Recent Publications Based on SWHA Research
Susan Stein-Roggenbuck examines Michigan's implementation of the New Deal relief programs and the state's reorganization of welfare in 1939. Local officials, social workers, and recipients were key players in the Michigan debates over how best to administer relief. The book sheds important light on the profession of social work and public welfare and on the development of nonfederal relief at the state and local levels after 1935. Her research is drawn from a number of collections in the Social Welfare History Archives, particularly the Family Service Association of America Records, the National Association of Social Workers Records, and the National Social Welfare Assembly records.
Ian Dowbiggin, The Sterilization Movement and Global Fertility in the Twentieth Century
Oxford University Press, 2008 | Publisher Link
Ian Dowbiggin traces the history the sterilization movement in post-World War II America, arguing that surgical sterilization's impact on the birth rate and the aging of society has far exceeded that of birth control and abortion. Focusing on leaders of the sterilization movement from the 1930s through the turn of the century, this book explores the historic linkages between environment, civil liberties, eugenics, population control, sex education, marriage counseling, and birth control movements in the 20th-century United States. The author relied heavily on the Association for Voluntary Sterilization Records in the Social Welfare History Archives.
Ann Fessler, The Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden History of Women who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades before Roe v. Wade
Penguin Press, 2006 | Amazon Link
This book reconstructs the experience of thousands of young single American women whose lives were changed by an unplanned pregnancy and who were given little or no choice about the futures of their babies. Fessler, herself an adoptee as the result of such a relinquishment, interviewed more than one hundred women who were willing to speak about their own experiences. She also consulted the Florence Crittenton Collection in the Social Welfare History Archives for additional detail on the maternity homes to which many of the women were sent (described in the chapter entitled "Going Away").
Jennifer Mittelstadt, From Welfare to Workfare: The Unintended Consequences of Liberal Reform, 1945-1965
University of North Carolina Press, 2006 | Amazon Link
Jennifer Mittelstadt examines the dramatic reform of Aid to Dependent Children (ADC) from the 1940s through the 1960s, demonstrating that in this often-misunderstood period, national policy makers did not overlook issues of poverty, race, and the role of women in society. Liberals' public debates and disagreements over welfare, however, caused unintended consequences, including a shift toward conservatism. Rather than leaving ADC as an income support program for needy mothers, reformers recast it as a social services program aimed at "rehabilitating" women from "dependence" on welfare to "independence," largely by encouraging them to work. She draws extensively on research done at the Social Welfare History Archives as a Clarke Chambers Fellow in 1997, particularly the records of the American Public Welfare Association, the National Social Welfare Assembly, the National Association of Social Workers, the Child Welfare League of America, and the Community Research Associates.
Janice Andrews-Schenk, Rebellious Spirit: Gisela Konopka
Beaver's Pond Press, 2005 | Amazon Link
Gisela Konopka (1910-2003) was a powerful pioneering figure in the development of social work with groups and a noted youth development researcher. She spent her entire academic career at the University of Minnesota, from 1947 to 1978, first as a professor in the School of Social Work and then as the director of the Center for Youth Development and Research. Jan Andrews-Schenk, a professor of social work at the University of St. Thomas / College of St. Catherine, completed her biography of Gisela Konopka shortly before her own death in 2005. Her research included a number of collections in the Social Welfare History Archives, particularly the Project Girl records and the National Youthworker Education Project records, as well as from the extensive Gisela Konopka papers held by the University of Minnesota Archives.
Heide Fehrenbach examines race relations in postwar Germany after 1945 as reflected in the case of biracial children born to black American GIs and white German women. This led to intense policy debates over the desirability of integrating Mischlingskinder into German society or of having them adopted into African American or other families abroad. She draws in part from extensive records on international adoption in the SWHA's International Social Service, American Branch records. Fehrenbach is professor of history at Northern Illinois University. She is beginning work on a related book on the beginnings of international adoption between Europe and North America.