Dr. D J Williams of Idaho State University and Emily E. Prior of the College of the Canyons have released a study about "real vampires" and how social workers can help them. They also urge people not to "stereotype" people who identify as vampires.
Appearing in Critical Social Work, 2015 Vol. 16, No. 1, their article is titled, "Do we Always Practice What we Preach? Real Vampires’ Fears of Coming out of the Coffin to Social Workers and Helping Professionals." The 10-page study aimed to see how comfortable vampires were in coming out to them.
The abstract of the paper begins, "Helping professionals in multiple disciplines, including social workers, are commonly taught to embrace human diversity, think critically, empower clients, and respect client self-determination."
Unsurprisingly, the study's abstract states that people who identify as "vampires" are reluctant to reveal their identities. "Results suggest," it reads, "that nearly all participants were distrustful of social workers and helping professionals and preferred to “stay in the coffin” for fear of being misunderstood, labeled, and potentially having to face severe repercussions to their lives."
The study itself suggests that social workers must be careful not to impose their own stereotypes and biases on people who identify as vampires.
"The findings from this study suggest," it explains, "reliably with other scholarship, that social workers and helping professionals should learn more about alternative identities and communities, listen and learn from clients, strive to become more aware of our own potential biases and stereotypes, and interrogate and challenge common social discourses that pathologize and demonize."
It concludes, "Helping professionals should strive, of course, to become more aware of their own social and cultural positioning so that these do not unintentionally harm clients whose backgrounds and beliefs differ. By doing so, we may improve at practicing what we preach."
Home Education Professors Urge Social Workers to Take "Real Vampires" Seriously, Not Impose "Stereotypes" on Them
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