Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work


Lyle S. Hallman Faculty of Social Work

First Advisor

Dr. Martha Kuwee Kumsa

Advisor Role


Second Advisor

Dr. Deena Mandell

Advisor Role

Co-advisor/Committee Member


The primary purpose of this qualitative research is to understand the experiences of racialized social workers and social services workers and how social positioning plays out in their practice. What are the experiences of racialized workers in their work places? How do they position themselves in terms of their age, gender, race and professional identity in the various contexts of their practice? Do they experience self-doubt? How are they recognized or misrecognized for how they position themselves? How do they deal with these experiences? What are their stories? These were the main questions that this narrative research sought to capture in the lived realities and stories of participants. Data were generated through a guided conversation with five (5) frontline and management social workers from across social services organizations in the Greater Toronto Area. The process of interpreting these rich stories was informed by theories of social positioning. Thematic analysis was used to augment the narrative approach. Findings indicate the varying ways in which workers position themselves in relation to clients, co-workers, managers, and community partners. In addition to positioning race, gender and age separately consciously and subconsciously, findings also indicate complex intersectional experiences of positioning. Implications for social work practice and key learning points are discussed.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season