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Abstracts from Volume 29, Number 4
(December, 2002)

Different Types of Welfare States? A Methodological Deconstruction of Comparative Research
Rebecca A. Van Voorhis
Research on modern welfare states has been strongly influenced by the theory that they develop according to patterns, which form distinct regimes- liberal, corporatist, and social democratic. These regimes are characterized by several key variables, among which the decommodification of labor is heavily weighted. This article examines the operational assumptions, measures, and calculations used in the most widely cited empirical study around which distinct regime theory has developed over the last decade. The findings reveal critical methodological weaknesses in the conceptualization and quanti.cation of decommodification measures, which form the empirical cornerstone of distinct regime theory.

From Social Work to Human Services
David Stoesz
Social work has forfeited its professional mandate and should be replaced by "human services." In three traditional areas of responsibility-child welfare, public welfare, and mental health-social work has failed to meet its societal obligation. Meanwhile the profession has used postmodern thought to justify a focus on internal constituency groups. A template for professional education in human services is proposed.

"For Their Own Good?": Sex work, social control and social workers, a historical perspective
Stéphanie Wahab
This article provides an overview of the social responses to prostitution since the mid 1800s and how the responses of social workers have been shaped by shifting social contexts. Understanding the complex interplay of these forces is key to mapping out the divergent social work practice approaches with sex workers and their influence over time. The article presents three main constructs which have influenced social work responses to sex work; 1) the notion that women needed to be protected for their own good, 2) competing class values and, 3) social control.

Exploratory Research in Public Social Service Agencies: As Assessment of Dissemination and Utilization
Teresa Dal Santo, Sheryl Goldberg Pamela, Michael J. Austin
The purpose of this study was to investigate how nine exploratory research studies were disseminated and utilized by social services agencies in four California counties. It is based on in-depth interviews with sixteen key social service agency staff members in four counties who were involved in the planning and implementation of the research projects. While reports were disseminated internally to agency management staff, the results revealed that fewer were shared with supervisory and line staff. All of the studies in.uenced agency thinking and, in some cases, specific agency decisionmaking processes. The key factors influencing the utilization of research included: (a) characteristics of the findings and recommendations, (b) specific project situations, (c) practitioner and researcher characteristics, and (d) communication. Implications for future research and practice are identified in relationship to improving the scope of work, strengthening the agency-researcher partnership, developing a research networking program, and increasing media strategies for bringing research to the marketplace.

Health Services Social Workers' Activities with People with Disabilities: Predicters of Community Practice
Richard L. Beaulaurier
The purpose of this study was to explore the extent to which hospital based social workers were actively involved in community practice on behalf of disabled people. The study attempted to identify what variables influence social workers in health settings to engage in community practice. A sample of 286 social workers employed in 57 different hospital and rehabilitation settings participated in a survey that focused on advocacy and related topics. A questionnaire explored participants' perspectives and the levels and kinds of practice activities they engaged in relation to the needs of people with disabilities. Most respondents indicated that community practice was part of their professional responsibility and that disabled clients needed such assistance. Regression analyses showed that self-reports of community practice activities were nevertheless highly related to selfreported advocacy activities. However, their reports of their actual advocacy activities consistently fell below their recognition of need.

Open forBusiness: Exploring the Life Stages of Two Canadian Street Youth Shelters
Jeff Karabanow
Youth shelters have emerged as significant resources for homeless and runaway adolescents. Through participant observations of shelter culture, review of agency archival materials, and in-depth interviews with 21 shelter workers (front line staff, middle managers, and upper-level executives), this analysis explores the life stages of two Canadian street youth shelters, highlighting the dramatic transformations in their internal operations and external environments. This paper also offers an understanding of organizational evolutionary processes.

Assets and Neighboring: An Exploration into Household Assets and Efforts to be a Good Neighbor
Tim Reutebuch
A non-random, cross-sectional sampling procedure was utilized in this study to explore the relationship between the level of household assets and their corresponding level of neighboring. Surveys from111 households were collected from September 1997, to April 1999, in seven Ohio counties to elucidate the relationship between the level of assets in working poor households and selected household demographic variables, and their propensity to provide various forms of community assistance over the previous month from the time of survey. Findings revealed that households 1) with more than one adult and 2) with lower levels of monthly earned income were more likely to provide community assistance to their neighbors. The implications of an asset-based social welfare policy strategy will be discussed.

Not in My Social World: A Cultural Analysis of Media Representations, Contested Spaces, and Sympathy forthe Homeless
James A. Forte
The social constructionist approach offers conceptual tools that may augment social workers' persuasive powers and problem solving capacities. In this case study, I examine a newspaper campaign to cast the homeless in negative terms and justify the closing of a shelter. Findings are presented as seven themes used by competing claims-makers. Each constructs a different depiction of the homeless, of homelessness, and of preferred solutions. Linkages between community memberships and favored problem definitions are identified. I conclude with suggestions for how "intelligent social reconstruction" might help social workers function as sympathy brokers for the vulnerable. (Key words: homelessness,NIMBY, mass media, constructionist approaches to social problems).

Book Reviews
Love's Revolution: Interracial Marriage. Maria P. Root.

Review by Dianne Rush Woods

Preserving Privilege: California Politics, Propositions, and People of Color.

Jewelle TaylorGibbs and Teiahsha Bankhead.

Review by Devon Brooks

Balancing Family-Centered Services and ChildWell-Being: Exploring Issues in Policy, Practice, Theory, and Research.

ElaineWalton, Patricia Sandau-Beckler and Marc Mannes (Eds.)

Review by Sherrill J. Clark

Children, Family and the State: Decision-making and Child Participation.

Nigel Thomas

Review by Eileen Munro

HIV, AIDS, and the Law, Hawthorne, Donald T. Dickson

Review by Ronald J. Mancoske

Consumption and SocialWelfare: Living Standards and Their Distribution in the United States. Daniel T. Slesnick.

Review by Sondra G. Beverly

Book Notes
The Road not Taken: A History of Radical Social Work in the United States.

Michael Reisch and Janice Andrews.

Welfare Reform: Failures and Remedies. Alvin L. Schorr.

Evaluating Welfare Reform in an Era of Transition. Robert A. Mof.tt and Michele Ver Ploeg (Eds.).

The Principles of Social Policy. Robert F.Drake.

The New Poverty Studies: The Ethnography of Power, Politics and Impoverished People in the United States. Judith Goode and Jeff Maskovsky (Eds.).

 

 

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