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Sources of Assistance in a White, Working Class, Ethnic Neighborhood

Fandetti, Donald Vincent

This study examines attitudes toward sources of assistance in a white,
working class, ethnic neighborhood in east Baltimore. The study is based on a random sample of one hundred ethnic neighborhood residents. The sample includes fifty Polish-Americans and fifty Italian-Americans between the ages of twenty-one and fifty. The primary method of data collection is the face-to-face interview. The interview schedule includes structured and unstructured questions in addition to six reaction vignettes developed by Shirley Star. The study is an attempt to provide up-to-date information regarding preferred sources of assistance in an urban, ethnic neighborhood.

The major finding of the study is that working class, ethnic, Catholics
prefer traditional structures for meeting social needs. Traditional structures such as the family, the church, and to some extent the ethnic voluntary association, have not been significantly overshadowed by functionally specialized service organizations of the wider community. Members of the extended family and traditional professionals such as the clergy and the general physician are key gatekeepers and preferred sources of assistance. The data in the study provide a basis for suggesting adaptations in case services and greater pluralism in social service delivery strategies.

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Academic Units
Social Work
Degree
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
May 4, 2015
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