Creating a Special Profession: How Personal Exposure to Individuals with Disabilities Develops Emotional Capital

Jonathan Gerth Hanover College
Faculty Sponsor(s): Skip Dine-Young Hanover College
Sociological research has explored the idea of emotional capital in mortuary science, nursing, palliative care, and other professions. This research has shown that people are more likely to enter these emotionally difficult, care-based professions if they are exposed early in life to the particularities of that profession. Ordinary people do not get that same exposure, making them less prepared for that field. The current project will focus on staff members at Bradford Woods, a camp for children with intellectual and/or physical disabilities. Since staff members have to provide all necessary care for each child, it is predicted that staff members will likely have had early experiences with this population. Past and present staff members will be sent an online survey that will ask questions about their background and experience working with children with intellectual and/or physical difficulties. Some of these surveys will then be followed up by qualitative interviews in which participants will explain in more detail any connections they see between their past experiences and their current position. The implications of prior exposure to helping people work with individuals with disabilities will be discussed, as well as how these findings can be used to socialize people who want to go into care fields.

Oral Presentation

When & Where

02:00 PM
Gallahue Hall 105