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Abstracts from Volume 41, Number 1
(March, 2014)

 

PATHOLOGIES OF THE POOR: WHAT DO THE WAR ON DRUGS AND WELFARE REFORM HAVE IN COMMON?
Kalynn Amundson, Anna M. Zajicek, and Valerie H. Hunt

The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation
Act of 1996 (PRWORA) authorized drug testing of welfare
recipients as a criterion for assistance eligibility. This raises the
question of a possible confluence of War on Drugs and Welfare
Reform policies, as indicated by continuity in policymakers’ rhetoric.
We examine federal-level policymakers’ debates surrounding
the authorization of drug testing welfare recipients. The analysis
reveals that themes of social pathology were present in both
policy areas. Crime, drug addiction, welfare dependency, and drug
testing themes are comparable in both debates. Teen pregnancy,
out-of-wedlock birth, and female-headed households themes were
more prevalent in Welfare Reform debates, with the exception
of drug-addicted newborns, which crossed both policy streams.


GENDER DIFFERENCES IN SELF-EMPLOYMENT
OF OLDER WORKERS IN THE UNITED STATES
AND NEW ZEALAND

Angela L. Curl, Deanna L. Sharpe, and Jack Noone

This study examined differences in self-employment of workers
age 50+ in the United States (N = 3,948) and New Zealand
(N = 1,434). Separate logistic regression analyses were conducted
by country and gender. For both U.S. men and women,
lower income, higher wealth, and having an employed spouse
increased the likelihood of self-employment. Older age, lower
income, higher wealth, and household composition increased the
odds of being self-employed for men in New Zealand. Women
in New Zealand were more likely to be self-employed if they
were in a blue-collar occupation, had higher household wealth,
higher education, and did not receive pension income. Self-employment
can enable older adults to remain in the labor force
longer, thereby fostering continued productivity and engagement.


INSTITUTIONALIZATION OF CHILDREN IN THE
CZECH REPUBLIC: A CASE OF PATH DEPENDENCY

Victoria Schmidt and Jo Daugherty Bailey

Despite the development of alternative forms of care, international
and domestic pressures for change, and over 20 years of
efforts at deinstitutionalization, the Czech Republic has one of
the highest rates of institutionalization of children in Europe
(UNICEF, 2012). The continuing reliance upon residential
care for children by the child protection system, particularly for
children who are disabled or of Roma descent, demonstrates
a case of path dependency in which a solidification of the system’s
response is rooted in its past. Understanding the impact
of historical precedence is key to reforming the current system.


THE FIRST FAITH-BASED MOVEMENT: THE
RELIGIOUS ROOTS OF SOCIAL PROGRESSIVISM IN
AMERICA (1880-1912) IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE

Steven Stritt

This re-evaluation of the published writings of Richard T. Ely,
Josiah Strong, and Jane Addams during the Progressive era (1880-
1912) explores the themes of religious idealism and nationalism
that figured prominently in the early formulation of modern liberal
reform ideology in the United States. A specific focus will
be placed on tracing themes of the America’s millennial destiny
and how they gradually evolved into prophesies of social transformation
through the applied use of social science knowledge.
Beyond merely satisfying historical curiosity, this inquiry provides
a new perspective from which to consider the fierce clashes
over social welfare policy which occurred in the twentieth century.


MASS SHOOTINGS AND MENTAL HEALTH POLICY
Jessica Rosenberg

Research suggests that mass shootings can increase mental health
stigma, reinforce stereotypes that people with mental illness are
violent, and influence public policy. This article examines mental
health policy initiatives resulting from the mass shootings in Sandy
Hook, Connecticut and Aurora, Colorado within the context of existing
research about mental illness, suicide, substance abuse and
gun violence. Previous legislation that restricts access to firearms
among persons with mental illness is reviewed. The article suggests
that gun control legislation that focuses on persons with mental
illness is not supported by research, may create barriers to treatment,
and may have limited efficacy in promoting public safety.


THE NEGLECT OF NETWORK THEORY IN PRACTICE
WITH IMMIGRANTS IN THE SOUTHWEST
Emilia E. Martinez-Brawley and Paz M-B. Zorita

This paper reviews selected theories of international migration
including social network and human capital. It discusses the
nature of social networks among immigrants and the costs and
benefits for the sending and receiving countries. The history of
social network theory in social work practice is revisited. Given
the current importance of immigration in the Southwest, the
strength and limitations of applying networking principles in
practice with immigrants in the border areas are included. This
article does not focus on the complexity of networks among refugees
or asylum seekers, where government population dispersion
or resettlement policies might change their circumstances.


INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION
TECHNOLOGY IN CHILD WELFARE: THE NEED FOR
CULTURE-CENTERED COMPUTING

Richard J. Smith and Tara Eaton

This article discusses the introduction of information and communication
technology (ICT) in the California child welfare
system. Drawing from anthropological literature, the authors
emphasize the role of work practice and context associated with
new ICT implementation. This case study uses a documentary-
historical approach to analyze interviews with 386 workers
who used the Child Welfare Services/Case Management System
(CWS/CMS) between 1997 and 2005. Data show the implementation
of CWS/CMS impacted the work practice of the welfare
system. The authors recommend culture-centered computing
for future developments and upgrades of ICT in child welfare.

BOOK REVIEWS

The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors
Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire.

Kent Flannery and Joyce Marcus.
Reviewed by Kelly McKowen.


Changing Welfare States.
Anton Hemerijck.
Reviewed by James Midgley.


Coming Up Short: Working-Class Adulthood in an
Age of Uncertainty.

Jennifer M. Silva.
Reviewed by Marguerite G. Rosenthal.


To the End of June: The Intimate Life of American
Foster Care.
Cris Beam.
From Pariahs to Partners: How Parents and Their Allies
Changed New York City’s Child Welfare System.

David Tobis.
Reviewed by Julie Cooper Altman.


The Latino Threat: Constructing Immigrants,
Citizens and the Nation.

Leo R. Chavez.
Reviewed by Catherine Carballeira.


The Good News Club: The Christian Right’s Stealth
Assault on America’s Children.

Katherine Stewart.
Reviewed by John E. Tropman.


The Allure of Order: High Hopes, Dashed Expectations,
and the Troubled Quest to Remake American Schooling.

Jal Mehta.
Reviewed by Eva Gold.

 

 

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