Social Policy

Power Reduces the Press of the Situation: Implications for Creativity, Conformity, and Dissonance

Power Reduces the Press of the Situation: Implications for Creativity, Conformity, and Dissonance
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95, 1450-1466/

Galinsky, A.D., Magee, J.C., Gruenfeld, D.H., Whitson, J. & Liljenquist, K.
01/01/2008

Although power is often conceptualized as the capacity to influence others, the current research explores whether power psychologically protects people from influence. In contrast to classic social psychological research demonstrating the strength of the situation in directing attitudes, expressions, and intentions, five experiments (using experiential primes, semantic primes, and role manipulations of power) demonstrate that the powerful (a) generate creative ideas that are less influenced by salient examples, (b) express attitudes that conform less to the expressed opinions of others, (c) are more influenced by their own social value orientation relative to the reputation of a negotiating partner, and (d) perceive greater choice in making counterattitudinal statements. This last experiment illustrates that power is not always psychologically liberating; it can create internal conflict, arousing dissonance, and thereby lead to attitude change. Across the experiments, high-power participants were immune to the typical press of situations, with intrapsychic processes having greater sway than situational or interpersonal ones on their creative and attitudinal expressions.

Teaching Reflective Practices in the Action Science/Action Inquiry Tradition: Key Stages, Concepts, and Practices

Teaching Reflective Practices in the Action Science/Action Inquiry Tradition: Key Stages, Concepts, and Practices
Handbook of Action Research, 2nd Ed. Sage Publications,

Taylor, Rudolph & Foldy, E.G.
01/01/2008

This chapter describes an approach for teaching reflective practice in the action science/action inquiry tradition. We offer a theoretical background for our approach and then break it down into three key stages: (1) understanding the social construction of reality; (2) recognizing one's own contribution to that construction; and (3) taking action to reshape that construction. We articulate key concepts (e.g. the ladder of inference and competing commitments) and tools (e.g. the change immunity map and the learning pathways grid) for each stage. We end with suggestions for assignments that integrate learning across stages and concepts. In short, we offer a conceptually grounded set of concrete practices for teaching reflective practice.

The Intergenerational Transmission of Context

The Intergenerational Transmission of Context
American Journal of Sociology, Jan 2008, Vol. 113 Issue 4, p931-969, 39p.

Sharkey, P.
01/01/2008

This article draws on the extensive literature on economic and social mobility in America to examine intergenerational contextual mobility, defined as the degree to which inequalities in neighborhood environments persist across generations. PSID data are analyzed to reveal remarkable continuity in neighborhood economic status from one generation to the next. The primary consequence of persistent neighborhood stratification is that the racial inequality in America's neighborhoods that existed a generation ago has been transmitted, for the most part unchanged, to the current generation. More than 70% of black children who grow up in the poorest quarter of American neighborhoods remain in the poorest quarter of neighborhoods as adults, compared to 40% of whites. The results suggest that racial inequality in neighborhood economic status is substantially underestimated with short-term measures of neighborhood income or poverty and, second, that the steps taken to end racial discrimination in the housing and lending markets have not enabled black Americans to advance out of America's poorest neighborhoods.

The Search for Social Entrepreneurship

The Search for Social Entrepreneurship
Brookings Institution Press

Light, P.C.
01/01/2008

Research on social entrepreneurship is finally catching up to its rapidly growing potential. In The Search for Social Entrepreneurship, Paul Light explores this surge of interest to establish the state of knowledge on this growing phenomenon and suggest directions for future research. Light begins by outlining the debate on how to define social entrepreneurship, a concept often cited and lauded but not necessarily understood. A very elemental definition would note that it involves individuals, groups, networks, or organizations seeking sustainable change via new ideas on how governments, nonprofits, and businesses can address significant social problems. That leaves plenty of gaps, however, and without adequate agreement on what the term means, we cannot measure it effectively. The unsatisfying results are apple-to-orange comparisons that make replication and further research difficult. The subsequent section examines the four main components of social entrepreneurship: ideas, opportunities, organizations, and the entrepreneurs themselves. The copious information available about each has yet to be mined for lessons on making social entrepreneurship a success. The third section draws on Light’s original survey research on 131 high-performing nonprofits, exploring how they differ across the four key components. The fourth and final section offers recommendations for future action and research in this burgeoning field.

Race Realities in New York City

Race Realities in New York City
The Human Rights Project At the Urban Justice Center

Women of Color Policy Network
12/01/2007

Released in partnership with the Human Rights Project of the Urban Justice Center, this shadow report highlights the persistent discrimination experienced by people of color and immigrants in NYC and brings attention to the failure of the City to meet its full obligations under CERD.

