Poverty Research

My poverty research has primarily focused on the shifting relationships of poor families and the institutions that serve them during the last two decades of dramatic restructuring in the social safety net in the United States. I address these dynamic interactions in close detail from two contrasting, and often conflicting, perspectives: 1) local nonprofit social service organizations to which state welfare responsibilities have been devolved, and 2) poor women navigating increasingly unstable post-welfare-reform service provision, high-poverty neighborhoods, and low-wage employment. While many scholars of poverty conduct quantitative research using national datasets, my work generally relies upon a substantial amount of in-depth interview and observational data collected from relatively large samples (i.e., large for qualitative research). 

Selected Publications:

Turney, Kristin, Rebecca Kissane, and Kathryn Edin. 2013. “After Moving to Opportunity: How Moving to a Low-Poverty Neighborhood Improves Mental Health among African American Women.” Society and Mental Health. 3(1): 1-21.

Kissane, Rebecca Joyce and Susan Clampet-Lundquist. 2012. “Social Ties, Social Support, and Collective Efficacy among Families from Public Housing in Chicago and Baltimore.” Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare. 39(4): 157-181.

Kissane, Rebecca Joyce.  2012.  “Poor Women’s Moral Economies of Nonprofit Social Service Use: Conspicuous Constraint and Empowerment in the Hollow State.” Sociological Perspectives. 55(1): 189-211.

Kissane, Rebecca Joyce.  2010.  “Administrative Challenges Facing Nonprofit Worksites Providing Work or Work-Like Experiences for Welfare Recipients.”  Sociological Perspectives. 53(3): 373-396.

Edin, Kathryn and Rebecca Joyce Kissane.  2010.  “Poverty and the American Family:  A Decade in Review.”  Journal of Marriage and Family. 72(3):  460-479.

Kissane, Rebecca Joyce.  2010.  “The Client Perspective on Nonprofit Social Service Organizations.”  Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. 29(3):  632-637.

Kissane, Rebecca Joyce.  2010.  “’We Call It the Badlands’:  How Social-Spatial Geographies Influence Social Service Use.”  Social Service Review. 84(1):  3-28.

Kissane, Rebecca Joyce.  2008.  “’They Never Did Me Any Good’:  Welfare-to-Work Programs from the Vantage Point of Program Participants.”  Humanity & Society. 32(4):  336-360.

Kissane, Rebecca Joyce.  2007.  “How Do Faith-Based Organizations Compare to Secular Providers?  Nonprofit Directors’ and Poor Women’s Assessments of FBOs.”  Journal of Poverty. 11(4):  91-115.

Kissane, Rebecca Joyce and Richard Krebs.  2007.  “Assessing Welfare Reform, Over a Decade Later.”  Sociology Compass. 1(2): 789–813.

Kissane, Rebecca Joyce.  2006.  “Responsible but Uninformed?  Nonprofit Executive and Program Directors’ Knowledge of Welfare Reform.”  Social Service Review.  80(2):  322-345.