countries and among welfare models.

 

PERCEIVED DISCRIMINATION AND SUBJECTIVE WELL-BEING AMONG RURAL-TO-URBAN MIGRANTS IN CHINA
Juan Chen

Using data from a 2009 national household survey (N = 2,866), this study investigates the differential experience of perceived institutional and interpersonal discrimination among rural-to-urban migrants in China, and the consequences of these two types of discrimination on measures of subjective well-being. The results indicate that rural-to-urban migrants perceive institutional discrimination more frequently than interpersonal discrimination. However, perceived interpersonal discrimination has a more detrimental effect than perceived institutional discrimination for rural-to-urban migrants, and this effect takes the form of self-rated physical health and depressive distress. The research calls for a more equitable social environment and equal distribution of resources and opportunities in China.

'WE ARE RADICAL': THE RIGHT TO THE CITY ALLIANCE AND THE FUTURE OF COMMUNITY ORGANIZING
Robert Fisher, Yuseph Katiya, Christopher Reid, and Eric Shragge 

This paper seeks to situate current efforts of The Right to the City Alliance and selected member groups in a longitudinal and cross-sectional qualitative study of the limits and potential of contemporary organizing. For three decades politicians, policy makers, advocates, academics, and even activists have promoted community-based efforts as the primary vehicle for contemporary social change. Local organizing has been seen as the best site and strategy for initiatives as diverse as community economic development, public school reform, social service delivery, and challenging the powers that be. In almost all cases these efforts have been constrained and moderated by a global political economy of neoliberalism, which promotes community initiatives at the same time as it foists additional burdens on local communities and community organizations. An overview of the Right to the City Alliance and selected member organizations reveals its relatively unique, alternative model of organizing. Study of the organization and its model enables us to look at some of the limits of this nascent effort, including how well the alliance model accomplishes the need for greater scale and power. It also enables us to compare it to other community organizing efforts and see how it fits with and informs contemporary mobilizations since 2010.

 

 


BOOK REVIEWS


The Price of Inequality: How Today's Divided Society Endangers Our Future. 
Joseph E. Stiglitz.
Reviewed by Mary Huff Stevenson.

Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity. 
Katherine Boo. 
Reviewed by Edward U. Murphy.

To Promote the General Welfare: The Case for Big Government.
Steven Conn (Ed.). 
Reviewed by Sheila D. Collins.

Three Worlds of Relief: Race, Immigration, and the American Welfare State from the Progressive Era to the New Deal.
Cybelle Fox.
Reviewed byMarguerite G. Rosenthal.

The Future of the Welfare State: Social Policy Attitudes and Social Capital in Europe. 
Heikki Ervasti, Jorgen Goul Andersen, Torben Fridberg & Kristen Ringdal (Eds.). 
Reviewed by Larry Nackerud.

The New Religious Intolerance. 
Martha C. Nussbaum.
Reviewed by John Tropman.

Mother-Talk: Conversations with Mothers of Lesbian Daughters and FTM Transgender Children. 
Sarah F. Pearlman. 
Reviewed by Melinda McCormick.

Shattering Culture: American Medicine Responds to Cultural Diversity. 
Mary-Jo DelVecchio Good, Sarah S. Willen, Seth Donal Hannah, Ken Vickery, & Lawrence Taeseng Park (Eds.). 
Reviewed by Kenny Kwong.

Taking It Big: C. Wright Mills and the Making of Political Intellectuals. 
Stanley Aronowitz. 
Reviewed by Gordon Fellman.

 

 

 

 

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