Dilemmas of Social Reform: Poverty and Community Action in the United States

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9780202302560: Dilemmas of Social Reform: Poverty and Community Action in the United States

This title is a classic work on social reform. It is an account of the origins and development of community action from its beginnings in the Ford Foundation Gray Area Programs and the President's Committee on Juvenile Delinquency, through the rise and decline of the War on Poverty and the Model Cities program. In the ruthlessly impartial examination of various poverty programs, two social scientists one British, one American--explain why programs of such size and complexity have only a minimal chance of success. They describe the realities of reform and point up how the conservatism of bureaucracy, the rivalries among political and administrative jurisdictions, and the apathy of the poor have often hindered national and local efforts. On the other hand, they show how these obstacles can be overcome by an imaginative combination of leadership, democratic participation, and scientific analysis.

This second edition also contains a new chapter that was not included in the first edition. This new chapter, tries to set the study in a broader context: first, by interpreting the political motives and constraints that led to the adoption of community action as a principal strategy of a nationwide war on poverty and second, by discussing the underlying weaknesses of democracy that community action implied and sought to tackle.

Distinguished by an analysis of the major critics of community action, the book provides a balanced perspective of the movement against its many foes. It is important reading for anyone engaged in planning or community action, whether as organizer, consultant, official, or politician.

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About the Author:

Peter Marris helped establish the British Institute of Community Studies in London. He has been a visiting lecturer in the Department of City Planning of the University of California, Berkeley. He is currently professor emeritus of Social Planning at UCLA and is associated with the program of African Studies at Yale College where he is a lecturer.



Martin Rein is professor in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT. He has worked as a social worker with street gangs, has supervised a number of research projects, and has written about poverty, social planning and the social work profession. He joined the Institute for the Study of Labor as a research fellow in 2000.

Review:

“An intelligent analysis . . . a stimulating and worthwhile book.”

—Paul E. Peterson, American Journal of Sociology

“Bobby Burns wished that we could ‘see ourselves as others see us.’ Not the least of the excellent features of this remarkable little book are the vignettes and commentaries which enable each of us, social workers, lawyers, social scientists or politicians, educators or agitators, to get glimpses of how we look to some people. . . . This volume should provide many a footnote for the historians of the New Frontier and the Great Society. . . . [It has] a lively, readable, yet penetrating style. It is a book which all professional and non-professional people who are directly or indirectly involved in community affairs and social action should read and ponder.”

—Ralph E. Pumphrey, Social Service Review

“In its calm, nonjudgmental way, the Marris and Rein book is . . . an indictment of the notion that community action can serve as a solution to critical social problems, such as poverty and delinquency. . . . The results of their joint study provide more than a responsible analysis of the Ford Foundation and President’s Committee efforts. They also provide a historical perspective on the community action approach . . . insight into the development of social work during the 1960’s, an analysis of the roles played by key figures in social work, and a thorough examination of the assumptions, practices, and dilemmas of community action programs. And it is all done with good humor, charity, modesty, irony, and careful documentation. . . . Dilemmas of Social Reform is the sort of core work that ought to be read, at some time, by all graduate students in social work.”

—Leon H. Ginsberg, Journal of Education for Social Work

“Appropriate and useful. It is must reading for anyone who wants to understand what has gone right and what has gone wrong with this nation’s verbal commitment to the eradication of poverty.”

—Wallace C. Peterson, Journal of Economic Issues

“Students of social movements during the sixties will, no doubt, be indebted to Marris and Rein for their scrutiny of the nascent anti-poverty movement.”

—Sar A. Levitan, American Sociological Review

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Book Description Taylor Francis Inc, United States, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 2nd Revised edition. Language: English . Brand New Book. This title is a classic work on social reform. It is an account of the origins and development of community action from its beginnings in the Ford Foundation Gray Area Programs and the President s Committee on Juvenile Delinquency, through the rise and decline of the War on Poverty and the Model Cities program. In the ruthlessly impartial examination of various poverty programs, two social scientists one British, one American--explain why programs of such size and complexity have only a minimal chance of success. They describe the realities of reform and point up how the conservatism of bureaucracy, the rivalries among political and administrative jurisdictions, and the apathy of the poor have often hindered national and local efforts. On the other hand, they show how these obstacles can be overcome by an imaginative combination of leadership, democratic participation, and scientific analysis. This second edition also contains a new chapter that was not included in the first edition. This new chapter, tries to set the study in a broader context: first, by interpreting the political motives and constraints that led to the adoption of community action as a principal strategy of a nationwide war on poverty and second, by discussing the underlying weaknesses of democracy that community action implied and sought to tackle. Distinguished by an analysis of the major critics of community action, the book provides a balanced perspective of the movement against its many foes. It is important reading for anyone engaged in planning or community action, whether as organizer, consultant, official, or politician. Bookseller Inventory # AA69780202302560

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Book Description Taylor Francis Inc, United States, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 2nd Revised edition. Language: English . Brand New Book. This title is a classic work on social reform. It is an account of the origins and development of community action from its beginnings in the Ford Foundation Gray Area Programs and the President s Committee on Juvenile Delinquency, through the rise and decline of the War on Poverty and the Model Cities program. In the ruthlessly impartial examination of various poverty programs, two social scientists one British, one American--explain why programs of such size and complexity have only a minimal chance of success. They describe the realities of reform and point up how the conservatism of bureaucracy, the rivalries among political and administrative jurisdictions, and the apathy of the poor have often hindered national and local efforts. On the other hand, they show how these obstacles can be overcome by an imaginative combination of leadership, democratic participation, and scientific analysis. This second edition also contains a new chapter that was not included in the first edition. This new chapter, tries to set the study in a broader context: first, by interpreting the political motives and constraints that led to the adoption of community action as a principal strategy of a nationwide war on poverty and second, by discussing the underlying weaknesses of democracy that community action implied and sought to tackle. Distinguished by an analysis of the major critics of community action, the book provides a balanced perspective of the movement against its many foes. It is important reading for anyone engaged in planning or community action, whether as organizer, consultant, official, or politician. Bookseller Inventory # AA69780202302560

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