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The SSRC Library allows visitors to access materials related to self-sufficiency programs, practice and research. Visitors can view common search terms, conduct a keyword search or create a custom search using any combination of the filters at the left side of this page. To conduct a keyword search, type a term or combination of terms into the search box below, select whether you want to search the exact phrase or the words in any order, and click on the blue button to the right of the search box to view relevant results.

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The SSRC Library includes resources which may be available only via journal subscription. The SSRC may be able to provide users without subscription access to a particular journal with a single use copy of the full text.  Please email the SSRC with your request.

The SSRC Library collection is constantly growing and new research is added regularly. We welcome our users to submit a library item to help us grow our collection in response to your needs.


  • Individual Author: Monnat, Shannon M.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2010

    This article investigates the individual and contextual roles of race on welfare sanctions: benefit cuts for failing to comply with work or other behavioral requirements under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. Using six years of federal administrative data, I advance previous welfare research by providing a nationally representative analysis of participant-, county-, and state-level predictors of welfare sanctioning. Using theories of racial classification, racialized social systems, and racial threat as guiding frameworks, I find that black and Latina women are at a greater risk of being sanctioned than white women. Further, although odds of a sanction are slightly reduced for black women living in counties with greater percentages of blacks, the opposite holds for Latinas, who are at an increased risk of being sanctioned in counties with greater percentages of Latinos. (Author abstract)

    This article investigates the individual and contextual roles of race on welfare sanctions: benefit cuts for failing to comply with work or other behavioral requirements under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. Using six years of federal administrative data, I advance previous welfare research by providing a nationally representative analysis of participant-, county-, and state-level predictors of welfare sanctioning. Using theories of racial classification, racialized social systems, and racial threat as guiding frameworks, I find that black and Latina women are at a greater risk of being sanctioned than white women. Further, although odds of a sanction are slightly reduced for black women living in counties with greater percentages of blacks, the opposite holds for Latinas, who are at an increased risk of being sanctioned in counties with greater percentages of Latinos. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Mulligan-Hansel, Kathleen; Fendt, Pamela
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2002

    Five years after Wisconsin instituted Wisconsin Works (W-2) – one of the strictest welfare replacement programs in the U.S. – W-2 remains one of the primary models for welfare policy reform across the nation. However, in various assessments of W-2, the substantial change in the racial and ethnic demographics of the caseload has been largely overlooked. Wisconsin’s AFDC programs historically served a significant proportion of white participants, but the under W-2, majority of the state caseload now is made up of people of color. This suggests that there may be a disparity in the impact of the program that is linked to participants’ racial or ethnic identity. Discrepancies in the level of support for families could alter the level of success clients have in achieving self-sufficiency.

    One feature of the W-2 program is a significant shift to provider and caseworker discretion in the provision of support services. Case-managers make numerous decisions that determine what supports and services families will receive and what they must do in return. These decisions include...

    Five years after Wisconsin instituted Wisconsin Works (W-2) – one of the strictest welfare replacement programs in the U.S. – W-2 remains one of the primary models for welfare policy reform across the nation. However, in various assessments of W-2, the substantial change in the racial and ethnic demographics of the caseload has been largely overlooked. Wisconsin’s AFDC programs historically served a significant proportion of white participants, but the under W-2, majority of the state caseload now is made up of people of color. This suggests that there may be a disparity in the impact of the program that is linked to participants’ racial or ethnic identity. Discrepancies in the level of support for families could alter the level of success clients have in achieving self-sufficiency.

    One feature of the W-2 program is a significant shift to provider and caseworker discretion in the provision of support services. Case-managers make numerous decisions that determine what supports and services families will receive and what they must do in return. These decisions include whether to allow a family to enroll in W-2, what placement the family will receive, what kinds of education and supervised work activity to assign, and whether a family loses benefits because of absences from assigned work activity. In order to determine if service levels are affected by ethnicity or race, this report examines data from the Department of Workforce Development on the use of sanctions against W-2 participants to see if there is a differential in the rate of sanctions against Hispanic, African-American and white clients. If disparities do, in fact, exist, it would suggest that similar discrepancies in other services are occurring which would negatively impact participants ability to secure skills and support needed to leave the program and function independently.

