Sample Essay on:
Worthy Poor/Early Social Work

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Essay / Research Paper Abstract

An 8 page research paper/essay that consists of two separate 4 page essays. The first deals with defining what is meant by the "worthy poor" in social policies and discussing how this concept has been reflected in different eras, as well as its implication for social policy and social work. The second essay contrasts and compares the charity organizations movement and the settlement house movement in regards to professional social work. Bibliography lists 4 sources.

Page Count:

8 pages (~225 words per page)

File: D0_khwpesw.rtf

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Unformatted sample text from the term paper:

poor" and those who were considered "unworthy" of receiving aid. In general, the "worthy poor" have been judged to be people who could not work for reasons beyond their control, that is, the elderly, disabled individuals, widows, and dependent children. The "unworthy poor" were considered to be the unemployed who were also able-bodied. The "unworthy poor" have always been viewed as a suspect group, as those in power would rather view them as lazy than admit that people could be poor due to problems with the economic or social systems. Over the course of the twentieth century, attitudes toward the "worthy poor" have been cyclical, swinging between a liberal view that sees the poor as victims of social inequalities and a conservative perspective that views welfare as encouraging immorality through unwed motherhood and generational dependency on federal aid. As this suggests, the definition of which groups of individuals, precisely, constitute the "worthy poor" has changed according to presiding political trends. One of the first major changes in the twentieth century toward the worthy poor came during the Great Depression. It was during this time that social workers and political leaders began to perceive that poverty could result from social and economic factors, which those in need could not control (Trattner, 1999). Accordingly, leaders in the field of social work began to urge a pro-active stance toward the nations mounting problems. Harry Lurie, the executive director of the newly created Bureau of Jewish Social Research, for example, argued that social workers had to "share responsibility with industrial and political leaders for the present catastrophe" because they had not thrown themselves into the struggle to reconstruct the US economic system (Trattner, 1999, p. 274), The Great Depression dramatically illustrated that people could be destitute through no fault of their ...

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