Date of Award

Spring 1988

Document Type



Sociology & Anthropology

First Advisor

William Smith

Second Advisor

Margaret Stuart

Third Advisor

Barry Ferst


While many economists and political leaders have tried to deny the seriousness of poverty in the United States, the truth is that poverty is not an issue which can be ignored. The federal government has recognized the seriousness of poverty by implementing several types of programs. One specific means is federally funded employment programs. This thesis deals with federally funded employment programs by maintaining these programs have negative sociological effects on their target recipients. Support for this contention is found through a review of literature from the 1940's to the present. The analysis is begun by looking at the connection between sociology and the federal government. This includes a look at the theoretical and methodological perspectives which sociology often adopts when studying such programs. The next section of analysis involves an historical account regarding the development of employment programs in the United States over the past fifty-five years. The final section addresses the negative sociological effect of the programs on their recipients. The analysis was conducted by evaluating and synthesizing current research and comparing the original intent of the programs.