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Elevated or erased? A content analysis of the portrayal of men in introduction to social work textbooks.

As a consequence of its historical roots, society regards social work as female-identified. LeCroy and Stinson's (2004) survey measuring knowledge, beliefs, and attitudes about social workers, for example, found that 65.2% of respondents regarded the profession as consisting of mostly women. Concomitantly, there has been a steep decline in the number of men who have entered the profession over the past several decades. Women accounted for 75% of Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) graduates in 1974 and almost 88% of BSW graduates in 2000, for example (Schilling, Morris, & Liu, 2008). Taking into account the fact that men retire at faster rates than women do, social work is likely to become even more female-dominated as older men age out of the profession (McGinnis, Cohen, Wing, Whitaker, & Weismiller, 2006). Schilling et al. (2008) grimly concluded, "With respect to gender, social work should begin a conversation about the possibility that it may become a profession composed almost entirely of women" (p. 113).

Predictably, male students occupy few seats in social work pre-service programs. A paucity of literature about men's experiences in social work programs limits the scope of awareness about the topic. The few studies that have addressed the issue have portrayed male social work students as reverse tokens (e.g., Williams, 1995). Unlike female students, who must negotiate their status to avoid marginalization, male students' minority status automatically grants them certain privilege. Giesler's (2013) recent study of male social work students suggested a more nuanced understanding of their experiences. Males in social work training programs engage in a complex, dynamic process in carving out an identity. The pressure they note in "proving themselves male" is countered by the need to be caring and compassionate, traditionally female characteristics.

As conveyors of knowledge, beliefs, and skills of the profession, textbooks play an instrumental role in clarifying this process for the soon-to-be-practicing male social work student. The introductory textbook is especially important, as it is often the first contact he has with the field and likely shapes a first impression of its specific knowledge, beliefs, and skills (Wachholz & Mullaly, 2000).

Textbooks are imbued with a complex set of social, political, and economic dynamics. (Ferree & Hall, 1996). Although many may view them as neutral, they embody certain interests and positions that render them ideological (Sleeter & Grant, 1991). Kramer, Howland-Scafe, and Pacourek (2003), for example, used a descriptive study design to document end-of-life (EOL) content in 50 textbooks frequently used in social work education. The authors searched for the mention of 10 context domains that are considered essential for competent EOL social work practice. Their results indicated a significant need for improvement of EOL content in social work textbooks. Wachholz and Mullaly (2000) explored bias in their content analysis of the coverage of feminist, antiracist, and radical social work scholarship in 14 American Introduction to Social Work textbooks published between 1988 and 1997. In their use of Agger's (1989) "critical theory of text," the authors exposed how Introduction to Social Work textbooks reproduced the interests of capitalism and patriarchy and at the same time marginalized what might be labeled as left-wing scholarship and theory. According to Agger, textbooks are not "merely empty forms, but rather delivery systems for political assumptions about the social world" (p. 365) that reinforce class, race, and gender inequalities.

A systematic examination of introductory social work textbooks is particularly relevant for the topic of men in social work. Male students who are unsure about their fit in what is perceived to be a "female-identified" profession may view the introductory textbook with particular interest. In addition, understanding how men are portrayed in social work textbooks has utility for social work pre-service programs. First, it has the potential to clarify the messages, implicit or otherwise, that beginning students receive

about the profession, thereby offering an entry into a conversation about motivations, intentions, and desires of men who choose social work as a major. Second, it might expose possible bias, prejudice, and oversights about men that social work educators may need to either resist or reinforce in their classrooms. Finally, it informs possible recruitment methods for those interested in increasing the number of males in social work. If introductory textbooks are the first written contacts that students have to the profession, the messages they reproduce and resist are worthy of exploration.



