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Ways in which the crumbling economy might be endangering Galesburg’s social services

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Knox College

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  1. Introduction
  2. Assumptions about members of the lower class
  3. The media attention to the middle class
  4. Galesburg issues
  5. Interview with McKillip
  6. Issue of the Heartland Alliance Poverty Report
  7. Conclusion
  8. Bibliography

To explore that idea further, I read ?Common Sense and the Collaborative Production of Class? by Celine-Marie Pascale. When I walked into Hulick's office and asked how her job had changed in the wake of the economic downturn, she told me that it really hadn't. Galesburg's social programs had always been drastically underfunded, and her office had always served extremely low-income people. Pascale opens her study by discussing the fact that although economic inequality is one of the most prevalent sites of difference in America, it is also one of the least visible, something that Hulick emphasized during our interview. Pascale's study illuminates the fact that common sense assumptions like the one I'd made pervade academia as well. As Pascale put it, ?Research paradigms are historically produced social formations; it is important that scholars not reify notions of class or the analytical constructs used for social research on class.? Since we rely on scholars for data upon which to base policy, it is vitally important that those scholars approach the issue with a fresh look.

[...] ?Government Cutbacks, Job Loss and 'Blaming the Managerial Messenger? describes the way in which ?well-informed people under stress still focus rather narrowly to contextualize the situation and allocate blame,? even if they know they're being fired due to circumstances beyond the managers' control. I found this story when a friend of mine told me services were being cut at Iowa Court, one of Galesburg's housing projects, and that her boss at the Carver Center knew all about it. When I called the Carver Center to ask them about it, they told me to call the Housing Authority. [...]

[...] At this point, my plan was to have an inspiring interview with McKillip in which she'd excitedly illuminate all the wonderful things Team Knox County was doing to revitalize the area. I had it all fantasized in my head: I'd go from Hulick's exasperation at the end of her interview to McKillip's optimism and go-getter spirit. I had high hopes even to find a Galesburg resident, or someone from Iowa Court, whose life had been improved already by Team Knox County initiatives, and maybe even dig up someone who'd been poor, got help from the team, and then volunteered to join them. [...]

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