Master of Arts (M.A.)
Degree Granting Department
Donileen Loseke, Ph.D.
Margarethe Kusenbach, Ph.D.
Emelda Curry, Ph.D.
social services, workers, emotion, identities, volunteers
Direct social service workers face a variety of difficulties including low pay, limited upward mobility, role ambiguity, and emotional exhaustion. This study adds to the understanding of the complexities of front-line service work with an analysis of the storytelling of case managers working with Big Brothers Big Sisters. Interview participants describe a problem of “volunteer expectations,” which they define as related to the organizational storytelling of the program: the images that entice people to volunteer do not match actual volunteer experiences. I argue that glamorized storytelling through marketing and recruitment tactics creates unintended, negative consequences for volunteers and case managers. This project contributes to the understanding of social services, emotion work, and the American “helping” culture.
Scholar Commons Citation
Geiss, Carley, "“It’s Not Like a Movie. It’s Not Hollywood:” Competing Narratives of a Youth Mentoring Organization" (2016). Graduate Theses and Dissertations.