Quick attachments to the workforce: An ethnographic analysis of a transition from welfare to low-wage jobs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations


"Quick attachment to work" programs are favored in the United States, but the programs' attractiveness stems from their low cost rather than the impact they make in the lives of the intended beneficiaries. This article draws on data collected through ethnographic research on one quick attachment to work initiative that moved recipients of Aid to Families with Dependent Children into jobs as nurse assistants at a geriatric facility. The stories of the women participants reveal the unfolding of a welfare-to-work program in practice and illustrate how and why earnest efforts to mediate poverty resulted instead in the continued marginalization and stigmatization of poor people.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)225-232
Number of pages8
JournalSocial Work Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1997



  • Employment training
  • Ethnography
  • Resistance
  • Welfare
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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