The present study used content analysis as its research methodology. As a research technique that codes written, verbal, or communication messages, content analysis is a systematic and objective means of describing and quantifying data (Sandelowski, 1995). Content analysis has been criticized as a reductionist technique that does not lend itself to detailed statistical analysis (Elo & Kyngas, 2007). To address the criticism, proponents of the research methodology have distinguished between manifest and latent processes. Whereas manifest content analysis refers to those elements that are present and countable, latent content analysis considers an interpretative reading of that data. Babbie (1998) calls for the need to use both whenever possible. Descriptive statistics do not necessarily reflect the nature of the data or variables. Latent content analysis deconstructs the data gathered in the manifest content analysis.

In the case of textbooks, one can make the case that content analysis as a research methodology has utility. More than a mere count of words or meaning units, it can usefully identify critical processes that underlie an author's intentions. It can expose the biases, prejudices, and oversights of authors and publishers (Busha & Harter, 1980). It is, in short, a passport to the authors' perspectives behind the words.

Sample Selection

A textbook publisher's representative provided a list of the top-selling textbooks for Introduction to Social Work courses. The following criteria were used to determine the sample set of textbooks: (a) It was a general, introductory text in social work that contained topics such as history of social work, knowledge, values and skills of generalist practice, and field of practice; (b) it was intended for use as a primary text for students in undergraduate BSW courses; (c) it was published in the last 10 years; and (d) it was the latest edition of the text. Using the above criteria, seven textbooks were chosen for the study.


Manifest Content Analysis

Manifest content analysis coding for the study was adapted from the model of Peterson and Kroner (1992). Texts were examined for instances in which a person was named and/or shown in an illustration. An illustration included any pictorial depiction of a person referred to in the text. Illustrations that did not feature one or more persons as a focal point were excluded. Portraits of historical figures were also excluded.

The sex of the person cited or imaged in the text was referenced initially as "male" or "female." Next, the reference was placed into four categories: (a) provider/practitioner, (b) client/consumer, (c) historical figure, and (d) all other citations of individuals. In addition to coding by quantity, the first two categories were given a context code, again based on the work of Peterson and Kroner (1992). An active/agent (A/A) code was assigned if the person represented was engaged in or initiating an activity (a worker initiating services with a client, for example). A passive/object (P/O) code indicated the recipient or benefactor of some action (a client receiving services, for example). A positive (Pos) coding was assigned when the portrayed behavior conveyed a positive connotation (a caption that shows a gay couple holding hands, for example). A negative (Neg) evaluation was given to a reference that connoted a lack of success and/or value (the photograph of a severely disordered person with schizophrenia, for example). A neutral (Neut) code indicated a reference or illustration was deemed neither positive nor negative according to the criteria stated above. For the category of historical figures, context codes did not apply; only the sex of the reference was counted. The citations in the category of "other" were discarded.

The researchers utilized two forms of data in the texts to conduct the manifest content analysis. First, to discern the lenses authors used to discuss the historical and contemporary conceptions of the profession, they coded each text's introductory chapter or chapters. The second data source for the manifest content analysis was a sampling of chapters for each text. Verbal and pictorial contents were coded for approximately 20% of the material, specifically, the 1st, 5th, 10th, 15th, 20th, and 25th pages of text in each sampled chapter. If a sampled page contained no text, the text on the following page was coded.

Latent Content Analysis

The latent content analysis involved an interpretation of the data. In particular, the researchers identified and examined the deeper contextual meanings embedded in the references and illustrations that served as the foci of the study. Researchers noted possible bias, oversimplification, or misrepresentation related to the references, illustrations, and each of the topics utilized in the study.

The researchers completed their latent content analysis by contextualizing gender in three additional textbook items: (a) all references to historical figures, (b) the textbook chapters devoted to issues of sexism and feminist practice, and (c) index references to topics related to the general area of gender and sex: "women," "men," "sexism," "feminism," "mothers," "fathers," and "gender." Both main index topics and subtopics were analyzed to determine possible areas of oversimplification or misrepresentation.

Inter-rater reliability. To address concerns of researcher bias, the study used two researchers who analyzed the texts independently. For a reference to count as "negative," for example, both researchers needed to agree. In addition, both researchers independently recorded the material for the latent content analysis. Any discrepancies in categorizations or interpretations were discussed until a consensus was reached.

