Date of Award

6-2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Social Work

Department

School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Erica Lizano/Janet Chang

Abstract

Through the evolution of the field of social work, a divide in its ideologies has emerged and certain political and ideological groups such as the religious and conservatives have become underrepresented. As a result, over the years the liberal philosophies have emerged as the dominant group. This has led to a decrease in diversity within the field. Recognition of biases in the field of social work is difficult. Through a qualitative analysis method, this study was meant to explore if social work students feel they are free to share openly in the classroom, and if they are accepting of all ideologies or are there biases towards any ideologies or beliefs by the students. This study used a qualitative method data collection approach, which consisted of a six-member focus group with a demographics questionnaire. The findings of this research has brought to the surface that there are more liberal ideologies and less moderate or conservative viewpoints being shared in the classrooms because of self-censorship. The potential impact of this study is to increase awareness that there are underrepresented groups within the MSW population, which decreases the diversity in the field of social work.