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Abstracts from Volume 40, Number 2
(June, 2013)

A HALF-CENTURY OF CALIFORNIA POVERTY
Robert G. Mogull

In this article, poverty statistics are examined over the past 50 years for insights on trends. Data were tabulated by Decennial Censuses for the state of California and categorized by demographic group. Trends are revealed by evidence from unique calculations of Poverty Indexes, that is, of “fair shares” of poverty. By examining 5 decades of evidence, it is found that some groups have clearly progressed—specifically Asians & Pacific Islanders, Blacks, and Hispanics, while others have found their recent poverty status deteriorate—especially the elderly, Native Americans, and Whites.

 

THE POTENTIAL OF YOUTH SAVINGS ACCOUNTS IN THREE EAST AFRICAN COUNTRIES: KENYA, TANZANIA, AND UGANDA
Njeri Kagotho, Proscovia Nabunya, Fred Ssewamala, and
Vilma Ilic

This paper explores the potential of expanding a youth-focused asset-based intervention program for poor communities heavily affected by HIV and AIDS—currently underway in one East African country, Uganda—into similar communities in the other two East African countries: Kenya and Tanzania. This concept paper is informed by prior work on youth-focused asset-based programs first proposed in the United States of America and now successfully implemented in Uganda (Ssewamala, 2008; Ssewamala, Alicea, Bannon, & Ismayilova, 2008; Ssewamala & Ismayilova, 2008, 2009) and grounded in an asset-based development theoretical framework, which denotes an integrated approach to human, social, and economic capital development (Sherraden, 1990, 1991). Although each of these three East African countries faces unique barriers to addressing poverty among youth, including those residing in communities heavily affected by HIV and AIDS, we argue that the promising results realized in Uganda could be effectively replicated in Kenya and Tanzania—given that the three countries share a common geographic boundary, with similar post-
independence social and economic (and to a lesser extent political) policies and programs. The three countries also have related ethnic and tribal groups.

 

THE MASARYKS OF CZECHOSLOVAKIA: CONTRIBUTIONS IN SOCIOLOGY, SOCIAL WELFARE AND POLITICS
Rebecca L. Hegar

This article profiles contributions to sociology, social welfare and politics by members of the Masaryk family of Czechoslovakia, with primary emphasis on the career of Alice G. Masaryk (or Masaryková), an applied sociologist and founder of Czech social work. As the daughter of Tomáš G. Masaryk, an academic philosopher and early sociologist who became the first President of Czechoslovakia in 1918, her life and work are inextricably linked with the country’s history and with one of the remarkable families of their era. Research for this article involved searching literature from several disciplines and reviewing historical publications and documents from relevant periods. The Masaryk legacy has renewed relevance as social work practice and education become reestablished in the Czech Republic.

SWEDEN'S PARENTAL LEAVE INSURANCE: A POLICY ANALYSIS OF STRATEGIES TO INCREASE GENDER EQUALITY
Juliana Carlson

Sweden’s parental leave insurance is recognized internationally as the premiere parental leave policy addressing gender equality. Since 1974, when the policy changed from maternal to parental leave, policy makers have employed a variety of strategies including inducements, rules, and rights, to increase more gender-equal leave taking. Using Stone’s (2006) strategy conceptualization, together with the gender systems approach (Crompton, 1999) which frames the gendered and socially constructed nature of earner/caregiver, this analysis examines how each of Sweden’s incremental reforms in parental leave policy moved toward the goal of gender equality, with particular attention to father participation in caregiving.

 

REMARITAL CHANCES, CHOICES, AND ECONOMIC CONSEQUENCES: ISSUES OF SOCIAL AND PERSONAL WELFARE
Kevin Shafer and Todd M. Jensen

Many divorced women experience a significant decline in financial, social, physical, and psychological well-being following a divorce. Using data from the NLSY79 (n= 2,520) we compare welfare recipients, mothers, and impoverished women to less marginalized divorcees on remarriage chances. Furthermore, we look at the kinds of men these women marry by focusing on the employment and education of new spouses. Finally, we address how remarriage and spousal quality (as defined by education and employment) impact economic well-being after divorce. Our results show that remarriage has positive economic effects, but that is dependent upon spousal quality. However, such matches are rare among divorced women with children and in poverty. The implications of our results for social welfare issues are discussed.

BLACK WOMEN IN THE "BLACK METROPOLIS" OF THE EARLY TWENTIETH CENTURY: THE CASE OF PROFESSIONAL OCCUPATIONS
Robert L. Boyd

Little research has examined the employment of Black women as teachers, nurses, and librarians in the urban Black communities of the early twentieth century. The present study fills this void, analyzing Census data on the largest urban Black communities at the start of the Great Migration to cities. The results show that, in spite of the supposed advantages of the northern “Black Metropolis,” Black communities in the urban North were relatively limited in their potential to offer opportunities for Black women to enter pursuits that were, at the time, mainstays of a nascent class of Black professional women.

SPECIALISTS, GENERALISTS, AND POLICY ADVOCACY BY CHARITABLE NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS
Heather MacIndoe and Ryan Whalen

Previous research finds modest levels of engagement in policy advocacy by charitable nonprofits, despite legal regulations permitting nonprofit advocacy and the significance of public policy to nonprofit constituencies. This paper examines nonprofit involvement in policy advocacy using survey data from Boston, Massachusetts. Nonprofit participation in policy advocacy is associated with professionalization, resource dependence, features of the institutional environment, and organizational characteristics such as size and mission. Drawing from population ecology theory, we examine an additional aspect of organizational mission: whether a nonprofit serves a specialized or general population. We find that nonprofits serving specialized populations are more likely to participate in policy advocacy than nonprofits serving the general population.

THE “L” WORD: NONPROFITS, LANGUAGE AND LOBBYING
Jocelyn D. Taliaferro and Nicole Ruggiano

Despite the many benefits associated with policy advocacy, many nonprofit organizations do not lobby. Recently, scholars have called attention to the possibility that the vagueness and ambiguity of the term lobbying may hinder policy advocacy activities, though few studies have systematically explored the relationship between nonprofit professionals’ perception of this term and political activity. This study explored the social construction of the term "lobbying" by examining nonprofit leaders’ beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors surrounding lobbying activities. Participants reported having a strong aversion to the term "lobbying" and preferred alternative language to describe their political activities. Implications for practice and research are discussed.

BOOK REVIEWS

Making Care Count: A Century of Gender, Race, and Paid Care Work. Mignon Duffy.
Reviewed by Jennifer R. Zelnick.

For Love and Money: Care Provision in the United States.
Nancy Folbre (Ed.).
Reviewed by Jill B. Jones.

Striving to Save: Creating Policies for Financial Security of Low-Income Families.
Margaret Sherrard Sherraden & Amanda Moor McBride, with Sondra G. Beverly.
Reviewed by Carol B. Stack.

Stayin’ Alive: The 1970s and the Last Days of the Working Class.
Jefferson Cowie.
Reviewed by Robert Forrant.

 

 

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