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Abstracts from Volume 27, Number 2
(June, 2000)

DO INNER-CITY, AFRICAN-AMERICAN MALES EXHIBIT "BAD ATTITUDES" TOWARD WORK?
Jill Littrell and Elizabeth Beck
Many potential employers of inner-city African-American men believe that African-American men have poor work attitudes. The investigations reported here attempted to evaluate the veridicality of this assumption. The responses of African-American men who utilize a soup-kitchen were compared with college men on a variety of attitude measures, as well as on their reactions to a scenario about a man who worked for an unfair boss and quit in response. Generally, little support for the view that inner-city, African-American men have a predilection to presume prejudice or unfairness, or to render a favorable evaluation of quitting under unfair conditions, was found.

EXPLOITATION-THE INVISIBLE HAND GUIDED BY A BLIND EYE: CONFRONTING A FLAW IN ECONOMIC THEORY
Phillip Dybicz
Economics is alone among the social science disciplines in failing to have a sound theory to explain behaviors when people do not act according to their self-interest, that is, with compassion. This has resulted in a fundamental flaw in economic thought. As economies have grown in scale and complexity, there has been a corresponding distancing between consumers and producers. This flaw has revealed itself through a lack of economic structures which bridge this distance, restore a level of intimacy within the economic interaction, and hence facilitate the expression of compassion.

WORK AND ECONOMIC OUTCOMES AFTER WELFARE
Thomas P. Vartanian and Justine M. McNamara
Using data from the 1969 to 1993 Panel Study of Income Dynamics, this article examines a number of models to determine the characteristics of AFDC recipients who fare well economically after they initially leave the welfare system. The study includes analyses of income levels, time spent employed and not employed, and time spent below the poverty line. Hypotheses regarding state welfare payments, area economic conditions, human capital and time spent receiving welfare are examined. The findings indicate that area employment conditions and the ability to quickly find work greatly affect the likelihood of faring well economically after welfare. We found that time spent receiving welfare had some small negative effects on post-welfare economic outcomes. However, former welfare recipients living in states with more generous welfare payments are as likely to work, to not use welfare, and are generally as well off as those living in states with less generous welfare payments. These results indicate that high welfare benefit levels may not be a disincentive to work. The findings also indicate that women who have little job experience, who lack education, and who have many or more children after AFDC, fare economically worse than the others.

THE SPATIAL SHIFT IN THE GROWTH OF POVERTY AMONG FAMILIES HEADED BY EMPLOYED FEMALES, 1979-89*
W. Richard Goe & Anisa Rhea
The number of working poor families in the United States increased substantially during the 1979-89 period. This increase was found to disproportionately consist of families headed by employed females. The growth in poverty among families headed by employed females during this period was found to be nonstructural in nature and inequitably distributed across the labor markets in the U.S. It was found that at the onset of the 1980s, high rates of poverty among families headed by employed females were predominately concentrated in labor market areas in the South. Over the 1980s, the highest increases in poverty rates among such families were found to be concentrated in labor market areas in the Midwest and Rocky Mountain regions, rather than the South. Further, declines in poverty rates among families headed by employed females were found to be concentrated in labor market areas located on the east and west coasts.

CONFLICTING BUREAUCRACIES, CONFLICTED WORK: DILEMMAS IN CASE MANAGEMENT FOR HOMELESS PEOPLE WITH MENTAL ILLNESS
Linda E. Francis
This ethnographic study finds a case management agency torn between the rules of two conflicting bureaucracies. Funded by a federal grant, the agency is administered by the county, and the regulations of the two systems turn out to be incompatible. This conflict creates dilemmas in providing services to clients: meeting eligibility criteria for services from the federal grant meant the clients did not meet the eligibility criteria for many County services. Agency staff reacted to this dilemma by bending rules, finding loopholes, and investing extra time and emotional labor in each client. The role-conflict engendered by bureaucratic disjunction creates frustration, resentment and burnout within the agency.

RACIAL AND GENDER VARIATIONS IN THE PROCESS SHAPING EARNINGS' POTENTIAL: THE CONSEQUENCES OF POVERTY IN EARLY ADULTHOOD
C. ANDRE MIZELL
This research investigates the effects of poverty in early adulthood on future earnings. While social scientists are beginning to amass a considerable literature on the effects of poverty on outcomes for children, few have investigated the damage that impoverishment may do in early adulthood when individuals are in the midst of completing education and planning careers. The findings in this study indicate that poverty does dampen earnings' potential. However, individual characteristics (e.g., aspirations, esteem and ability) and structural location (e.g., educational attainment, occupational status and job tenure) may assuage the otherwise negative effects of poverty. Other findings reveal that the process shaping earnings is very similar for white males compared to racial minorities and women. One exception is the impact of weekly hours worked on earnings. White males receive a benefit to earnings from weekly hours worked above and beyond that of White women, African American men, African American women and Mexican American women. Additionally, white men's earnings remain higher than African Americans, Mexican Americans and white women because of higher occupational attainment and longer job tenure.

TANF POLICY IMPLEMENTATION: THE INVISIBLE BARRIER
Roberta Rehner Iverson
Barriers to participation in welfare-to-work programs are generally described in terms of human and social capital. Findings from case examination of four Philadelphia-area welfare-to-work programs under TANF suggest that theory about policy implementation is more applicable. Faulty policy logic, organizational and personnel incompetence, and inadequate coordination between and within funding, referral, program and employer organizations regularly resulted in delayed program start-ups and strained program operations. Generally invisible and absent from research attention, these implementation delays and strains impeded program staff efforts and harmed TANF recipients. States' 24-month time limit policies are a critical target for advocacy efforts.

The Impact of Education and Family Attributes on Attitudes and Responses to Unemployment among Men and Women
Liat Kulik
The study deals with differences between jobless Israeli women (n = 361) and men (n = 253) in relation to the following aspects of unemployment: Reasons for rejecting potential jobs, job search intensity, and responses to unemployment. The women mentioned more reasons for rejecting potential jobs, and their health-related responses to unemployment were more extreme than those of the men. However, the men tended to seek employment more intensively than did the women.
Married respondents of both sexes showed the greatest tendency to reject potential employment due to conflict with family responsibilities. Married women were also more likely than their male counterparts to reject potential jobs due to adverse working conditions or masculine-typed employment. Moreover, for both men and women the number of dependent children was related to the tendency to reject potential employment due to con.ict with family responsibilities. The divorced- widowed respondents expressed more negative responses to unemployment compared with respondents the other family status groups. Education level affected responses to unemployment and rejection of jobs, although it did not have a differential impact on men and women.

BOOK REVIEWS
Social Security in Global Perspective. John Dixon.
Reviewed by Paul Terrell, University of California, Berkley.

Kids Raised by the Government. Ira M. Schwartz and Gideon Fishman. Reviewed by Sherrill Clark, University of California, Berkeley.

The Internet and Technology for the Human Services. Howard Karger and Joanne Levine.
Reviewed by Sharon Pittman, Andrews University.

Group Work with Overwhelmed Clients. June Gary Hopps and Elaine Pinderhughes.
Reviewed by Charles Garvin, University of Michigan.

Repackaging the Welfare State. Pranab Chatterjee.
Reviewed by Larry Nackerud, University of Georgia.

BOOK NOTES
So You Think I Drive a Cadillac? Karen Seccombee.

The Generational Equity Debate. John B. Williamson, Diane M. Watts-Roy and Eric R. Kingson (Eds.).

Illusions of Prosperity: America's Working Families in an Age of Economic Insecurity. Joel Blau.

Why Americans Hate Welfare. Martin Gilens.

 

 

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