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Authors

Rosenberg

Abstract

The economic, political and social changes of the past 25 years have undermined most working American's assumptions about job security. Large segments of the population now find their jobs threatened by "downsizing" -which results from the reduction of staff by employers, usually for economic reasons. Downsized individuals typically experience personal and familial crises of major magnitude, and have increasingly been turning to social workers for assistance. Social workers, however-who have had relatively little experience delivering services to this clientele--are themselves being threatened by downsizing. Given this situation, the present study assesses-through interviews and participant observation-(a) how social workers are conceptualizing downsizing, (b) the kind of training they have received for serving downsized clients, (c) the level of readiness they possess, both theoretical and technical, to deliver services to downsized individuals, (d) the changes they are experiencing in their practices associated with downsizing, and (e) how they perceive the organizational apparatus their profession provides for resisting downsizing.

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