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Articles 1 - 29 of 29

Full-Text Articles in Social and Behavioral Sciences

Serving No One Well: Tanf Nearly Twenty Years Later, Kristin S. Seefeldt Jan 2017

Serving No One Well: Tanf Nearly Twenty Years Later, Kristin S. Seefeldt

The Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare

The 1996 welfare reform law transformed the nation’s cash welfare system into a time-limited, work-based program. Welfare caseloads dropped by more than half, but in more recent years and in the wake of the Great Recession, relatively little research has focused on TANF program participation, particularly from the vantage point of clients and potential clients. This paper uses qualitative data from interviews with very low-income single mothers conducted in 2013. Analysis of the interview data yielded three different narratives regarding how TANF did not meet their needs: it did not help them find jobs; it did not assist those ...


Deputized Brokers: A Technique For A Case Study Of Conservative Think Tanks In 1990s Welfare Reform, Sergio Romero Jan 2014

Deputized Brokers: A Technique For A Case Study Of Conservative Think Tanks In 1990s Welfare Reform, Sergio Romero

The Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare

This study proposes a novel analytical technique in a case study of think tank brokerage. As brokers, think tanks structurally link foundations and media, yet they do so as representatives of a policy network consisting of corporate funders and affiliated think tanks. Print media sought their policy analysis regarding the welfare system and prescriptions for reform. Network and content methods are the bases for the presentation of the technique. The coupling of results from each of the technique’s components shows how resources tie actors, as well as how their conversion from one form to another is the basis for ...


Italian Welfare In The Aftermath Of The Economic Crisis: Neoliberal Reforms And Limits To The Path Dependency Approach, Ijin Hong Jan 2014

Italian Welfare In The Aftermath Of The Economic Crisis: Neoliberal Reforms And Limits To The Path Dependency Approach, Ijin Hong

The Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare

The 2008 world economic crisis provided a plausible rationale for policy makers in Italy to push forward long needed welfare cuts, resulting in the neoliberal austerity trend fostered by the Monti government (2011-2012). This paper seeks to understand the logic behind the welfare reforms in Italy after the 2008 economic crisis by describing implemented measures and reviewing available theoretical approaches in literature that could account for the reforms’ neoliberal shift from a path-dependent theoretical approach. It is argued that external forces, that is the economic crisis and EU pressures, represented the main trigger, and that political elites marginalized the role ...


If Not Welfare, Then What?: How Single Mothers Finance College Post-Welfare Reform, Kristin Wilson Dec 2011

If Not Welfare, Then What?: How Single Mothers Finance College Post-Welfare Reform, Kristin Wilson

The Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare

The article follows previous work on TANF and AFDC by asking if not welfare, then what social programs and financial aid programs are low-income women using to support their college attendance, and what is the impact of these programs on the college-going decisions of low-income women? The study is based on case studies of 10 low-income women attending a community college. Results indicated that EITC, food stamps, and subsidized housing are stable sources of funding. However, each of these programs requires diferent application processes and compliance regulations. Only the Pell Grant was viewed as a dependable source of funding for ...


The Role Of The Neighborhood In Making Welfare Reform Possible, David I. Siegel Sep 2011

The Role Of The Neighborhood In Making Welfare Reform Possible, David I. Siegel

The Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare

This article will analyze the role of the neighborhood in making welfare reform possible. It will consider the neighborhood and its environment as a context for welfare reform, the influence of neighborhood conditions and effects, recent neighborhood theory building, the neighborhood as a source of relevant values, and finally neighborhood programs that contribute to welfare reform.


Should I Stay Or Should I Go? Why Applicants Leave The Extended Welfare Application Process, Marci Ybarra Mar 2011

Should I Stay Or Should I Go? Why Applicants Leave The Extended Welfare Application Process, Marci Ybarra

The Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare

Since welfare reform of 1996, the use of extended application periods as a condition of welfare participation has become increasingly popular. Extended application periods include mandatory work activities and caseworker meetings for a period of time as a condition of and prerequisite to eligibility for welfare services. While much scholarly work has focused on welfare participants, we know comparatively less about those who apply for services but ultimately do not participate or receive benefits. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with a random sample of twenty recent welfare applicants in the state of Wisconsin who did not complete the extended welfare application ...