  • Individual Author: Nicoli, Lisa Thiebaud ; Passarella, Letitia Logan; Born, Catherine E.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2014

    In a previous brief profiling the Hispanic Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA) population, we noted that two-thirds of all Hispanic TCA cases do not have an adult included in the assistance unit. This unusually high percentage of child-only cases warrants further investigation, so this brief focuses on child-only cases in the October 2011 caseload, comparing Hispanic and non-Hispanic child-only cases. (author abstract) 

    In a previous brief profiling the Hispanic Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA) population, we noted that two-thirds of all Hispanic TCA cases do not have an adult included in the assistance unit. This unusually high percentage of child-only cases warrants further investigation, so this brief focuses on child-only cases in the October 2011 caseload, comparing Hispanic and non-Hispanic child-only cases. (author abstract) 

  • Individual Author: Soss, Joe; Schram, Sanford F.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2006

    In the vast literature on racial and ethnic inequalities, most studies focus on how discrete, measurable things get allocated across groups. “Who benefits,” researchers ask as they examine the allocation of goods, “and why do some get more than others?” Such questions rightly lie at the heart of our collective effort to understand how inequalities persist and change. Yet they are not the whole of it. Disparities across social groups must be reckoned with, not just in terms of who gets more or less, but also in terms of how groups are positioned in relation to one another and major societal institutions...

    We begin by tracing the historical relationship between U.S. welfare provision and questions of citizenship and race. Next, we describe how policy devolution, privatization, and managerial discretion in the TANF program have functioned to generate civic disparities along racial and ethnic lines. Our third section situates the TANF program as one part of a broader change in the state’s orientation toward the poor. Linking welfare and criminal justice policies, we identify...

    In the vast literature on racial and ethnic inequalities, most studies focus on how discrete, measurable things get allocated across groups. “Who benefits,” researchers ask as they examine the allocation of goods, “and why do some get more than others?” Such questions rightly lie at the heart of our collective effort to understand how inequalities persist and change. Yet they are not the whole of it. Disparities across social groups must be reckoned with, not just in terms of who gets more or less, but also in terms of how groups are positioned in relation to one another and major societal institutions...

    We begin by tracing the historical relationship between U.S. welfare provision and questions of citizenship and race. Next, we describe how policy devolution, privatization, and managerial discretion in the TANF program have functioned to generate civic disparities along racial and ethnic lines. Our third section situates the TANF program as one part of a broader change in the state’s orientation toward the poor. Linking welfare and criminal justice policies, we identify a coherent new approach to poverty governance that combines more supervisory and punitive state roles with more decentralized and privatized forms of provision. It is a distinctive form of governance in the American polity, focused disproportionately on the minority poor. In our last section, we address the complicated ways these policy changes operate at the intersection of race and class. Focusing on African Americans, we examine how the new poverty governance may enhance class-based civic disparities within a racially defined group. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Jennings, James; Santiago, Jorge
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2004

    Welfare reform emerged as a public policy response to a presumed “dependency” on the part of impoverished individuals and families. This behavioral view of poor people is ensconced in the adoption of welfare reform nationally, and many states including Massachusetts, where “work-first” frenzy fed the political momentum for moving families off welfare as quickly as possible, regardless of the consequences for children and families. A study of the experiences of 100 Latina women in Massachusetts during the fall of 1999 and the spring of 2000 shows that welfare reform presents major obstacles for poor women seeking employment as a way out of poverty. These obstacles include three key problems: the lack of information about potential employment and training programs and services; unaccountable discretion on the part of caseworkers; and biased perceptions about Latina women on public assistance. (author abstract)

    Welfare reform emerged as a public policy response to a presumed “dependency” on the part of impoverished individuals and families. This behavioral view of poor people is ensconced in the adoption of welfare reform nationally, and many states including Massachusetts, where “work-first” frenzy fed the political momentum for moving families off welfare as quickly as possible, regardless of the consequences for children and families. A study of the experiences of 100 Latina women in Massachusetts during the fall of 1999 and the spring of 2000 shows that welfare reform presents major obstacles for poor women seeking employment as a way out of poverty. These obstacles include three key problems: the lack of information about potential employment and training programs and services; unaccountable discretion on the part of caseworkers; and biased perceptions about Latina women on public assistance. (author abstract)

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