Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Social Work


Lyle S. Hallman Faculty of Social Work

First Advisor

Dr. Gary Cameron

Advisor Role


Second Advisor

Dr. Bree Akesson

Advisor Role



It is inevitable that we will encounter people different from us in terms of worldview, values, or lifestyle choices. Research suggests that people struggle to encounter such differences when they find them contentious. This study is guided by the broad research question, “How can we better encounter persons who hold contentious differences?” I explore approaches for improving contentious encounters described in three multidisciplinary frameworks – the anti-oppressive practice/intergroup dialogue (AOP/IGD), inclusion/exclusion, and hospitality frameworks. Using narrative inquiry, I conducted 32 interviews with persons for whom their Muslim faith, Christian faith, or their membership in the LGBTQ+ community was important. Participants were graduate social work students and recent alumni from Wilfrid Laurier University’s Faculty of Social Work. I develop the Caring Encounters Guiding Framework that includes guiding principles and guiding processes to improve contentious encounters. It is designed to be useful in a variety of settings so that people can be encountered in ways that make them feel valued.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season


Included in

Social Work Commons