Bringing The Organization Back In: The Role Of Bureaucratic Churning In Early Tanf Caseload Declines In Illinois, Chad Broughton Sep 2010

Bringing The Organization Back In: The Role Of Bureaucratic Churning In Early Tanf Caseload Declines In Illinois, Chad Broughton

The Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare

Welfare reform legislation in the late 1990s lead to rapid declines in state welfare caseloads. In contrast to prevailing accounts that emphasize rapid job creation and those that pin caseload declines on successful work incentives and behavioral sanctions, this article argues that organizational rationing mechanisms explain a large portion of the sharp initial declines in Illinois. The article first highlights how street-level bureaucratic practices oriented toward caseload reduction arose in TANF implementing bodies from a reordered and narrow set of organizational incentives that had little to do with the symbolic goals of welfare reform. Based on an analysis of state-level ...


The Limits Of Paternalism: A Case Study Of Welfare Reform In Wisconsin, Thomas S. Moore, Swarnjit S. Arora Sep 2009

The Limits Of Paternalism: A Case Study Of Welfare Reform In Wisconsin, Thomas S. Moore, Swarnjit S. Arora

The Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare

This paper uses a pooled sample constructed from the Food Stamp Quality Control data for the fiscal years 1993 to 2006 to assess the effects of welfare reform upon the employment, earnings, income, and poverty trends among poor, single-mother families, both in Wisconsin and nationwide. It finds that the employment and earnings gains of the Wisconsin families exceed those of comparable families nationwide. However, there has been no significant change in the average income of the Wisconsin families, and the number of extremely poor families has increased more rapidly in Wisconsin than in the country as a whole. These findings ...


Child Care And Development Fund: A Policy Analysis, Colleen K. Vesely, Elaine A. Anderson Mar 2009

Child Care And Development Fund: A Policy Analysis, Colleen K. Vesely, Elaine A. Anderson

The Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare

Legislated as part of welfare reform, the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) is the main source of child care government funding earmarked for low-income families. As a block grant, with broad federal guidelines, states have significant freedom in implementing this legislation to meet the needs of their citizens. This diverse implementation has challenged legislators and scholars trying to assess the success of CCDF across the United States. In considering the evaluation research of CCDF, as well as the original goals of this legislation, several major themes related to the diverse state implementation emerged, including access, equity, and stability. This ...


Women's Lives And Poverty: Developing A Framework Of Real Reform For Welfare, Mary Gatta, Luisa S. Deprez Sep 2008

Women's Lives And Poverty: Developing A Framework Of Real Reform For Welfare, Mary Gatta, Luisa S. Deprez

The Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare

The historic 1996 welfare reform is typically regarded as a successful public policy. Using the limited success metric of "reducing welfare rolls," welfare evaluations and analysis have obscured the lived experiences of recipients, particularly among women, who are disproportionally represented among welfare recipients. While it is true that welfare numbers are down, those women who have been forced off or left behind are not doing well. In this paper we seek to explore and critically evaluate the lived experiences of women, to challenge mainstream understandings of women's "success" post-welfare, and propose a theoretical and methodological framework, based on an ...


Dropped From The Rolls: Mexican Immigrants, Race, And Rights In The Era Of Welfare Reform, Alejandra Marchevsky, Jeanne Theoharis Sep 2008

Dropped From The Rolls: Mexican Immigrants, Race, And Rights In The Era Of Welfare Reform, Alejandra Marchevsky, Jeanne Theoharis

The Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare

Welfare reform transferred considerable discretion over eligibility standards and benefits to individual caseworkers, contributing to a highly diffuse, yet system-wide, practice of discrimination against nonwhite and foreign-born families within the new TANF program. Based on a two-year ethnographic study of welfare reform's impact on Mexican immigrants in Los Angeles County, this article documents a pattern of heightened anti-immigrant sentiment and disentitlement within L.A. County's welfare system following the passage of PRWORA. The vast majority of eligible immigrant families in our study lost some or all of their cash and food stamp benefits, and were systematically denied access ...


Welfare And Family Economic Security: Toward A Place-Based Poverty Knowledge, Deborah A. Harris, Domenico Parisi Sep 2008

Welfare And Family Economic Security: Toward A Place-Based Poverty Knowledge, Deborah A. Harris, Domenico Parisi

The Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare

The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) of 1996 is viewed by many as a resounding success. Its success, however, is predicated primarily on caseload reduction rather than improvement of family well-being. In addition, provisions in the act ignore the importance of place in shaping one's life chances. Using Alice O'Connor's influential book, Poverty Knowledge, as a framework, we discuss findings from a qualitative study that examines how low-income families plan for a life without welfare in places with different opportunities and structural constraints. We find that returns to TANF are common among welfare leavers ...


