Ryan Dougherty

Ryan J. Dougherty’s research explores how political and social systems shape the ways that mental health services are delivered and experienced. Broadly, he aims to understand how governments can most ethically respond to the inequities experienced by people labeled with a serious mental illness, such as poverty, homelessness, and mass incarceration. To do so, Ryan explores ethical dilemmas that emerge in service delivery, particularly between providers and clients, and how broader political discourses shape decision-making in these scenarios. His dissertation examines how coercion in involuntary outpatient commitment is negotiated between treatment providers, the courts, and clients in relation to delivering psychiatric medications.

Ryan does applied research to impact mental health scholarship, policy, and practice. He specializes in qualitative methods and serves as a lead ethnographer for the UCLA Center for Social Medicine and Humanities, an interdisciplinary research team that works in collaboration with the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health. He also serves as a qualitative researcher for the Recovery-Oriented Care Collaborative, a practice-based research network that connects researchers and providers to produce research relevant to pressing issues in services. He is particularly interested in interdisciplinary research and draws from theories in sociology, anthropology, and disability and mad studies. Ryan aims to pursue his interests in the philosophy of science and qualitative methodologies to support social workers in addressing complex social problems.

Joel F. Handler

Professor Handler’s principal areas of research are poverty issues in law and administration, the structure and operation of welfare programs, client-agency relationships and welfare reform. While on the faculty at the University of Wisconsin Law School, he was a senior researcher at the Institute for Research on Poverty and chaired the Governor’s Task Force for the Reform of General Relief. He is past president of the Law and Society Association.

A Guggenheim Fellow and former member of the National Academy of Science’s Committee on the Status of Black America, he also served as chair of the Academy’s Panel on High Risk Youth. Lately, he has been working on the symbolic politics of welfare reform, from a historical perspective as well as dealing with current welfare reform proposals. He also has explored client-agency relationships in the areas of education, health care, worker safety, local government and low-income housing.

SELECTED BOOKS & PUBLICATIONS

Hard Labor: Women and Work in the Post-Welfare Era
Handler, J. and Lucie White (eds.) Hard Labor: Women and Work in the Post-Welfare Era. M.E. Sharpe, (1999).

Down From Bureaucracy: The Ambiguity of Empowerment and Privatization
Handler, J. Down From Bureaucracy: The Ambiguity of Empowerment and Privatization. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. (1996).

The Poverty of Welfare Reform
Handler, J. The Poverty of Welfare Reform. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1995.
Publication Link: The Poverty of Welfare Reform