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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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  • Individual Author: Stack, Carol
    Reference Type: Book Chapter/Book
    Year: 1975

    All Our Kin is the chronicle of a young white woman's sojourn into The Flats, an African-American ghetto community, to study the support system family and friends form when coping with poverty. Eschewing the traditional method of entry into the community used by anthropologists -- through authority figures and community leaders -- she approached the families herself by way of an acquaintance from school, becoming one of the first sociologists to explore the black kinship network from the inside. The result was a landmark study that debunked the misconception that poor families were unstable and disorganized. On the contrary, her study showed that families in The Flats adapted to their poverty conditions by forming large, resilient, lifelong support networks based on friendship and family that were very powerful, highly structured and surprisingly complex.

    Universally considered the best analysis of family and kinship in a ghetto black community ever published, All Our Kin is also an indictment of a social system that reinforces welfare dependency and...

    All Our Kin is the chronicle of a young white woman's sojourn into The Flats, an African-American ghetto community, to study the support system family and friends form when coping with poverty. Eschewing the traditional method of entry into the community used by anthropologists -- through authority figures and community leaders -- she approached the families herself by way of an acquaintance from school, becoming one of the first sociologists to explore the black kinship network from the inside. The result was a landmark study that debunked the misconception that poor families were unstable and disorganized. On the contrary, her study showed that families in The Flats adapted to their poverty conditions by forming large, resilient, lifelong support networks based on friendship and family that were very powerful, highly structured and surprisingly complex.

    Universally considered the best analysis of family and kinship in a ghetto black community ever published, All Our Kin is also an indictment of a social system that reinforces welfare dependency and chronic unemployment. As today's political debate over welfare reform heats up, its message has become more important than ever. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Edelman, Peter B.; Ladner, Joyce
    Reference Type: Book Chapter/Book
    Year: 1991

    The current situation for poor adolescents in the United States is reviewed in this collection of essays, and some strategies and insights for policymakers are presented. The essays of this volume cover the basic interactions of adolescence and poverty from theoretical and anecdotal perspectives. Critical issues of education and employment are discussed, and separate assessments of the difficulties facing poor girls and poor boys in adolescence are provided. After an introduction by Peter B. Edelman and Joyce Ladner, the following essays are included: (1) "Growing Up in America" (R. Coles); (2) "The Logic of Adolescence" (L. Steinberg); (3) "The Adolescent Poor and the Transition to Early Adulthood" (A. M. Sum and W. N. Fogg); (4) "The High-Stakes Challenge of Programs for Adolescent Mothers" (J. S. Musick); and (5) "Poverty and Adolescent Black Males: The Subculture of Disengagement" (R. L. Taylor). (SLD) (Eric abstract)

    The current situation for poor adolescents in the United States is reviewed in this collection of essays, and some strategies and insights for policymakers are presented. The essays of this volume cover the basic interactions of adolescence and poverty from theoretical and anecdotal perspectives. Critical issues of education and employment are discussed, and separate assessments of the difficulties facing poor girls and poor boys in adolescence are provided. After an introduction by Peter B. Edelman and Joyce Ladner, the following essays are included: (1) "Growing Up in America" (R. Coles); (2) "The Logic of Adolescence" (L. Steinberg); (3) "The Adolescent Poor and the Transition to Early Adulthood" (A. M. Sum and W. N. Fogg); (4) "The High-Stakes Challenge of Programs for Adolescent Mothers" (J. S. Musick); and (5) "Poverty and Adolescent Black Males: The Subculture of Disengagement" (R. L. Taylor). (SLD) (Eric abstract)

  • Individual Author: Moss, Philip; Tilly, Chris
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 1996

    We investigated changes in skill requirements and the effects of these changes on Black men's access to entry-level jobs, using open-ended interviews of managers at 56 firms in four industries. Managers reported that due to heightened competitive pressure, “soft skills”—particularly motivation and ability to interact well with customers and coworkers—are becoming increasingly important. Many managers view Black men as lacking in these soft skills. This helps to explain Black men's growing disadvantage in labor markets. (Author abstract)

