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Reddit gives a clearer picture of what it's like to be poor

Focus on Faculty: Mary Caplan

That first paycheck is an exciting moment - and a teachable one - NPR

Student Government Association honors faculty members- UGA Today

2016 Ph.D. Teacher of the Year

Assistant professor sheds light on poverty, credit and social exclusion - Columns, University of Georgia

Defining Poverty - On Second Thought, Georgia Public Broadcasting

2015's best and worst states for underprivileged children -


Mary Caplan

High resolution photo Curriculum Vitae

279 Williams Street, Rm 344
University of Georgia
Athens, GA 30602
Phone: (706) 542-5464

Twitter: @_caplan

Teaching Specialties
Social Policy
Community Practice
Social Work Research
Community Mental Health

Research Interests
Social policy and consumer debt
Predatory lending
Informal economy
Poverty policy
Community economic development











Mary Caplan

Assistant Professor
Ph.D. Social Welfare, University of California, Berkeley
M.S.W., Social Welfare, University of California, Berkeley
B.A. Sociology
, University of Oregon

Mary Caplan has six years of post-MSW practice experience in public mental health. Her publication record includes several journal articles, and she has presented to national audiences including the Council for Social Work Education and the Society for Social Work Research. Her professional affiliations also include the Association for Community Organization and Social Administration, and the European Social Policy Association.

Mary Caplan's research interests include the relationship between social policy and consumer debt; predatory lending; informal economy; economic survival strategies; poverty measurement and poverty policy; welfare state theory; and community economic development.

Caplan’s teaching background is in social policy, community practice, social work research, generalist practice, management and administration, and poverty. She teaches coursework in Social Policy (SOWK 5701), Theory and Practice in Communities and Organizations (SOWK 6074), and History and Philosophy of Social Welfare and Social Work (SOWK 8217).

Selected Publications

Caplan, M. A., Purser, G., & Kindle, P. (2017). Personal accounts of poverty: A thematic analysis of social media. Journal of Evidence-Informed Social Work Practice.

Caplan, M. A., Purser, G. (2017). Qualitative inquiry using social media: A field-tested example. Qualitative Social Work.

Caplan, M. A., Kindle, P., & Neilson, R. (2017). Payday loan borrowing: Evidence from the Survey of Consumer Finances. Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare.

Caplan, M. A. & Washington, T. (2017). Beyond income: A social justice approach to assessing poverty in older adults. Journal of Gerontological Social Work.

Caplan M. A. (2016). [Review of the book Poverty and Shame: Global Experiences by E. Chase & G. Bantebya-Kyomuhendo (Eds.)]. Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare.

Caplan, M. A. (2014) Financial coping strategies of mental health consumers: Managing social benefits. Community Mental Health Journal, 50(4), 409 – 414.