Toward a Mandatory Working Policy for Men

Toward a Mandatory Working Policy for Men
The Future of Children, Vol. 17, no. 2

Mead, L.
09/01/2007

Lawrence Mead addresses the problem of nonwork among low-income men, particularly low-income black men, and its implications for families and children. The poor work effort, he says, appears to be caused partly by falling wages and other opportunity constraints but principally by an oppositional culture and a breakdown of work discipline. Mead argues that if government policies are to increase work among poor men, they must not merely improve wages and skills but enforce work in available jobs. Using the same "help with hassle" approach that welfare reform has used successfully to increase work among poor mothers, policymakers should adapt the child support enforcement and criminal justice systems so that both actively help their clients find employment and then back up that help with a requirement that they work. Men with unpaid child support judgments and parolees leaving prison would be told to get a job or pay up, as they are now. But if they did not, they would be remanded to a required work program where their efforts to work would be closely supervised. They would have to participate and get a private job and have their subsequent employment verified. Failing that, they would be assigned to work crews, where again compliance would be verified. Men who failed to participate and work steadily would--unless there were good cause--be sent back to the child support or parole authorities to be imprisoned. But men who complied would be freed from the work program after a year or two. They would then revert to the looser supervision practiced by the regular child support and parole systems. If their employment record deteriorated, they could again be remanded to the work program. Mead estimates that such a program would involve as many as 1.5 million men who are already in the child support and criminal justice systems and would cost $2.4 billion to $4.8 billion a year. It is premature, says Mead, for such a program to be mandated nationwide. Rather, the best role for national policy at this point is to establish and evaluate promising model programs to see which work best.

Notes from the Field: Jumpstarting the IRB Approval Process in Multicenter Studies

Notes from the Field: Jumpstarting the IRB Approval Process in Multicenter Studies
Health Services Research, Volume 42, Number 4, August 2007 , pp. 1773-1782(10) Blackwell Publishing.

Blustein, J., Regenstein, M., Seigel, B. & Billings, J.
08/01/2007

Objective. To identify strategies that facilitate readiness for local Institutional Review Board (IRB) review, in multicenter studies.

Study Setting. Eleven acute care hospitals, as they applied to participate in a foundation-sponsored quality improvement collaborative.

Study Design. Case series.

Data Collection/Extraction. Participant observation, supplemented with review of written and oral communications.

Principal Findings. Applicant hospitals responded positively to efforts to engage them in early planning for the IRB review process. Strategies that were particularly effective were the provisions of application templates, a modular approach to study description, and reliance on conference calls to collectively engage prospective investigators, local IRB members, and the evaluation/national program office teams. Together, these strategies allowed early identification of problems, clarification of intent, and relatively timely completion of the local IRB review process, once hospitals were selected to participate in the learning collaborative.

Conclusions. Engaging potential collaborators in planning for IRB review may help expedite and facilitate review, without compromising the fairness of the grant-making process or the integrity of human subjects protection.

The Effects of Acculturation on Asthma Burden in a Community Sample of Mexican American Schoolchildren

The Effects of Acculturation on Asthma Burden in a Community Sample of Mexican American Schoolchildren
American Journal of Public Health, Jul 2007, Vol. 97 Issue 7, p1290-1296, 7p.

Martin, M.A., Shalowitz, M.U., Mijanovich, T., Clark-Kauffman, E., Perez, E. & Berry, C.
07/01/2007

We sought to determine whether low acculturation among Mexican American caregivers protects their children against asthma. Methods. Data were obtained from an observational study of urban pediatric asthma. Dependent variables were children's diagnosed asthma and total (diagnosed plus possible) asthma. Regression models were controlled for caregivers' level of acculturation, education, marital status, depression, life stress, and social support and children's insurance. Results. Caregivers' level of acculturation was associated with children's diagnosed asthma (P=.025) and total asthma (P=.078) in bivariate analyses. In multivariate models, protective effects of caregivers' level of acculturation were mediated by the other covariates. Independent predictors of increased diagnosed asthma included caregivers' life stress (odds ratio [OR]= 1.12, P=.005) and children's insurance, both public (OR=4.71, P=.009) and private (OR = 2.87, P=.071). Only caregiver's life stress predicted increased total asthma (OR = 1.21, P=.001). Conclusions. The protective effect of caregivers' level of acculturation on diagnosed and total asthma for Mexican American children was mediated by social factors, especially caregivers' life stress. Among acculturation measures, foreign birth was more predictive of disease status than was language use or years in country. Increased acculturation among immigrant groups does not appear to lead to greater asthma risk.

Informal Work and Protest: Undocumented Immigrant Activism in France, 1996-2000

Informal Work and Protest: Undocumented Immigrant Activism in France, 1996-2000
British Journal of Industrial Relations, June 2007, Vol. 45 Issue 2, p309-334, 26p.

Iskander, N.
06/01/2007

Nominally, the wave of protests by undocumented immigrants that swept through France in the late 1990s successfully challenged the restrictive Pasqua immigration laws. However, despite appearances, the mass movement was at base a labour protest: undocumented workers demonstrated against immigration laws that undermined the way they navigated informal labour markets and, in particular, truncated their opportunities for skill development. Furthermore, it is proposed in this article that examining social movements for their labour content can reveal erosions of working conditions and worker power in informal sector employment. A case study of the Paris garment district is presented to demonstrate how the spread of ‘hybrid-informality' made legal work permits a prerequisite for working informally and relegated undocumented immigrants to lower quality jobs outside the cluster.

The Limits of Friendship

The Limits of Friendship
Sh'ma- A journal of Jewish Responsibility

David Elcott
05/01/2007

Writer discusses that Jews in USA support an Israel that seeks peace, reaches out in compromise, and cherishes the sacredness of human life over the sacredness of land. And as a religious minority,they  rightfully protest those who, in claiming a monopoly on knowing God’s will, tell them how to act or what policies Israel should promote — whether mainline Christian Protestants or Christian Zionists.

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