    We investigated changes in skill requirements and the effects of these changes on Black men's access to entry-level jobs, using open-ended interviews of managers at 56 firms in four industries. Managers reported that due to heightened competitive pressure, “soft skills”—particularly motivation and ability to interact well with customers and coworkers—are becoming increasingly important. Many managers view Black men as lacking in these soft skills. This helps to explain Black men's growing disadvantage in labor markets. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Wilson, William Julius
    Reference Type: Book Chapter/Book
    Year: 1997

    Wilson, one of our foremost authorities on race and poverty, challenges decades of liberal and conservative pieties to look squarely at the devastating effects that joblessness has had on our urban ghettos. Marshaling a vast array of data and the personal stories of hundreds of men and women, Wilson persuasively argues that problems endemic to America's inner cities--from fatherless households to drugs and violent crime--stem directly from the disappearance of blue-collar jobs in the wake of a globalized economy. Wilson's achievement is to portray this crisis as one that affects all Americans, and to propose solutions whose benefits would be felt across our society. At a time when welfare is ending and our country's racial dialectic is more strained than ever, When Work Disappears is a sane, courageous, and desperately important work. (publisher abstract)

    Wilson, one of our foremost authorities on race and poverty, challenges decades of liberal and conservative pieties to look squarely at the devastating effects that joblessness has had on our urban ghettos. Marshaling a vast array of data and the personal stories of hundreds of men and women, Wilson persuasively argues that problems endemic to America's inner cities--from fatherless households to drugs and violent crime--stem directly from the disappearance of blue-collar jobs in the wake of a globalized economy. Wilson's achievement is to portray this crisis as one that affects all Americans, and to propose solutions whose benefits would be felt across our society. At a time when welfare is ending and our country's racial dialectic is more strained than ever, When Work Disappears is a sane, courageous, and desperately important work. (publisher abstract)

  • Individual Author: Katz, Michael B.
    Reference Type: Book Chapter/Book
    Year: 1997

    "There are places where history feels irrelevant, and America's inner cities are among them," acknowledges Michael Katz, in expressing the tensions between activism and scholarship. But this major historian of urban poverty realizes that the pain in these cities has its origins in the American past. To understand contemporary poverty, he looks particularly at an old attitude: because many nineteenth-century reformers traced extreme poverty to drink, laziness, and other forms of bad behavior, they tried to use public policy and philanthropy to improve the character of poor people, rather than to attack the structural causes of their misery. Showing how this misdiagnosis has afflicted today's welfare and educational systems, Katz draws on his own experiences to introduce each of four topics--the welfare state, the "underclass" debate, urban school reform, and the strategies of survival used by the urban poor. Uniquely informed by his personal involvement, each chapter also illustrates the interpretive power of history by focusing on a strand of social policy in the nineteenth and...

    "There are places where history feels irrelevant, and America's inner cities are among them," acknowledges Michael Katz, in expressing the tensions between activism and scholarship. But this major historian of urban poverty realizes that the pain in these cities has its origins in the American past. To understand contemporary poverty, he looks particularly at an old attitude: because many nineteenth-century reformers traced extreme poverty to drink, laziness, and other forms of bad behavior, they tried to use public policy and philanthropy to improve the character of poor people, rather than to attack the structural causes of their misery. Showing how this misdiagnosis has afflicted today's welfare and educational systems, Katz draws on his own experiences to introduce each of four topics--the welfare state, the "underclass" debate, urban school reform, and the strategies of survival used by the urban poor. Uniquely informed by his personal involvement, each chapter also illustrates the interpretive power of history by focusing on a strand of social policy in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries: social welfare from the poorhouse era through the New Deal, ideas about urban poverty from the undeserving poor to the "underclass," and the emergence of public education through the radical school reform movement now at work in Chicago.

    Why have American governments proved unable to redesign a welfare system that will satisfy anyone? Why has public policy proved unable to eradicate poverty and prevent the deterioration of major cities? What strategies have helped poor people survive the poverty endemic to urban history? How did urban schools become unresponsive bureaucracies that fail to educate most of their students? Are there fresh, constructive ways to think about welfare, poverty, and public education? Throughout the book Katz shows how interpretations of the past, grounded in analytic history, can free us of comforting myths and help us to reframe discussions of these great public issues. (publisher abstract)

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