The Stories That Bind Us: Social Services Caseworkers' Experiences and Narratives Public Deposited

Downloadable Content

Download PDF
Last Modified
  • March 19, 2019
Creator
  • Miller, Caroline
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of American Studies, Folklore Program
Abstract
  • Using in-depth analysis of interviews with five caseworkers, this thesis explores how caseworkers at the Department of Social Services in Alamance County, North Carolina use narrative to negotiate and perform their identity, indoctrinate new caseworkers, establish hierarchy and community in an office atmosphere, combat negative public perceptions of caseworkers, and cope with an often emotionally taxing career. In order to accomplish this caseworkers use narrative strategies such as reported speech and generalized experience narratives. Many of the existing studies on laborlore focus on the dynamics between workers and supervisors. This research, however, allows us to understand how narratives function in an office environment where stories are shared primarily amongst workers of roughly the same status. It also provides insight into how narratives are used to establish community in an environment where office dynamics are changing rapidly in response to high turnover rates and hostile popular opinion about public assistance.
Date of publication
Keyword
Subject
DOI
Identifier
Resource type
Rights statement
  • In Copyright
Advisor
  • Sawin, Patricia
  • Ferris, William
  • Mould, Tom
Degree
  • Master of Arts
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2015
Language
Publisher
Place of publication
  • Chapel Hill, NC
Access
  • There are no restrictions to this item.
Parents:

This work has no parents.

Items