The twentieth century saw significant increases in both life expectancy and retirement rates-changes that have had dramatic impacts on nearly every aspect of society and the economy. Forecasting future trends in health and retirement rates, as we must do now, requires investigation of such long-term trends and their causes.
To that end, this book draws on new data-an extensive longitudinal survey of Union Army veterans born between 1820 and 1850-to examine the factors that affected health and labor force participation in nineteenth-century America. Contributors consider the impacts of a variety of conditions-including social class, wealth, occupation, family, and community-on the morbidity and mortality of the group. The papers investigate and address a number of special topics, including the influence of previous exposure to infectious disease, migration, and community factors such as lead in water mains. They also analyze the roles of income, health, and social class in retirement decisions, paying particular attention to the social context of disability.
Economists and historians who specialize in demography or labor, as well as those who study public health, will welcome the unique contributions offered by this book, which offers a clearer view than ever before of the workings and complexities of life, death, and labor during the nineteenth century.
With recent immigration at a near record high, many observers fear that African Americans, particularly those in low skill jobs, are increasingly losing out to immigrants in the American labor market. Because today's immigrants are largely non-European and non-white, there is also speculation that their presence will intensify the competition for housing and educational opportunities among minority groups. Help or Hindrance? probes the foundation of these concerns with the first comprehensive investigation into the effects of immigration on African Americans. With detailed economic analysis of African American job prospects, benefits, and working conditions, Help or Hindrance? demonstrates that although immigration does not appear to have affected the actual employment rate of blacks, it has contributed slightly to the widening gap between the annual earnings of black and white males. Those near the lowest skills level appear most affected, suggesting that the most likely losers are workers with abilities similar to those of immigrants. With many employers moving away from cities, access to housing and problems of segregation have also become integral to success in the job market. And within black neighborhoods themselves, the establishment of small immigrant businesses has raised concerns that these may hinder local residents from starting up similar ventures. Help or Hindrance? also examines how immigration has affected the educational attainment of African Americans. Increased competition for college affirmative action and remedial programs has noticeably reduced African Americans' access to college places and scholarships. Help or Hindrance? offers compelling evidence that although immigration has in many ways benefited parts of American society, it has had a cumulatively negative effect on the economic prospects of African Americans. In concluding chapters, this volume provides an overview of possible policy interventions and evaluates them within the current social and political climate. Because the long-term impact of current immigration on social welfare remains unknown solutions are far from clear. Help or Hindrance? provides a valuable benchmark for discussion of immigration and racial equity in a time of rapid population change.
Miri Song Temple University Press, 1999 Library of Congress HD6247.H82G77 1999 | Dewey Decimal 331.3108900941
The growing body of literature on ethnic businesses has emphasized the importance of small family-based businesses as a key form of immigrant adaptation. Although there have been numerous references to the importance of "family labor" as a key ethnic resource, few studies have examined the work roles and family dynamics entailed in various kinds of ethnic businesses.
Helping Out addresses the centrality of children's labor participation in such family enterprises. Discussing the case of Chinese families running take-out food shops in Britain, Miri Song examines the ways in which children contribute their labor and the context in which children come to understand and believe in "helping out" as part of a "family work contract." Song explores the implications of these children's labor participation for family relationships, cultural identity, and the future of the Chinese community in Britain. While doing so, she argues that the practical importance and the broader meanings of children's work must be understood in the context of immigrant families' experiences of migration and ethnic minority status in Western, white-majority societies.
This report discusses the results of occupation surveys administered to soldiers in selected Army military occupational specialties (MOSs) to assess the level and importance of the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed in these MOSs and to develop better crosswalks between military and civilian occupations. The report identifies both a broader range of military-civilian occupation matches and higher-quality matches than existing crosswalks.
During the 1990s, growing demands to end chronic welfare dependency culminated in the 1996 federal "welfare-to-work" reforms. But regardless of welfare reform, the United States has always been home to a large population of working poor—people who remain poor even when they work and do not receive welfare. In a concentrated effort to address the problems of the working poor, a coalition of community activists and business leaders in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, launched New Hope, an experimental program that boosted employment among the city's poor while reducing poverty and improving children's lives. In Higher Ground, Greg Duncan, Aletha Huston, and Thomas Weisner provide a compelling look at how New Hope can serve as a model for national anti-poverty policies. New Hope was a social contract—not a welfare program—in which participants were required to work a minimum of thirty hours a week in order to be eligible for earnings supplements and health and child care subsidies. All participants had access to career counseling and temporary community service jobs. Drawing on evidence from surveys, public records of employment and earnings, in-depth interviews, and ethnographic observation, Higher Ground tells the story of this ambitious three-year social experiment and evaluates how participants fared relative to a control group. The results were highly encouraging. Poverty rates declined among families that participated in the program. Employment and earnings increased among participants who were not initially working full-time, relative to their counterparts in a control group. For those who had faced just one significant barrier to employment (such as a lack of access to child care or a spotty employment history), these gains lasted years after the program ended. Increased income, combined with New Hope's subsidies for child care and health care, brought marked improvements to the well-being and development of participants' children. Enrollment in child care centers increased, and fewer medical needs went unmet. Children performed better in school and exhibited fewer behavioral problems, and gains were particularly dramatic for boys, who are at the greatest risk for poor academic performance and behavioral disorders. As America takes stock of the successes and shortcomings of the Clinton-era welfare reforms, the authors convincingly demonstrate why New Hope could be a model for state and national policies to assist the working poor. Evidence based and insightfully written, Higher Ground illuminates how policymakers can make work pay for families struggling to escape poverty.
