Research Paper Assignment: Social Welfare Policy

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Activity Description: 

Author: Luisa S. Deprez, University of Maine

Objective:

The purpose of this assignment is to explore a U.S. social welfare policy in depth and reveal the implications of the policy on/for women. The paper requires a historical overview of the policy; a discussion of the target population, the demographics (who benefits, eligibility criteria, etc); a discussion of ideological and values that are the basis of/inherent in the policy; an analysis (feminist) of the policy in light of its intent - a substantive discussion of the implications of the policy in regard to gender, race, and class; and consideration of alternative approaches that might better embrace a social justice perspective, or affirmation as to why and how the policy is working to attain its goal.

Format:

The paper has 5 parts:

  1. an identification and discussion of a social policy and a brief historical overview of the policy. Include in your discussion an explanation of how this social policy affects or impacts women as well as society as a whole. In your historical review, examine and discuss the development of the social policy, pursue why it was developed and to what issues or problems it was responding, and identify what it was intended to accomplish;
  2. a description/discussion (including statistical descriptors) of the demographics of the target population including who benefits and under what conditions (eligibility criteria) and for how long (time, age limits)
  3. a discussion of ideological and values that underpin this social policy. If there are specific political influences, discuss them;
  4. an analysis of the policy in light of its stated intent: a substantive discussion of the implications of the policy in regard to gender, race and class. Does the policy “do” what it intended to? If not, why? If so, how well?; and
  5. the consideration and presentation of alternative approaches that might better embrace a social justice perspective, or affirmation that the policy is working to attain its goal: What approaches or solutions might better embrace a social justice perspective? If the policy is working to attain its goal, discuss how and why. In this section you should pay particular attention to how this policy is working (or not) to advance women within society.

-The paper should be between 10 and 15 pages in length and must have an outline appended as well as a properly formatted bibliography.

-The paper must be computer-printed/generated on white paper, double-spaced, paginated, with one-inch margins, in a 12 point font, and free of grammatical and spelling errors.

-Footnotes/endnotes and Bibliography must conform to either ASA (American Sociological Association) or APA style.

-In assessing your written work, attention will be given to what you say and how you say it: style, grammar, organization, presentation, and content. Work that is not acceptable may be returned.

Cautions:

Be careful in your use of online resources

Suggested areas of investigation:

Employment and Work: Pay Equity, wage gap
Family Medical Leave, Parental Leave, Sick Leave
Unemployment Insurance
Retirement, Social Security, Insurance, Pensions

Health: Birth Control/Contraception

Reproduction
Sterilization

Family: Child Care

Income Assistance: Welfare
Battered Women/Domestic Violence
Nutrition/Hunger/Food Stamps

Other: Housing

Child Support
Education

More Specific:

Challenges of securing safe, affordable housing for women - either living on their own or with children: home ownership or rental

Historical overview of the YWCA as it provided women with transitional housing

TANF: Best practices (survey of state programs) for women with multiple barriers such as:

domestic violence victims
children with disabilities
disabilities but not legally defined as disabled -" do not meet federal definition of disabled (might include those with conditions such as chronic depression, etc)

Importance of support services (child care, health care) in enabling women to secure and sustain work -" the notion that work and support services go hand-in-hand

Challenges of the low-wage labor market for women, women heading families

Public opinion on women working outside the home, low-income women, programs for those who cannot support themselves

 

Activity Source:

Adapted by Jane Case from Deprez, L.S. (2008). “Women, Welfare, and the State” Syllabus.

Activity Source: 

Adapted by Jane Case from Deprez, L.S. (2008). “Women, Welfare, and the State” Syllabus.