Term of Award


Degree Name

Master's of Art

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)


Department of Sociology and Anthropology

Committee Chair

W. Jay Hughes

Committee Member 1

Susan Kinsella

Committee Member 2

Gregory Dmitriyev


This study examines those social characteristics most common among welfare recipients with successful participation in the Welfare to Work Program in Bulloch County, Georgia Welfare to Work grant funds have been distributed across the nation as a result of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997. Funding in Georgia is used to assist longterm welfare recipients in their efforts to gain education and employment, and to become financially independent of the welfare system. The progress of 25 participants in Bulloch County, Georgia, is tracked over the course of one year (January 1999 to December 1999), and the least and most successful participants are then interviewed with regard to their perception of themselves and their participation in the program. These profiles, along with the profiles of three case managers involved in the program, are used to create a picture of the people currently on Temporary Aid for Needy Families (TANF) in Bulloch County, and illustrate the most common characteristics held by those recipients who achieve higher levels of success in the Welfare to Work Program. Quantitative data analysis is also used to clarify and describe the population of the study, and to examine various family dynamics, such as the number of children in the recipient's home, the education level of the recipient, and the work history of the recipient. Multiculturalism and reconstructionism theories are also used as frameworks for examining the common social characteristics of those program participants who have achieved high levels of success within the Welfare to Work Program.

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