Poverty in America: The Welfare Dilemma

By Ralph Segalman; Asoke Basu | Go to book overview

from generation to generation and from person to person. In the process of reducing incongruity of meanings to a minimum and of seeking to reduce communication entropy, a commonly acceptable civilization and a minimization of societal strain are gained. It should be noted that social structure, under the interactionist theory, is founded upon the commonality of meanings and value systems. Community and human welfare is unattainable in both a semantic and emotional "tower of babel." When one person has meanings, values, and associated feelings that are different from those held by others, he obviously cannot live and interact with others without severe strain. When almost everyone has such distortions or blunting of meanings, because of an inexact communication process, it is reasonable to expect that strains and problems will proliferate in the society.

Thus, the consensualist orientation seeks to use the governmental thrust to treat, control, or at least hold the deviant; the exchange orientation, to provide the deviant with a mechanism by which he can participate in exchanges; the conflict theorist, to defend him and to teach him self- defense; and the interactionist, to educate him and others for unitary purposes. The consensualist policy promotes corrections, psychotherapy, and social control personnel; the exchange theory orientation, vocational rehabilitation and rehabilitative welfare workers; the conflict theorist, defenders and trainers of self-defense; and the interactionist, education to prevent confusion and misunderstanding. The social policy designer therefore needs to carefully examine his own definition of the society before he designs programs. In each design, the definition of villain and hero is implicit, and the scenario is contained in the societal model used.


References

Adams Julius J. The Challenge: A Study in Negro Leadership. New York: Malliet, 1949.

Allen Vernon. "Introduction" in Vernon Allen (ed.), Psychological Factors in Poverty. Chicago: Markham Publishing, 1970.

Angrow Webster. "Formula for Explosion," Frontier, 16( 12): 7-9, October 1965.

Bagdikan Ben H. "The Invisible Americans," Saturday Evening Post, 236( 45):28-33, 37-38, 1963.

Bailyn Bernard. The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1967.

Bandler Louise S. Casework with Multi-Problem Families. New York: Columbia University Press, 1964.

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