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Higher Ground: New Hope for the Working Poor and Their Children Paperback – January 1, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0871541673 ISBN-10: 087154167X

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--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 172 pages
  • Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation (January 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 087154167X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0871541673
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #124,973 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"Higher Ground describes the results of the New Hope demonstration project in Milwaukee, one of the most creative social experiments of the past 25 years. It tells how New Hope was designed to help participants move into jobs, retain health insurance, and find effective child care. While not all results of the program were positive, they do show that good policies can make a difference in providing economic stability to low-income families. The lessons from New Hope, described in this book, should be part of the current public discussion. This is a book that students, researchers, and policy analysts will all find useful." -- Rebecca M. Blank, Joan and Sanford Weill Dean of Public Policy, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

GREG J. DUNCAN is the Edwina S. Tarry Professor of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University and a faculty fellow at the Institute for Policy Research. ALETHA C. HUSTON is the Priscilla Pond Flawn Regents Professor of Child Development in the department of human ecology at the University of Texas, Austin and associate director of the Population Research Center. THOMAS S. WEISNER is professor of anthropology at the University of California, Los Angeles. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Lewis on October 7, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Higher Ground: New Hope for the Working Poor and their Children provides a detailed background of the many obstacles encountered by the working poor and how the New Hope program intended and its ability to eradicate these obstacles. The book articulates an important social phenomenon in a way that would intrigue and enlighten social policy makers and well versed academics as well as an interested reader without any previous sociological knowledge. One of the most captivating aspects of the book is the personal interviews that provide the reader an incredible insight into the hardships and the tenacity of low-income working mothers and women and how the New Hope program distinctly touched each of their lives.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An easy read. New Hope was a three year experimental programme to help impoverished families and adults. Those interested in the issues of poverty as well as policymakers should make this required reading.
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Format: Hardcover
Duncan, Huston, and Weisner's Higher Ground evaluates the experimental program New Hope, intended to help Milwaukee's poor lift themselves out of poverty. In 1994, a group of social activists implemented a work-based program they had begun dreaming up in 1979. Calling it a "social contract," rather than welfare, the organizers hoped Proejct New Hope could motivate people to work without forcing them to choose between a job and their family's wellbeing. As Duncan, Huston, and Weisner explain, 23 million American adults were living in families below the official poverty line in 1994. The state of employment and the economy made it incredibly difficult for men and women with little education to escape poverty. New Hope was innovative in that it provided an array of work supports, including healthcare, childcare, and housing subsidies, rather than enforcing a "one-size-fits-all" plan. And unlike traditional welfare programs, New Hope was available to both males and females working full-time. Though the experiment lasted only four years, its organizers hope it might become a model for national policy.

The authors provide a detailed description of the program, as well as a clear explanation of the experiment's outcomes - both positive and negative - in comparison with a control group, and they evaluate its costs and benefits. The book also gives attention to several fascinating indirect consequences of the program. For example, participants in the program saw increased marriage rates and greater marital stability compared with non-participants, as well as decreased levels of domestic violence. Perhaps the most interesting results of the program on participants' families were the surprising improvements in children's grades and behavior at school, even after the program's end. Duncan, Huston, and Weisner's book is informative, interesting, and very readable. They present a compelling analysis of an innovative, exciting, and truly hopeful anti-poverty program.
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