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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/31761

Title: Towards a Framework for Practice: A Phenomenological Study of Community Dwelling Holocaust Survivors' Social Work Service Needs
Authors: Goldberg, Caroline
Advisor: McDonald, Lynn
Department: Social Work
Keywords: Holocaust Survivors
Social Work
Trauma
Community
Issue Date: 9-Jan-2012
Abstract: This phenomenological study explores the needs of community dwelling Holocaust survivors and proposes a framework for social work practice with this population. Data from qualitative interviews with Holocaust survivors and family caregivers of Holocaust survivors suggest that there are at least two different cohorts of Holocaust survivors in this study. These cohorts, referred to as classic and contemporary survivors in this dissertation, differ with regard to their age as well as the extent to which they are affected by numerous barriers relating to their health and physical ability as well as to language, education, and work background. A small number of respondents demonstrated characteristics belonging to both of the cohorts. A continuum, with classic survivors on one end of the scale and contemporary survivors on the other is therefore suggested as the best way to understand the differences between the two cohorts of Holocaust survivors in this study. Research findings compare and contrast these two ends of the continuum, as well as the cases which fit somewhere in the middle, and suggest the following five themes: 1. There are important similarities and differences between classic and contemporary survivors, 2. Individual Holocaust survivors, their family members and the larger community have all been affected by the Holocaust, 3. Identities and values have been impacted by the trauma associated with the Holocaust, 4. Survivor characteristics can be classified as characteristics of resiliency and/or vulnerability, (The sub-themes uncovered in this study relating to resiliency include fierce independence, a “never give up” mentality and a strong social conscience. The sub-themes relating to vulnerability include guarded trust, a “going without” mentality, increased vulnerability to loss, and loss of secure identity), and 5. The needs of the study population can be better understood by considering resiliency and vulnerability characteristics. The life course framework and individual and community trauma theories are applied to understand these research findings which inform the proposed framework for social work practice.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/31761
Appears in Collections:Doctoral

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