MARGINALITY: ORTHODOX JEWISH STUDENTS IN SOCIAL WORK EDUCATION
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This study of marginality is aimed towards achievement of an understanding of the phenomenon, as it is experienced by Orthodox Jewish social work students at the Wurzweiler School of Social Work of Yeshiva University in 1979. Through the theoretical framework of marginality, the identification and anatomy of conflicts experienced by this group were examined. This, then, provided the basis for the full-scale study, both in terms of conceptualization and measurement.;Various assumptions concerning the multiple identifications, commitments, roles, values, and cultures of Orthodox Jewish social work students were described. The work of Robert Park and Everett Stonequist was analyzed in some detail. Various frameworks and definitions around religion and Orthodoxy, the culture and values of the social work profession, and the meaning of values were explored. The emergent relationships as between religion and profession, in terms of confrontation with secularization, universalism versus particularism as well as absolutism versus relativism were juxtaposed. Personality, culture and culture shock and concepts such as the "whole self" in professional social work education, identity, socialization, group membership, and identification were all brought together to constitute the theoretical antecedents of the study.;The methodology and design of the research were rooted in Glaser and Strauss's strategy of "grounded theory" from which a multi-staged inquiry was developed, and divided into an exploratory stage and a full-scale study stage, the procedures and findings of which formed the body of the study. One hundred ten students participated.;The major hypothesis of the study, that variations in original value orientations or religious self-descriptions, would constitute the major factor yielding differential impacts on conflicts and strategies, was fully substantiated.;A theoretical adaptational model of Orthodox Jewish social work students' negotiation with social work was developed on the basis of grounded theory, that is, via constant interaction with and analysis of the data. The findings, therefore, legitimate and support the theory of marginality. Its ensuant implications provide social work educators with new insights and understandings of a marginal group of students, the nature of their conflicts, and their strategies of negotiation and resolution of conflict.
Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 42-04, Section: A, page: 1793.