The Untold Story Of Welfare Fraud, Richelle S. Swan, Linda L. Shaw, Sharon Cullity, Joni Halpern, Juliana Humphrey, Wendy M. Limbert, Mary Roche Sep 2008

The Untold Story Of Welfare Fraud, Richelle S. Swan, Linda L. Shaw, Sharon Cullity, Joni Halpern, Juliana Humphrey, Wendy M. Limbert, Mary Roche

The Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare

The experiences of women who have been charged with welfare fraud in the years following the passage of the 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act cast a shadow over the claim that welfare reform has been an unequivocal success. This article addresses this under-explored issue by considering the face of welfare fraud in San Diego, California after the change to federal welfare law. After a brief discussion of the socio-historical context of welfare fraud prosecution and a summary of the scholarly findings related to welfare fraud post-PRWORA, the aiticle details a new "poverty knowledge" about welfare fraud drawn ...


"It's All One Big Circle": Welfare Discourse And The Everyday Lives Of Urban Adolescents, Staci T. Lowe Sep 2008

"It's All One Big Circle": Welfare Discourse And The Everyday Lives Of Urban Adolescents, Staci T. Lowe

The Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare

Welfare reform succeeded, in part, because of discourse that characterized the poverty problem as one of long-term dependency and personal irresponsibility. Adolescent pregnancy was targeted as both cause and manifestation of a welfare crisis. This study examined how welfare reform was perceived and experienced by lowincome, urban adolescents. Findings from interviews revealed that adolescents agreed with many of the basic tenets of welfare reform, largely because they had appropriated much of the discourse prevalent in wider society. However, their complex life stories contained a powerful subtext concerning structural determinants of poverty that ran counter to prevailing notions of "personal responsibility."


Lost In Appalachia: The Unexpected Impact Of Welfare Reform On Older Women In Rural Communities, Debra A. Henderson, Ann R. Tickamyer Sep 2008

Lost In Appalachia: The Unexpected Impact Of Welfare Reform On Older Women In Rural Communities, Debra A. Henderson, Ann R. Tickamyer

The Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare

A primary goal of welfare reform was to overcome welfare dependency through the promotion of work and the setting of lifetime limits. While atf irst blush thisg oal may have appearedr easonablef or young recipients, it does not address the needs of older recipients, particularly women. Based on in-depth interviews with welfare recipients in four impoverished rural Appalachian counties over a four year time span (1999-2001; 2004), this paper evaluates the experiences of older women as they confront the changes brought on by welfare reform legislation. Findings suggest that impoverished older women in isolated rural communities experience multiple crises as ...


Tracking The Transition From Welfare To Work, Cynthia Needles Fletcher, Mary Winter, An-Ti Shih Sep 2008

Tracking The Transition From Welfare To Work, Cynthia Needles Fletcher, Mary Winter, An-Ti Shih

The Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare

One of the primary goals of the 1996 federal welfare reform legislation was to reduce dependency on cash transfers and to promote self-sufficiency through employment in the paid labor force. This paper draws upon a qualitative study of 18 Iowa welfare recipients and tracks changes that occur over a three-year, post-reform period. Thick descriptions highlight the internal family dynamics of the choices made over time. The purposes of the study are twofold:first, to document changes in family composition, employment, housing, and program participation, and second, to report how recipients experience such changes. Findings reveal that the 11 families who ...


The Illusion Of Change, The Politics Of Illusion: Evolution Of The Family Support Act Of 1988, Luisa S. Deprez Mar 2008

The Illusion Of Change, The Politics Of Illusion: Evolution Of The Family Support Act Of 1988, Luisa S. Deprez

The Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare

The enactment of the Family Support Act was the outcome of a six-year legislative and administrative review of, and debate about, welfare policy and programs. Heralded as the opportunity of the century, it did little, however, to alter existing policy. This article examines the evolution of the Family Support Act within the United States Congress, spotlighting two important time periods leading up to its enactment: 1981 to 1985 and 1986 to 1988. Original documentsfroin the files of the late Senator Moynihan, legislative sponsor of the Family Support Act, as well as a comprehensive investigation of Congressional records of hearings and ...


When Does Public Opinion Matter?, Jennifer L. Christian Mar 2008

When Does Public Opinion Matter?, Jennifer L. Christian

The Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare

The landmark 1996 reform to Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) provides an opportunity to study processes of welfare reform in the United States. A potential factor behind the transformation of AFDC is public opinion, possibly in the form of changes in attitudes among politically relevant groups. This study will evaluate this thesis, focusing on attitudinal changes between partisan identifiers. Most data suggest the American public may have been critical of welfare programs prior to the 1996 reform. However, the extent of these criticisms generally varies depending on who is asked, how questions are worded and the type of ...


