More Sinned Against Than Sinning

in Miss Cutler & the Case of the Resurrected Horse

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780226653631
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226653662 | DOI:
More Sinned Against Than Sinning

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)


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This chapter describes how the faith of Boston social workers regarding self-improvement was shaken by the increasing focus on poverty, neglect, and material hardship during the 1930s. It explains that by the end of the decade, Boston child welfare workers began to segregate clients differently and relegated more of them to the “unhelpable” category. This chapter argues that a focus on poverty as a cause rather than a symptom of social problems helped revitalize American social work's reforming impulses.

Keywords: social workers; Boston; self-improvement; poverty; neglect; material hardship; child welfare workers; social problems

Chapter.  3806 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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