Distribution of the Federal Tax Burden, Share of
After-Tax Income, and After-Tax Income by
Presidential Administration and Household Type, 1981-2000
Richard K. Caputo
Findings of this study show that the lowest- and middle-income households
overall and those with children had lower total effective Federal tax rates
during the Clinton administration than during the Reagan and G.H. Bush
administrations. Concomitantly, the top one percent and highest income
quintile households overall, those with children, and those headed by an
elderly person age 65 or older without children had higher total effective
Federal tax rates during the Clinton administration. Nearly every category
of household type and income level measured in this study had more after-
Federal-tax income during the Clinton administration than either the Reagan
or G.H. Bush administrations. The study also found that the shares of
after-Federal-tax income were equitable across the three presidential
administrations for the lowest-income quintile households with children, while
the share of after-Federal-tax income for middle-income quintile households
with children actually declined during the Clinton administration. The
study concludes by noting that where it counts most for individuals and
families, namely in the amount of after-tax money available to households,
there were no differences by presidential administration during the post-Reagan era among low-income households and where differences were
found for middle-income households, they were opposite what more liberal
or less centrist-left Democrats would have hoped for.
Family Structure Effects on Parenting Stress and Practices in the African-American Family
Daphne S. Cain & Terri Combs-Orme
The predominant approach to African-American parenting research focuses
on disadvantages associated with single parenthood to the exclusion
of other issues. The current research suggests that this does not represent
the diversity in family structure configurations among African-American
families, nor does it give voice to the parenting resilience of single mothers.
We argue that rather than marital status or family configuration, more attention
needs to be given to the inadequacy of resources for this population.
In the current study, we examined the parenting of infants by African-American mothers and found that mothers’ marital status and family
configuration did not affect parenting stress or practices. This suggests,
then, that single mothers parent as well as their married, partnered, and
multigenerational counterparts. It seems that the economic status and
parenting perceptions of mothers contributed more to parenting stress
than did marital status or family structure. Our study, then, challenges
the accepted wisdom in our political and popular culture that has insisted
upon the centrality of the nuclear family to all aspects of familial and even
national health. Instead, we have shown that a true commitment to strong
families and healthy children begins with a focus on the debilitating effects
of poverty in the African-American community.
The Poverty of Unattached Senior Women and the Canadian Retirement Income
System: A Matter of Blame or Contradiction?
Structural and financial inadequacy of Canada’s retirement income system,
especially with respect to income support benefits (i.e. Old Age Security),
are often identified as one major reason unattached senior women experience
poverty. While it may be compelling to blame low benefit levels
and changing eligibility requirements, particularly because ‘crisis’ policy
discourses have influenced questionable restructuring over time (i.e. the
clawback), this paper argues that this is too simplistic of an account of
the relationship between these women’s poverty and the retirement income
system. Other broad social-structural factors are at play in women’s lives
that have the potential to disentitle their access to income security in old
age. Specifically, the mismatch between women’s economic situations over
the life course and their claims to pension or retirement savings income
is presented as an important reason for why many women are still poor
despite policy provisions for their retirement.
Aging and Family Policy: A Sociological Excursion
Jason L. Powell
The contemporary focus on family policy and old age has become increasingly
important in social discourses on aging both within the discipline of
Sociology and social policy practices of welfare institutions that attempt
to define later life. Using the United Kingdom as a case study, sheds
light on wider current trends associated with aging in United States,
Canada, Europe and Australia. Social welfare is a pivotal domain where
social discourses on aging have become located. Narratives are ‘played
out’ with regard to the raw material supplied by family policy for identity
performance of older people. Therefore, grounding developments in ‘narrativity’
provides a sociological framework to assess the changing discourses
associated with family policy and older people as advanced through different
Gender Poverty Disparity in US Cities: Evidence Exonerating Female-Headed Families
Utilizing data from the 2000 Census, this study examines the impact of
family composition, education, and labor force factors on the difference
between female and male poverty rates in the 70 largest U.S. cities. A
stepwise regression analysis indicates that 41% of the difference between
female and male poverty rates can be explained by the percent of women
in the three US Bureau of Labor Statistic’s lowest wage occupations.
