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[Xmca-l] Fwd: Request for Articles for New RSF Journal

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From: Russell Sage Foundation <communications@rsage.org>
Date: Tue, Jan 14, 2014 at 11:49 AM
Subject: Request for Articles for New RSF Journal
To: mcole@ucsd.edu

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*Request for Articles: Severe Deprivation in America *

Since 2000, the U.S. poverty rate has increased and the poor have become
poorer. Along with hardships brought on by the Great Recession, welfare
reform, the prison boom, the rise of short-term and low-wage jobs,
political decisions at the federal level, declines in union membership, and
high rates of joblessness have all contributed to deepening poverty in

At the same time poor families saw their incomes drop or stagnate, their
cost of housing rose substantially. Median asking monthly rent for vacant
units has increased by more than 70 percent since 1990. At the same time,
fewer new households were receiving government assistance. Cash assistance
caseloads have fallen from 12.3 million recipients per month in 1996 to 4.5
million in 2011. Today, only one in ten adults living below the poverty
line receives cash welfare.

On the other hand, some federal programs have grown substantially over the
last two decades: namely, the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Supplemental
Nutrition Assistance Program. Large-scale changes in federal poverty policy
have created new winners and losers. Some low-income families now fare much
better; others fare much worse.

If conditions have worsened for many poor Americans, how do they endure
conditions of severe economic deprivation? What is life like on the fringes
of the economy? What are the coping mechanisms and survival strategies of
families with very low incomes? What are the effects of poverty-related
traumas on adults and children?

The fact that millions are living on so little and experiencing various
forms of severe deprivation presents several analytical and methodological
challenges to policy-relevant research. When it comes to documenting the
complexity and effects of acute material hardship, explaining how and why
different disadvantages cluster, or comparing sub-populations of the poor
with similar incomes but vastly different lived realities-standard methods,
theories, and concepts often are ill-equipped. Many statistical methods
favor isolating the effect of a single treatment on a single outcome, but
the lives of the extreme poor are characterized by correlated and
compounding disadvantages. And much social-scientific data do not
sufficiently capture the experiences of vulnerable citizens, who often are
left out of survey samples or infrequently show up in administrative

The language of "poverty," meanwhile, can be fuzzy and imprecise.
Social-scientific terminology groups all families below a certain income
threshold into a single category: the poor. But doing so can flatten
crucial differences in how material scarcity is experienced. Some fall into
poverty from relatively stable backgrounds; for others, poverty courses
through the generations. Some low-income Americans have experienced
incarceration, hunger, violence, addiction, and eviction; others know
nothing of these traumas. What, then, do we mean by "poverty"? How can this
term-central to both social science and social policy-be refined or
redefined? How can we capture with more precision variations or degrees of
scarcity and social suffering among low-income families? And what are the
implications of severe deprivation for urban ethnography, measurement,
survey design, causal inference, or experiments?

In devoting an issue to Severe Deprivation in America, RSF: The Russell
Sage Journal of the Social Sciences is interested in publishing research
that investigates these questions. We are interested in studies-from
multiple disciplines and employing multiple methods-that analyze the
causes, conditions, and consequences of severe deprivation in the United
States. By severe deprivation, we have in mind economic hardship that is
(1) acute, (2) compounded, and (3) chronic.

(1) Acute: deep poverty; the poverty of those far below the poverty line
characterized by scarcity of critical resources and material hardship.

(2) Compounded: poverty "plus" or correlated adversity; the clustering of
different kinds of disadvantage across multiple dimensions (psychological,
social, material) and institutions (work, family, prison).

(3) Chronic: enduring disadvantage; the lasting effects early-life trauma
or deprivation experienced over long stretches, lifetimes, or
generations-and therefore often impervious to change.

Please click here for a link to a more detailed description of the

*Anticipated Timeline*

Prospective contributors should submit a CV and a one-page abstract of
their study no later than February 24th to *journals@rsage.org
<journals@rsage.org>*. Please put Severe Deprivation in the subject line
and address the email to Suzanne Nichols, Director of Publications. Only
abstracts submitted to *journals@rsage.org <journals@rsage.org>* will be
considered. Each paper will receive a $1,000 honorarium when the issue is
published. The journal issue is being edited by Matthew Desmond, Assistant
Professor of Sociology and Social Studies at Harvard University, but all
questions should be directed to *journals@rsage.org <journals@rsage.org>*.

A conference will be organized at RSF in New York City in early fall of
2014. The contributors will gather for a one-day workshop to present
preliminary findings and receive feedback from the other contributors.
Travel costs, food, and lodging will be covered by the foundation. Papers
will be circulated before the conference.

After the conference, the authors will submit their final drafts on or
before November 15, 2014. The papers will then be sent out to two
additional scholars for peer reviews. Having received feedback from
reviewers and the RSF board, authors will revise their papers before March
15, 2015. The full and final issue will be submitted for publication in the
fall of 2015.

Papers will be published open access on the foundations website as well as
in several digital repositories, including JSTOR and UPCC/Project Muse.

Please click here for a link to a more detailed description of the topics
covered in this call for

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