Charitable Choices: Religion, Race, and Poverty in the Post-Welfare Era / Edition 1

Charitable Choices: Religion, Race, and Poverty in the Post-Welfare Era / Edition 1

by John P. Bartkowski, Helen A. Regis, Helen A. Regis
     
 

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… See more details below

Overview

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.

Author Biography: John P. Bartkowski is Associate Professor of Sociology at Mississippi State University. He is the author of Remaking the Godly Marriage: Gender Negotiation in Evangelical Families. Helen Regis is Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Louisiana State University. Her work on New Orleans jazz funerals and second lines has appeared in American Ethnologist and Cultural Anthropology.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780814799024
Publisher:
New York University Press
Publication date:
02/01/2003
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
214
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
1The Welfare Revolution and Charitable Choice1
2Social Welfare and Faith-Based Benevolence in Historical Perspective27
3Faith-Based Poverty Relief: Congregational Strategies60
4A Tale of Two Churches: United Methodists in Black and White86
5Debating Devolution: Pentecostal and Southern Baptist Perspectives101
6Invisible Minorities: Transnational Migrants in Mississippi121
7Street-Level Benevolence at the March for Jesus142
8Charitable Choice: Promise and Peril in the Post-Welfare Era160
AppMilieu and Method179
Notes188
Bibliography192
Index204
About the Authors214

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