Charitable Choices: Religion, Race, and Poverty in the Post-Welfare Era

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Februar 2003



Congregations and faith-based organizations have become key participants in America's welfare revolution. Recent legislation has expanded the social welfare role of religious communities, thus revealing a pervasive lack of faith in purely economic responses to poverty. Charitable Choices is an ethnographic study of faith-based poverty relief in 30 congregations in the rural south. Drawing on in-depth interviews and fieldwork in Mississippi faith communities, it examines how religious conviction and racial dynamics shape congregational benevolence. Mississippi has long had the nation's highest poverty rate and was the first state to implement a faith-based welfare reform initiative. The book provides a grounded and even-handed treatment of congregational poverty relief rather than abstract theory on faith-based initiatives. The volume examines how congregations are coping with national developments in social welfare policy and reveals the strategies that religious communities utilize to fight poverty in their local communities. By giving particular attention to the influence of theological convictions and organizational dynamics on religious service provision, it identifies both the prospects and pitfalls likely to result from the expansion of charitable choice.


"Provides important insight into the manner in which federal support of faith-based poverty relief initiatives affect religious identity in the Golden Triangle Region of rural Mississippi."--Journal of Church and State "The book provides a thorough historical overview of the events that led up to the Bush administration's decision to promote faith-based social welfare. This thoughtful book is a useful addition to the growing literature on the subject and should be widely consulted."--Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare "Well-written and clearly organized."--Journal of Social Services "In depth profiles...with obvious strengths."--Contemporary Sociology "The findings raise serious concerns related to discriminatory practices around who will get served, and the qualification of those providing the services... Highly recommended." --CHOICE "The comparative case method stretched across a complex analytical framework sketches the terrain in broad, suggestive, analytical strokes. We benefit from the timeliness of Bartkowski and Regis's study." --American Journal of Sociology "Nothing short of exceptional...Charitable Choices is a very readable book that makes an evident contribution to contemporary discourse about welfare reform and its possibilities and pitfalls." --Social Forces "These stories reveal not only the profound commitment that clergy can have for their flock but how existing social structures can render the poor invisible. Charitable Choices is more useful as a description of an under-recognized aspect of American religious life than as an analysis of government welfare policy." --Religious Studies Review
EAN: 9780814799017
ISBN: 0814799019
Untertitel: New. Sprache: Englisch.
Erscheinungsdatum: Februar 2003
Seitenanzahl: 214 Seiten
Format: gebunden
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