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18 June 2010

Mike McCurry: “We should always find a place to honor Pat Moynihan’s kind of insight and service.”

  • Fri, Jun 18 2010
    • Mike McCurry

“A president that Daniel Patrick Moynihan much admired and served flattered a 1962 audience of Nobel Laureates at the White House by telling them they were the “most extraordinary collection of talent and human knowledge that has ever been gathered together, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.” I am not conferring that Kennedy-esque distinction on all of you.  But I can say this:  There would be no doubt in Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s mind that there has never been an assemblage of smart and able public intellectuals who helped staff a United…

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David T. Ellwood on Robert Greenstein: "To a social or political scientist with a social conscience, he is a true American hero

  • Fri, Jun 18 2010
    • David Ellwood

“Daniel Patrick Moynihan is famously quoted as saying that, “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts”. For most of his life, Bob Greenstein has been providing the facts. Those facts have changed many opinions, and reshaped the very fabric of government policies toward the poor. To a social or political scientist with a social conscience, he is a true American hero. For Bob does much more than get the facts right, he draws upon scholarship, systematic analysis, and remarkable political insight to stimulate the best possible policies at any given moment. Bob’s career began long…

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Robert Greenstein: Bringing research and analysis to bear in policy debates

  • Fri, Jun 18 2010
    • Robert Greenstein

“Thank you to friends and colleagues here tonight from the scholarly community; from the world of philanthropy; from journalism; from the administration and Congress; from elsewhere in the policy community; and from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities—my home away from home for the last 28 years. And speaking of home, I want to thank my wonderful wife Elissa, who’s also here tonight. Thanks, most of all, to the Academy. I am both honored and surprised to receive this award. When Douglas Massey called to tell me of the award, I first thought that the committee had surely made…

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William Julius Wilson: How Cultural and Structural Forces Interact

  • Fri, Jun 18 2010
    • William Julius Wilson cropped

In his May 2010 Annals article, William Julius Wilson addresses the question of why both social structure and culture matter in a holistic analysis of inner-city poverty. In a recent interview with Stephanie Marudas, the Lewis P. and Linda L. Geyser University Professor at Harvard discusses why both structure and culture matter—and offers his thoughts on whether the nation is moving forward in bringing people out of poverty. Stephanie Marudas: In your piece in The Annals [“Why Both Social Structure and Culture Matter in a Holistic Analysis of Inner-City Poverty”] you make the case that there are both systemic structural…

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Mario Small: Defining policy through evidence not preconceptions

  • Fri, Jun 18 2010
    • Mario Small cropped

University of Chicago Sociology Professor Mario Small discusses the changes in attitudes toward poverty in the last thirty years and how important it is to approach the study of culture and poverty through quantitative research as well as getting out into the field. “Once you are on the ground, you realize that your preconceptions are shaping your questions, whereas the reality is telling you something else,” he pointed out in an interview with Stephanie Marudas, discussing the May 210 volume of The Annals, Reconsidering Culture and Poverty. Stephanie Marudas: Why do this volume? Why does culture matter for poverty?   Mario…

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Michele Lamont: The need to engineer policies so the poor are not stigmatized

  • Fri, Jun 18 2010
    • Michele Lamont cropped

Can policy-makers move beyond the notion that the poor have wrong values that influence their life choices and be helped to understand how specific policies, whether related to increasing employment opportunities or curbing violence, can be instrumental in helping people escape poverty? Michèle Lamont, professor of sociology and African and African-American Studies and Robert I. Goldman professor of European studies at Harvard University, discusses the May 2010 volume of The Annals "Reconsidering Culture and Poverty" with Stephanie Marudas and describes her own comparative research that led her to question why attitudes toward the poor were so different in France than…

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David Harding: Understanding what it is like as a poor person in this country

  • Fri, Jun 18 2010
    • David Harding

For a long time, says David Harding, assistant professor of sociology at the University of Michigan, culture was something nobody wanted to touch in talking about poverty, in part because of a kind of backlash against the idea of blaming the victim.  In an interview with Stephanie Marudas on the new volume of The Annals he co-edited on Reconsidering Culture and Poverty, Harding talks about how important it can be to answer important questions about the causes and consequences of poverty, how people deal with poverty and what it is like as a poor person in this country. Stephanie Marudas: Tell…

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Reconsidering Culture and Poverty: A Congressional Briefing

  • Fri, Jun 18 2010
    •  Policy Briefing

On May 13, 2010, a Congressional Briefing was held at the Capitol Visitor's Center in Washington, DC, with the co-editors and contributor to The Annals volume on "Reconsidering Culture and Poverty." The following is a transcript of the briefing, which was moderated by Michael Laracy, Director of Policy Reform and Advocacy for the Annie E. Casey Foundation, with David Harding, University of Michigan, Michèle Lamont, Harvard University, Mario Small, University of Chicago, and William Julius Wilson, Harvard University. You may also listen to or download a podcast of the briefing. Part 1 Michael Laracy: Good morning. I'm Mike Laracy; I'm Director…

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Reconsidering Culture and Poverty

  • Fri, Jun 18 2010
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    • From left, David Harding, Michele Lamont and Mario Small
    • Congressional Briefing
    • David Harding
    • Mario Small
    • Michele Lamont
    • William Julius Wilson

What is the role of culture in poverty? Sociologists David Harding, Michèle Lamont, Mario Small (editors), and William Julius Wilson (contributor) take up the long-abandoned subject in their May 2010 volume of The Annals, “Reconsidering Culture and Poverty,” in which they reject an earlier view that people would cease to be poor if they simply changed their culture. Instead, they point to new research that reconsiders the ways in which “meaning-making” factors into the production and reproduction of poverty. They emphasize the need for careful empirical analysis of how the poor…

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