Electronic Theses and Dissertations



Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



Committee Chair

SunAh Laybourn

Committee Member

Carol Rambo

Committee Member

Junmin Wang


This thesis explores the professional and personal identity of social workers in the context of restrictive policies and procedures within housing service institutions. Social workers play a crucial role in rehousing the unhoused, alongside providing knowledge, advocacy, and emotional support. However, they often face challenges such as being overworked, underpaid, and undervalued, leading to workforce attrition. In this study, social workers grapple with the dilemma of adhering to jurisdictional boundaries or bending the rules to achieve client success, which can create a conflict between personal beliefs and professional duties. The research investigates how personal experiences influence social workers' decisions to engage in acts of everyday resistance, as theorized by James C. Scott. Interviews with 11 social workers specializing in housing services highlight the impact of previous experiences in the social services system on decision-making for clients. The concept of structural facilitation is supported by the concepts of positive deviant social workers and resistance. The implications of these findings and future research considerations on social workers and resistance are discussed.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest.


Open Access