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31 August 2019

Unraveling the Hidden Agenda of Structural Discrimination against the Poor in the U.S.

Part of the American legacy is the public promotion of freedom, fairness and equity, along with the intentional and unintentional promotion of policies which in effect discriminate against, exploit, or stigmatize the poor. Historical examples of such practices include the passage of the 1935 Social Security Act along with the provision that excluded farmworkers and domestic workers from receiving social security, which in code meant clear structural racial bias against Latinx and African Americans. Thus while most Americans hail the Social Security Act a progressive New Deal policy, in effect, it was only progressive for whites. A second example of such a practice was the use of race criteria for decades during the 20th century by the Home Owners Loan Corporation to exclude the purchases of homes outside of the racially segregated communities by persons of color. A third example is the contemporary discrimination against farmworkers in the U.S. On one hand, we claim that these workers are essential for the production of an accessible and nutritious food supply in the U.S. On the other hand, many face discrimination and exploitation because of their race, ethnicity, and/or immigration status, and some are excluded altogether from certain labor law protections. Our contemporary challenge is to identify and empirically document such practices, with the goal of forming bold solutions for promoting equity and eliminating bias.


This special double issue of the Journal of Poverty focuses on the empirical analyses of U.S. policies that, that were either enacted after 2000 or continue in force in 2018 with the claim of improving the lives of the poor and marginalized through: income support or wealth generation programs, access to nutritional food, community empowerment initiatives, housing initiatives, environment justice initiatives, employment programs, problem solving courts for non‐violent offenders (e.g. drug courts, teen courts), education/life skill development, or health/behavioral health care initiatives that appear to be neutral, but, in effect, structurally discriminates against some segments of the poor.

Submission Instructions

Preferences will be given for submissions that present:

  • Quantitative data analyses, including secondary cross‐sectional or longitudinal analyses of national data sets, multi‐state analyses that compare social programs in progressive and conservative states, or systematic literature reviews using a recognized scientific approach (e.g. Cochrane handbook or the PRISMA approach.
  • Qualitative data analyses, including extensive focus group methodology, key informant interviews with of multiple stakeholders from diverse perspectives (e.g. such as clients/consumers, front‐line practitioners and senior administrators).
  • Grounded in a equity based framework that allows for discussion of a range of views of the issue such a social political continuum framework i ii or a framework that documents the way discrimination occurs differently within sub groups (such as the intersectionality framework).
  • Conceptual/theoretical articles that both embraces the historical challenges of discrimination/stigma against the poor and more importantly, articulates innovative solutions for the 21st century.
  • It is critical that ALL papers include a ROBUST discussion of proposed solutions in the discussion section of the manuscript. Specifically, the manuscript should offer two or three practical responses that promote equity and fairness for the poor and marginalized based on the research presented in the manuscript. Papers that only provide analyses without a presentation of solutions will NOT be accepted.
  • As this is a journal that focuses PRIMARILY on poverty‐ the primary driver of your paper has to be that of the poor, but can focus on specific communities. For example authors can use the intersectionality framework to focus on policies that impact poor, LGBTQiA+,HIV positive population in a conservative state vs a progressive state in terms of insurance and access to health/behavior health care. In another case, one could use quantitative data to look at the effects of the No Child Left behind Act on schools in poor communities in progressive and conservative states.
  • Submissions are particularly welcomed from new scholars from underrepresented populations.

Submissions should be full‐length articles that conform to the journal’s regular format and length. Manuscripts should be submitted online by August 31, 2019 and labeled FOR SPECIAL ISSUE for consideration by the special issue editors. All manuscripts will be subject to blind peer review. The special issue will appear in the January/February 2020 edition of the journal. For further instruction, please review our Instructions for Authors.

Issue Editors:

Llewellyn Cornelius, Ph.D. University of Georgia

Maria Vidal DeHaymes, Ph.D. Loyola University of Chicago

Claudia Lawrence-Webb, Ph.D. Morgan State University

Journal of Poverty

Table of Contents for Journal of Poverty. List of articles from both the latest and ahead of print issues.

Language: en-US

Publisher: tandf

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