ERIC Number: EJ769038
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Reference Count: 40
Welfare Reform and Black Women's Economic Development
Alfred, Mary V.
Adult Education Quarterly: A Journal of Research and Theory, v57 n4 p293-311 2007
In 1996, the United States Congress passed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, placing emphasis on individuals to take responsibility for separating themselves from governmental dependence by becoming economically self-sufficient through employment. Using a qualitative approach, this study explored the experiences of 15 African American women as they transitioned from welfare to determine the extent to which they were developing economic sufficiency as a result of their labor force participation. It also sought the perspectives of employers on the work-first approach to economic development among former recipients and their chances of becoming self-sufficient through employment. The study found three systems of barriers to impede the participants' economic progress: the "work-first" philosophy, labor market conditions and employment practices, and personal history and individual responsibility. These findings suggest that a more integrative approach is necessary, one that addresses both the personal and structural dimensions of women's economic development.
Descriptors: Females, Labor Force Nonparticipants, Labor Force, Economic Progress, Welfare Services, Welfare Recipients, Racial Factors, Labor Market, African Americans, Federal Legislation, Employment Level, Employer Attitudes, Economic Development, Responsibility, Public Policy, Urban Areas, Employed Women, Interviews, At Risk Persons, Gender Issues, Fear, Social Discrimination
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States; Wisconsin
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunities Reconciliation Act