Social Welfare Policy And Public Assistance For Low-Income Substance Abusers: The Impact Of 1996 Welfare Reform Legislation On The Economic Security Of Former Supplemental Security Income Drug Addiction And Alcoholism Beneficiaries, Sean R. Hogan, George J. Unick, Richard Speiglman, Jean C. Norris Mar 2008

Social Welfare Policy And Public Assistance For Low-Income Substance Abusers: The Impact Of 1996 Welfare Reform Legislation On The Economic Security Of Former Supplemental Security Income Drug Addiction And Alcoholism Beneficiaries, Sean R. Hogan, George J. Unick, Richard Speiglman, Jean C. Norris

The Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare

Prior to January 1, 1997, individuals with drug- or alcohol-related disabilities could qualify for federal public assistance through the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. During the welfare reforms of the Clinton administration, this policy was changed, resulting in lost income and health care benefits for many lowincome substance abusers. This paper examines the historical underpinnings to the elimination of drug addiction and alcoholism (DA&A) as qualifjing impairments for SSI disability payments. Following this, empirical evidence is presented on the effect this policy change had on the subsequent economic security of former SSI DA&A beneficiaries. Findings indicate that study ...


Globalization, Welfare Reform And The Social Economy: Developing An Alternative Approach To Analyzing Social Welfare Systems In The Post-Industrial Era, Vanna Gonzales Jun 2007

Globalization, Welfare Reform And The Social Economy: Developing An Alternative Approach To Analyzing Social Welfare Systems In The Post-Industrial Era, Vanna Gonzales

The Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare

Our understanding of the relationship between globalization and contemporary social welfare systems is heavily influenced by three conventional approaches to studying welfare reform: the political economy, moral economy, and mixed economy approaches. In addition to analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of each of these approaches, a central aim of this article is to introduce the social economy approach as an emergent alternative. Drawing from a growing body of work on institutional innovation within the European third sector, I argue that the social economy approach makes a valuable contribution to understanding the role of welfare networks in reconfiguring globalizations' impact on ...


Job Satisfaction Among Tanf Leavers, Jeff Scott Sep 2006

Job Satisfaction Among Tanf Leavers, Jeff Scott

The Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare

Using means tests, ANOVA, contingency methods and polytomous logistic regression techniques, I analyze job satisfaction survey data provided by former welfare recipients in Illinois. Mean job satisfaction in the sample is high. Wages, work hours, professional status, having employer sponsored health care and being in good health have sign ficant positive effects on job satisfaction. Contrary to popular assumptions regarding welfare dependency, time on welfare positively affects post- TANF job satisfaction. I discuss implications of these findings in the context of policy debates regarding TANF reauthorization.


The Earned Income Tax Credit: A Study Of Eligible Participants Vs. Non-Participants, Richard K. Caputo Mar 2006

The Earned Income Tax Credit: A Study Of Eligible Participants Vs. Non-Participants, Richard K. Caputo

The Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare

Using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, this study (N = 1,504) showed that about half the EITC eligible tax filers in 2001 did not file EITC tax returns and that differences between EITC tax filers and non-EITC tax filers varied by birth place, Food Stamp program participation, marital status, race, residence, sex, socioeconomic history, and worker classification. Findings suggested that the EITC is well targeted in the sense that economically marginalized groups are likely to participate and that increased outreach efforts are also needed to ensure greater participation among tax filers eligible for the EITC but who ...


Financial Knowledge Of The Low-Income Population: Effects Of A Financial Education Program, Min Zhan, Steven G. Anderson, Jeff Scott Mar 2006

Financial Knowledge Of The Low-Income Population: Effects Of A Financial Education Program, Min Zhan, Steven G. Anderson, Jeff Scott

The Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare

This study examines the effects of one large financial management training program for low-income people. The data are from tests of pre- and posttraining financial knowledge of 163 participants. The test was designed to measure basic knowledge of participants in five content areas: predatory lending practices, public and work-related benefits, banking practices, savings and investing strategies, and credit use and interest rates.

The findings demonstrate that substantial pre-training knowledge deficiencies existed on basic financial management issues, especially on public and work-related benefits and savings and investing. Results also indicate that the program was effective in improving the financial knowledge of ...