In the intimate context of domestic service, power relations take on one of their most personalized forms. Domestic servants and their employers must formulate their political identities in relationship to each other, sometimes reinforcing and sometimes challenging broader social hierarchies such as those based on class, caste or rank, gender, race and ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, and kinship relations.
This pathbreaking collection builds on recent examinations of identity in the postcolonial states of South and Southeast Asia by investigating the ways in which domestic workers and their employers come to know and depict one another and themselves through their interactions inside and outside of the home. This setting provides a particularly apt arena for examining the daily negotiations of power and hegemony.
Contributors to the volume, all anthropologists, provide rich ethnographic analyses that avoid a narrow focus on either workers or employers. Rather, they examine systems of power through specific topics that range from the notion of "nurture for sale" to the roles of morality and humor in the negotiation of hierarchy and the dilemmas faced by foreign employers who find themselves in life-and-death dependence on their servants.
With its provocative theoretical and ethnographic contributions to current debates, this collection will be of interest to scholars in Asian studies, women's studies, anthropology, sociology, and cultural studies.
Kathleen M. Adams is Associate Professor of Anthropology, Loyola University of Chicago. Sara Dickey is Associate Professor of Anthropology, Bowdoin College.
Drawing attention to domestic space as the critical juncture between the global and the local, Home Away from Home is an innovative ethnography of the daily lives of middle-class Japanese housewives who accompany their husbands on temporary corporate job assignments in the United States. These women are charged with the task of creating and maintaining restful Japanese homes in a foreign environment so that their husbands are able to remain productive, loyal workers for Japanese multinationals and their children are properly socialized and educated as Japanese citizens abroad. Arguing that the homemaking components of transnational communities have not received adequate attention, Sawa Kurotani demonstrates how gender dynamics and the politics of the domestic sphere are integral to understanding national identity and transnational mobility.
Kurotani interviewed and spent time with more than 120 women in three U.S. locations with sizable expatriate Japanese communities: Centerville, a pseudonymous Midwestern town; the New York metropolitan area; and North Carolina’s Research Triangle area. She highlights the contradictory situations faced by the transient wives. Their husbands’ assignments in the United States typically last from three to five years, and they frequently emphasize the temporariness of their situation, referring to it as a “long vacation.” Yet they are responsible for creating comfortable homes for their families, which necessitates producing a familiar and permanent environment. Kurotani looks at the dynamic friendships that develop among the wives and describes their feelings about returning to Japan. She conveys how their sense of themselves as Japanese women, of home, and of their relationships with family members are altered by their personal experiences of transnational homemaking.
How do ambitious young men grapple with an unemployment rate in urban Ethiopia hovering around fifty percent? Urban, educated, and unemployed young men have been the primary force behind the recent unrest and revolutions in North Africa and the Middle East. Daniel Mains' detailed and moving ethnographic study, Hope is Cut, examines young men's struggles to retain hope for the future in the midst of economic uncertainty and cultural globalization.
Through a close ethnographic examination of young men's day-to-day lives Hope is Cut explores the construction of optimism through activities like formal schooling, the consumption of international films, and the use of khat, a mild stimulant.
Mains also provides a consideration of social theories concerning space, time, and capitalism. Young men here experience unemployment as a problem of time—they often congregate on street corners, joking that the only change in their lives is the sun rising and setting. Mains addresses these factors and the importance of reciprocity and international migration as a means of overcoming the barriers to attaining aspirations.
Both "bureaucracy" and "bureaucrats" have taken on a pejorative hue over the years, but does the problem lie with those on the "street-level"—those organizations and people the public deals with directly—or is it in how they are managed? Norma Riccucci knows that management matters, and she addresses a critical gap in the understanding of public policy by uniquely focusing on the effects of public management on street-level bureaucrats.
How Management Matters examines not only how but where public management matters in government organizations. Looking at the 1996 welfare reform law (the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, or PRWORA), Riccucci examines the law's effectiveness in changing the work functions and behaviors of street-level welfare workers from the role of simply determining eligibility of clients to actually helping their clients find work. She investigates the significant role of these workers in the implementation of welfare reform, the role of public management in changing the system of welfare under the reform law, and management's impact on results—in this case ensuring the delivery of welfare benefits and services to eligible clients.
Over a period of two years, Riccucci traveled specifically to eleven different cities, and from interviews and a large national survey, she gathered quantitative results from cities in such states as New York, Texas, Michigan, and Georgia, that were selected because of their range of policies, administrative structures, and political cultures. General welfare data for all fifty states is included in this rigorous analysis, demonstrating to all with an interest in any field of public administration or public policy that management does indeed matter.
Though women’s employment patterns in Europe have been changing drastically over several decades, the repercussions of this social revolution are just beginning to garner serious attention. Many scholars have presumed that diversity and change in women’s employment is based on the structures of welfare states and women’s responses to economic incentives and disincentives to join the workforce; How Welfare States Care provides in-depth analysis of women’s employment and childcare patterns, taxation, social security, and maternity leave provisions in order to show this logic does not hold. Combining economic, sociological, and psychological insights, Kremer demonstrates that care is embedded in welfare states and that European women are motivated by culturally and morally-shaped ideals of care that are embedded in welfare states—and less by economic reality.