Social workers are employed in a multitude of places and they work with racially and ethnically diverse populations. The impact of race on social work was a popular topic during the 1960s (Olsen and Olsen, 1967; Mizio, 1972, and Goodman, 1973) but little work has been done since then. This research analyses how racial issues impact the job of social workers today. Theories used to explore this question included contact theory, colorblind theory and recognition theory. Eight social workers were interviewed about how race and cultural competency play out in their practice. The analysis indicated that a minority of workers espouse colorblind ideologies that most feel comfortable working with diverse clientele, and that language is the primary barrier they face. The interviews also revealed that cultural competency trainings vary in effectivity. Social workers noted that that the trainings provided by employers were better than the trainings provided in their educational institution.


Nurse, Anne


Sociology and Anthropology


Social Work

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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