Lone Mothers And Welfare-To-Work Policies In Japan And The United States: Towards An Alternative Perspective, Aya Ezawa, Chisa Fujiwara Dec 2005

Lone Mothers And Welfare-To-Work Policies In Japan And The United States: Towards An Alternative Perspective, Aya Ezawa, Chisa Fujiwara

The Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare

This paper compares recent efforts to reduce lone mothers' reliance on cash assistance and support their increased participation in the workforce and economic independence in Japan and the United States. Similar to reforms introduced in the U.S. in 1996, lone mother policies in Japan have been subject to a series of cuts leading to the introduction of time limits and work-related programs in 2002. In this paper, we examine the character of recent welfare reforms in both countries and their implications for lone mothers' welfare and economic independence. Based on Japan's experience and recent lessons from the U ...


Saving For Post-Secondary Education In Individual Development Accounts, Min Zhan, Mark Schreiner Sep 2005

Saving For Post-Secondary Education In Individual Development Accounts, Min Zhan, Mark Schreiner

The Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare

Low-income people have less access to opportunities for post-secondary education, and the welfare reform in 1996 further limited access for welfare recipients. Since welfare reform, there has been an increasing interest in strategies meant to enhance the well-being of low-income people through education and the development of human capital. In this study, we examine how low-income people saved for post-secondary education in Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) in a nationwide demonstration. IDAs provide matches for savings used primarily for home purchase, microenterprise, and post-secondary education. We examine how savings outcomes differed between participants who intended to use their savings for post-secondary ...


Welfare Recipients Attending College: The Interplay Of Oppression And Resistance, Karen Christopher Sep 2005

Welfare Recipients Attending College: The Interplay Of Oppression And Resistance, Karen Christopher

The Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare

This qualitative study uses Patricia Hill Collins' "both/and" conceptual framework to explore experiences of both oppression and resistance among welfare recipients attending college. It examines how children, social networks, integration into campus life, and interactions with caseworkers affect welfare recipients' college attendance and college persistence. As is well established in the sociological literature, having children complicates college attendance and persistence. But this research shows that children also provide the predominant incentive for poor mothers to attain higher education. Moreover, this study reveals complexities in welfare recipients' experiences with their social networks, work-study jobs, and caseworkers that are often overlooked ...


Reforming Welfare Reform Postsecondary Education Policy: Two State Case Studies In Political Culture, Organizing, And Advocacy, Charles Price Sep 2005

Reforming Welfare Reform Postsecondary Education Policy: Two State Case Studies In Political Culture, Organizing, And Advocacy, Charles Price

The Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare

Welfare reform had the unforeseen effect of causing large numbers of public assistance recipients to drop out of college, discouraging their pursuit and acquisition of postsecondary education (PSE) credentials. There is a growing body of research that shows the value of postsecondary education in getting public assistance recipients onto a path toward occupational and social mobility. The restrictions of Temporary Assistance to Needy Families PSE policy, coupled with the recognition that college participation should be an option for qualified welfare recipients, influenced the emergence of many successful state and county-level movements focused on reforming welfare reform PSE policy. Their work ...


Economic Well-Being Of Single Mothers: Work First Or Postsecondary Education?, Min Zhan, Shanta Pandey Sep 2004

Economic Well-Being Of Single Mothers: Work First Or Postsecondary Education?, Min Zhan, Shanta Pandey

The Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare

This article investigates the relationship between single mothers' education and their economic well-being. Through the analysis of the 1993 Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) data, we examine the effect of education on a sample of White and African American single mothers. The results indicate that past work experience is a weak predictor of current economic well-being. Having education, particularly postsecondary education, on the other hand, significantly improves their economic status. The results challenge the "work-first" approach to alleviating poverty and provide more support for designing policies to develop human capital.


Making Tanf Work: Organizational Restructuring, Staff Buy-In, And Performance Monitoring In Local Implementation, Frank Ridzi Jun 2004

Making Tanf Work: Organizational Restructuring, Staff Buy-In, And Performance Monitoring In Local Implementation, Frank Ridzi

The Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare

While research suggests that staff resistance to change and intentional subversion have hampered prior welfare reform efforts, this does not appear to be the case for the 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA). This paper draws on data from a study of East County, New York to explicate the mechanisms that have enabled the unprecedented transformation in local implementation practice in this case. Interviews, participant observation, and textual analysis of legislative and program documents identify new program creation, staff buy-in, and the environment created by stern performance measures as instrumental in bringing about the PRWORA's successful ...