Skip to main content Skip to search

YU News

YU News

Dr. Shannon Lane Continues Her Research on Politics and Social Workers

Dr. Shannon Lane

Dr. Shannon Lane, assistant professor of social work at Wurzweiler School of Social Work co-published “Political Efficacy in Social Workers Before and After 2016” in Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare (2021) with Dr. Katharine M. Hill (University of St. Thomas, Minnesota), Dr. Kathryn S. Krase (Krase Consulting) and Dr. Tanya Smith (University of Connecticut School of Social Work).

Here is the abstract:

Since 2016, members of communities traditionally prevented or discouraged from electoral politics have challenged barriers to political power. Social work’s current research base about political action reflects the pre-2016 political landscape. Survey data collected between 2015 and 2019 examines ways social workers’ political engagement and efficacy reacted to this political environment. We examined political efficacy of social workers and students before and after 2016 to compare their internal efficacy (sense of one’s own power in the political system) and external efficacy (sense of the system’s responsiveness). Political engagement and individual measures of political efficacy increased among certain demographic groups; however, overall political efficacy was unchanged. Implications for social work education and research are discussed.

They conclude that “there is much room for improvement in political awareness and engagement among social work students” and that because “social work’s ethical commitment to social justice and advocacy remains strong ... it is important that the research and educational base be continually updated to be responsive to the contexts within which social workers are practicing.”