Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Identifier

6200

Date

2018

Date of Award

10-12-2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Major

Sociology

Committee Chair

Carol Rambo

Committee Member

Wesley James

Committee Member

Joseph Lariscy

Abstract

Over past decades, recipients of public assistance have been stereotyped as "welfare queens" taking advantage of the public assistance system by politicians, commentators and the public at large. Social services workers' perspectives have largely been neglected in the literature. This oversight ignores their interpretations of clients, social services workers, and the system. This study answers the research question, "What discourses will social services providersuse to describe clients, social services workers and the public assistance system?" After interviewing 12 social services workers, results showed, like politicians and the public at large that workers stigmatize clients. The recurring themes reported from social services workers included being too dependent on assistance and worker needing to have a passion to help others. Goffman's concept of stigma and Heatherton and colleague'sexplanations of stigma frame the findings in this study. The implications of these perceptions for social workers and their clients are discussed.

Comments

Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.

Share

COinS