There was no evidence of a unique impact from the percentage of female
headed families in each city, or the study’s other independent variables, on
the gender poverty gap, with the exception of their contribution through
the proportion of females in the lowest wage occupations. This study
provides empirical support for the likely ineffectiveness of TANFinitiatives
promoting employment and marriage for alleviating female poverty.
In addition, the study found important non-random geographic variations
in the difference between cities with the highest and lowest gender
disparity in poverty rates. Only one of the ten US cities with the highest
rankings in gender poverty disparity is located west of the Mississippi
Theories of Urban Poverty and Implications for Public Housing Policy
Alexandra M. Curley
Urban poverty has been the subject of sociological and political debate for
more than a century. In this article I examine theories of urban poverty
and their place in American housing policy. I first discuss theories that
have arisen out of the sociological and policy discourse on urban poverty
and the research that supports and challenges these theories. I then review
current public housing initiatives and discuss the impact of these theories
on current housing policy.
Taking a Juvenile Into Custody: Situational Factors that Influence Police Officers' Decisions
Terrence T. Allen
Situational factors that influence police officers' decisions to take juveniles
into custody were investigated. A cross-sectional self administered survey
was conducted. Four-hundred and twenty-eight male and female police
officers from six police districts in Cleveland Ohio completed and submitted
a twenty-five item questionnaire. Using a logistic regression model the
study identified: adolescents who disrespect police officers; adolescents who
are out late at night; adolescent males; anyone looking suspicious; and the
age of the police officer as the most significant predictors. This was an
exploratory study that sought to investigate police/juvenile encounters
from a street level situational perspective. The results provided a basis for
continued research in this area of inquiry.
For the Children: Accounting for Careers in Child Protective Services
Joan M. Morris
This paper analyzes autobiographical essays from women who work as
social service workers in child-protection agencies. Working long hours
in relatively low-paying jobs, these women have limited prestige and autonomy
and increasingly, come under close scrutiny and public criticism.
They are clearly exploited in terms of the emotional and “mothering” labor
they are expected to perform and are held personally accountable for daily
decisions that could have dire consequences for the children they serve to
protect. This paper is an investigation of how their narratives explain and
justify their willingness to continue working in these situations and how
their professional identities are defined and defended.
Engendering Citizenship? A Critical Feminist Analysis of Canadian Welfare-to-WorkPolicies and the Employment Experiences of Lone Mothers
Rhonda S. Breitkreuz
Like other liberal-welfare states, Canada, in a climate of balanced budgets
and deficit reduction, has been active in developing policies intended
to move welfare recipients into employment in order to achieve selfsufficiency.
The purpose of this paper is to employ a critical feminist analysis to examine the extent to which these policies, developed under
the ideological umbrella of neo-liberalism, are
gender sensitive. Literature
on the economic and non-economic impacts of welfare-to-work policies is reviewed to evaluate whetherthese initiatives, while mandating lone-mothers
into employment, recognize the gendered nature of work, employment and
poverty. Gaps in current research are identified and questions are posed
about the implications of welfare-to-work on the citizenship entitlements
of low-income lone mothers.
Kids and Media in America.
Donald F. Roberts and Ulla G. Foehr.
Reviewed Allan Brawley.
Coming Home? Refugees, Migrants and Those Who Stayed at
Lynellyn D. Long and Ellen Oxfeld (Eds.).
Reviewed by Miriam Potocky-Tripodi.
Inequality in America: What Role for Human Capital Policies.
James J. Hechman and Alan B. Krueger.
Reviewed by Sondra Beverly.
Developing Practice Guidelines for Social Work Intervention.
Aaron Rosen and Enola K. Proctor (Eds.).
Reviewed by Eric R. Hardiman.
Social Security Programs and Retirement Around the World:
Jonathan Gruber and David A.Wise (Eds.).
Reviewed by John B. Williamson.
Home Bound: Growing Up with a Disability in America.
Reviewed by Elizabeth Lightfoot.
Fatherhood Politics in the United States: Masculinity, Sexuality,
Race and Marriage.
Global Environmentalism and Local Politics: Transnational
Advocacy Networks in Brazil, Ecuador, and India.
Maria Guadalupe Moog Rodrigues.
Partnering for Change: Unions and Community Groups Build
Coalitions for Economic Justice.
David B. Reynolds (Ed.).
The Mystery of Economic Growth.
The Welfare Experiments: Politics and Policy Evaluation.
Robin H. Rogers-Dillon.