In an appeal for clearer thinking on social issues, Christopher Jencks reexamines the way Americans think about race, poverty, crime, heredity, welfare and the underclass. Arguing that neither liberal nor conservative ideas about these issues withstand close scrutiny, he calls for less emphasis on political principles and more attention to specific programmes. Jencks describes how welfare policy was dominated in the early 1980s by conservatives who promoted ideas that justified cutting back sharply on the social programmes of Lyndon Johnson's Great Society. They believed that a period of sustained economic growth, with low taxes and free markets, would do more to help poor people than coddling them with government assistance. Despite the economic expansion of the later Reagan years, however, the problems of persistent poverty grew even more serious. The liberals took the intiative in the late 1980s, but their proposals failed to win broad popular support. Jencks analyzes influential books on such subjects as affirmative action (Thomas Sowell), the "safety net" (Charles Murray), the effects of heredity on learning and propensity to commit crime (James Q. Wilson and Richard Herrnstein), ghetto culture and the underclass (William J. Wilson). His intention throughout is to force us (readers and policymakers) to look at the way various remedial plans actually succeed or fail. For example, he believes that until we transform AFDC so that it reinforces rather than subverts American ideals about work and marriage, efforts to build a humane welfare state will never succeed.
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One of the foremost sociologists of our time makes a fervent appeal for clearer thinking on race, poverty, crime, and the underclass.Review:
The essays [in this book] deal with such widely contested matters as affirmative action; the argument--associated with Charles Murray's influential book 'Loosing Ground'--that welfare creates the conditions it purports to eliminate; the nature-versus-nurture controversy with reference to crime; the analysis by the University of Chicago sociologist William Julius Wilson of the urban ghetto; trends in the size of the American underclass; and the need for reform on welfare policies toward single mothers...Mr. Jencks's capacity to zero in on the relevant statistics, his down-to-earth sense of reality, his way of pinpointing areas of ignorance in which ideology often outpaces limited data, and his unpretentious moral judgments, which are utterly lacking in self-righteousness, are exemplary. Christopher Jencks, I am fully persuaded, is a national resource. -- Dennis H. Wrong New York Times Book Review [Jencks's] is the most perceptive discussion I have seen of the connections between race and class, the drive for success and fear of failure, and the way that recurrent crises defy durable solutions. -- Andrew Hacker New York Review of Books Christopher Jencks takes on some of the most difficult issues facing contemporary liberalism: affirmative action, the underclass, the heritability of intelligence and criminal inclination, and the necessity for lying by welfare recipients whose payments are inadequate for survival. Jencks is an intellectually courageous person, determined to confront and deal with the forces that have undermined his deeply felt commitment to egalitarianism...Rethinking Social Policy is an extraordinary achievement. Jencks...not only takes on issues that are explosively dangerous for a liberal academic but, in the main, does so without ideological bias, and with consistent intellectual clarity. -- Thomas Byrne Edsall The Atlantic Few social scientists are as thoughtful, perceptive, and wide-ranging as Christopher Jencks...This is an excellent book. -- Sheldon Danziger Contemporary Sociology Christopher Jencks is perhaps the country's most seasoned, supple thinker on poverty and race. -- Christopher Farrell International Business Week
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Book Description Book Condition: Brand New. Book Condition: Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 97800609753401.0
Book Description Harper Perennial, 1993. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0060975342
Book Description HarpPeren, 1993. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0060975342
Book Description HarpPeren. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0060975342 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW6.1022242