Doin’ Meth or Doin’ Math: What Client Constructions of Social Class Mean for Social Work Practice

Kori R. Bloomquist, Leila Wood, Sabrina Sullenberger, Carol Hostetter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The voices of people experiencing poverty are underrepresented in social work research, public policy development, and practice interventions. This study explored the social class attributions of clients receiving poverty-related services through qualitative interviews. Findings reveal dynamic contributions of individual, environmental, and structural factors of social class positioning and significant stress and stigmatization associated with experiencing economic hardship. Participants indicate a sense of lived contradiction, viewing social class to be the result of fate while simultaneously endorsing individualistic attributions of poverty. Results have implications for social work research and practice, as well as poverty-related policy and program development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)190-212
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Community Practice
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 3 2017
Externally publishedYes



  • Poverty
  • social class
  • social justice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration

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