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Kinship and Casework

Kinship and Casework

Copyright Date: 1967
Published by: Russell Sage Foundation
Pages: 372
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  • Book Info
    Kinship and Casework
    Book Description:

    Reaffirms the importance of the larger kinship network through analysis of extensive data on the clients of one social agency. The authors show that the less kinship-oriented caseworkers often attempt to change clients' kin relationships in the direction of less involvement, raising questions about value differences in therapeutic practice. The book also points to the importance of concepts, such as those dealing with family kinship, that will enable the caseworker to appraise the client's social relationships more fully. The authors emphasize the benefits to be derived from a closer liaison between social work and social science.

    eISBN: 978-1-61044-662-4
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-xii)
    (pp. xiii-xvi)

    In 1879 members of the American Social Science Association who were primarily concerned with the solution of practical problems of social welfare organized themselves into a separate and independent body then called The National Conference of Charities and Correction. Up to that time persons interested in social science, as well as those interested in its practical applications, participated in a common professional organization and in a common intellectual tradition.

    Seen from today’s perspective, this separation had both positive and negative values. On the one hand, it permitted scientist and practical worker to cultivate their own professional interests unhindered by fruitless...

    (pp. xvii-xxii)
  5. INTRODUCTION The Family’s Kinship Environment
    (pp. 1-10)

    Two current concerns in the casework field are the attempts to develop methods of family diagnosis and treatment and to find social science knowledge relevant to social work practice. This volume reports the highlights of a study that grew out of both these interests.

    The study focused on the kin relationships of Jewish families, mainly of Eastern European origin or descent, who live in a large city in an industrial society. The research was conducted primarily by social scientists—sociologists, an anthropologist, and a social worker with research training. But it was formulated and carried out in a family casework...

  6. PART ONE The Problem and Setting

    • CHAPTER 1 Kinship Concepts
      (pp. 13-38)

      Those who are concerned with family problems ultimately deal with specific individuals and families who are the product of complex psychological, physiological, and environmental factors. Each individual is unique in so many respects that the more general features of human life everywhere can easily be taken for granted or overlooked, precisely because they are so universal.

      Each individual is born into a family; that family is bound to other families in a complex structure of interlocking ties that shifts in composition through birth, marriage, and death. Kinship is an involuntary relationship; every individual has kin and is a kin. Some...

    • CHAPTER 2 The Agency and the Clients
      (pp. 39-62)

      The Jewish Family Service of New York is a family counseling agency, primarily serving the Jewish community of New York City, although not entirely restricted to Jewish families. It receives most of its funds from the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies, of which it is a constituent agency. There are four district offices—two in Brooklyn, one in the Bronx, one in Manhattan—and a central office housing administrative office and special services.

      A staff of professionally trained caseworkers provides individual and family counseling; a variety of other services are also available. Clients are referred to the agency from many sources,...

  7. PART TWO The Kin Relationships of Client Families

    • CHAPTER 3 The Kinship Values of Client Families
      (pp. 65-88)

      Kinship is important not only in remote or primitive societies; even in a large metropolis of an industrial society the family may be deeply enmeshed in, and may derive important supports from, its network of kin. Because these kin relationships are often also a source of conflict, and because, as will be seen more fully later, casework intervention often attempts to change these relationships, an understanding of the family’s involvement is important.

      In this and the next two chapters we will discuss highlights of our findings on the involvement of client families with their kin. This chapter discusses kinship values,...

    • CHAPTER 4 The Network of Kin Relationships
      (pp. 89-126)

      We have seen that the values of most client families clearly emphasize the importance of ties to kin. Neither immigration and assimilation nor living in a large metropolis of an industrial society has fostered values that isolate the family from its kin. We will now examine how these values are manifested in actual relationships. First, we will consider the genealogical extensiveness of kin ties; secondly, the geographic proximity of kin and the extent of communication with them; and, finally, the bonds of assistance and reciprocity.

      The number of individuals that a family recognizes as kin and the number of these...

    • [Illustrations]
      (pp. None)
    • CHAPTER 5 Kin Groups and Assemblages
      (pp. 127-159)

      Kinship can be studied in terms of the kin ties of a particular individual or family, as was indicated in Chapter 4; various kinship groupings can also be examined in terms of their organization as systems. A shift of perspective from the individual to the group becomes necessary because many social groups, particularly those that have persistence over time, have characteristics that cannot be understood merely from knowledge of their individual members. Moreover, relationships between kin may be influenced by their joint participation in a kin group, and knowledge of the structure and functioning of kin groups therefore is an...

    • CHAPTER 6 Kin Conflicts and Kinship Structure
      (pp. 160-182)

      In the two previous chapters we have examined the values of kinship, the family’s involvement with its network of kin, and kin groups and assemblages. Throughout it has been clear that kin playa significant role in the lives of client families. Kinship may be a source of many problems and conflict, as we will see in the next chapter, but at the same time the ties of kinship offer many positive supports for the family. In considering change in the kin relationships of a family in one area, the caseworker should, therefore, be attuned to the variety of areas of...

  8. PART THREE Casework Intervention and Kinship Structure

    • CHAPTER 7 Casework Intervention in Relationships with Kin
      (pp. 185-208)

      Many client families are extensively involved with their kin, and this involvement is consistent with kinship values. Kin offer positive supports for the family; they impinge upon it whether or not they are a source of problems, and are thus an area of the family’s life that caseworkers need to understand. Kinship is also of specific relevance to casework because family therapists are often involved in changing relationships with kin.

      Many families have conflicts with and about kin, and the structuring of conflicts is related to interaction with kin in other areas. We will now examine the kinds of problems...

    • CHAPTER 8 Caseworkers and Clients: Contrasting Kinship Values and Experience
      (pp. 209-263)

      We have found that therapeutic intervention involving relationships with kin outside the nuclear family most often involves redefinition or restriction of interaction with kin; rarely does it mean expansion of kin contacts. It can therefore be assumed that caseworkers are attempting to alter the kinship system of the nuclear family in consistent directions.

      Interviews with caseworkers and supervisors clearly revealed that implicit therapeutic assumptions exist about desirable forms of kinship structure. These include, for example, the notion that the “healthy,” “mature” person will have the “strength” to set limits on interaction with kin. It is also assumed that it is...

    • CHAPTER 9 The Dynamics of Change in Kinship Systems: Implications for Casework
      (pp. 264-292)

      We began our analysis by examining the kin relationships of client families through looking at their kinship values and at a variety of areas of kin interaction. Certain regularities in the relationships of clients with their kin were observed, both in the forms of interaction with kin and in patterns of conflict: conflicts are particularly likely to arise in the relationships between those in certain kin categories. We have also presented data indicating that in many instances casework intervention entails an attempt to change relationships with kin. Finally, we have seen that caseworkers and clients differ in their values about...

  9. EPILOGUE A Note on the Process and Application of Research in a Practice Setting
    (pp. 293-306)

    Now that the storms of this interprofessional collaboration have subsided it is difficult to reconstruct the reasons for the intense emotion that surrounded some of them. Yet here, as in many interdisciplinary undertakings, collaboration had its trying as well as its rewarding moments. Since others are continuing efforts of this sort, it may be useful, in the spirit of the traditional epilogue, to look back at a few of the issues that arose and to consider their resolution. Basic to most of these issues is the question of how to establish a workable division of labor between professions.

    Because this...

  10. APPENDIX Research Methods
    (pp. 307-320)
  11. Selected Bibliography
    (pp. 321-334)
  12. Index
    (pp. 335-343)