Silenced voices: Social work and the oppression of conservative narratives

Lawrence E. Ressler, David R. Hodge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Using a semi-structured telephone interview format, this qualitative study explored the narrative of conservative Christians (N = 12) in social work. Faith was found to be very important to the respondents and was perceived by them to influence their social work. The respondents were found to endorse all of the values of the profession as delineated in the NASW Code of Ethics, which they viewed as compatible with their own values. However, respondents overwhelmingly felt oppressed in the profession which, they held, abdicated the ethical mandates for religious diversity. The results, they believed, included not being understood, discrimination, unwarranted negative criticism, and failure of NASW to work to eliminate domination and oppression on their behalf. Finally, they were hesitant to promote the general welfare of society for fear of reprisals by other social workers. The dissonance between the profession’s ethical mandates and its actual practice appears to engender a significant degree of psychological stress among members of this group.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)125-142
Number of pages18
JournalSocial Thought
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Conservative christians
  • Discrimination
  • Oppression
  • Values and ethics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Religious studies


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