As a collaborative project, PERCS is working with local agencies, politicians, community groups and individuals to assess the perceptions and realities of public assistance in Alamance County specifically, and the nation more broadly. Click here for the Voices of Welfare website and be sure to sign up for updates on the "Get Involved" section.
The Voices of Welfare Project is now in its third year of work. Our research continues to examine the stories people tell about public assistance, with the primary goal of understanding the varied opinions, views and lived experiences of people both intimately involved in the welfare system such as aid recipients and providers, and those involved less directly, from politicians to consumers of U.S. media. Further, this research explores how these narratives contribute to political discourse nationally and locally.
Initial outcomes and products of our collaborative research include:
In the fall of 2012, Elon students joined the project through the service-learning Anthropology class titled “Faces of Welfare” taught by Associate Professor Tom Mould. In the class, students examined the system of public assistance in contemporary and historical contexts and conducted fieldwork in Alamance county, recording the stories people shared about their views and experiences with public assistance. One of those students, Communications major, Heather Cassano, produced a short documentary film, describing the project and the initial steps the class took to prepare for their fieldwork.
Goals and outcomes for the project include materials for the public to provide a more accurate picture of public assistance, as well as resources for local agencies and politicians who work to develop the most effective services possible for the poor in Alamance County, much of which can be accessed on our website: http://blogs.elon.edu/voicesofwelfare/