Research Questions

The following research questions guided the manifest content analysis portion of the study:

Research Question 1: How many male providers and clients were represented, compared with females?

Research Question 2: Were male providers and clients represented more actively or passively than female providers and clients, respectively?

Research Question 3: Were male providers and clients represented more positively or negatively than female providers and clients, respectively?

Chi-square analyses were run to determine the proportion by gender of the above.

The following research questions guided the latent content analysis portion of the study:

Research Question 4: Were male providers and clients represented in ways that adhered to traditional or nontraditional sex roles?

Research Question 5: Were female providers and clients represented in ways that adhered to traditional or nontraditional sex roles?

Research Question 6: How were men, compared with women, represented in historical conceptions of the social work profession?

Manifest Content Analysis: Findings

Table 1 shows the total number of male and female references for both the categories of "providers" and "clients." The data set collapses text references and illustrations together. A chi-square analysis determined that the proportion of men and women referenced as providers versus clients was not significantly different.

Table 2 quantifies context codes based on agency (active vs. passive) and connotation (positive vs. negative) of social work provider references by gender. The data set collapses text references and illustrations. Neutral references were removed. A chi-square analysis showed that the proportion of male and female providers referenced as active and passive was not significantly different. Likewise, the proportion of male and female providers referenced as positive and negative was not significantly different.

Table 3 quantifies context codes based on agency (active vs. passive) and connotation (positive vs. negative) of client references by gender. The data set collapses text references and illustrations. Neutral references were removed. A chi-square analysis demonstrated that the proportion of male and female clients referenced as active and passive was not significantly different. The proportion of male and female clients referenced as positive and negative was significantly different.

The count of references in this content analysis study indicated few differences, statistically speaking, between how many and how men and women were represented in Introduction to Social Work textbooks. Men or women were not represented in greater numbers by role. Breaking this analysis down by provider references only, the results were similar. There were no gender differences indicated by agency, statistically speaking: Male and female providers were just as likely to be represented as active as they were passive. Likewise, male and female providers were just as likely to be represented as positive as they were negative. On the whole, text authors did not rely on sex-role differences in their portrayal of male and female providers.

Textual representation of clients did not follow the same course. Although gender differences were not indicated by agency, there was a difference, statistically speaking, when it came to client connotation. Male clients were more likely to be represented in a negative manner compared with female clients. A latent content analysis is needed to shed light on this finding, as well as the seeming notion that there were so few differences between male and female representation in these texts otherwise.

Latent Content Analysis: Findings

The latent content analysis involved an interpretation of the data. In particular, the researchers identified and examined the deeper contextual meanings embedded in the textbook references that served as the foci of the study. Researchers noted possible misrepresentations, oversimplifications, or omissions related to the references, illustrations, and three additional textbook items: (a) the discussion about historical figures, (b) the textbook chapters devoted to issues of sexism and feminist practice, and (c) the textbook chapters devoted to issues of sexism and feminist practice.


Misrepresentation was operationally defined as the distorted, false, or inaccurate portrayal of providers or clients and/or use of illustrations and textbook index references. Two examples of misrepresentation were found in the study. In both cases, the texts "read" on a surface level as gender neutral and even resistant to traditional, hegemonic sex-role stereotypes. Yet a deeper reading exposed misrepresentations that reinforced the very sex-role expectations that they presumed to contest.

The first example of misrepresentation that appeared in textbooks was the discrepancy between text references and photographs in their portrayal of occupational settings in the field. While the former made a conscious effort to avoid sex-typing specific job settings, the latter posed an explicit sex-stereotyped bias. For example, all textbook authors made a conscious effort to discuss professionals in various practice settings without attaching a gender-specific pronoun to them. By contrast, the photographs told a different story. Visual depictions of providers in the criminal justice chapters (parole officers, probation officers, prison workers, etc.) were exclusively male. However, although not exclusively, child welfare workers and school social workers tended to be depicted as female. The visual depictions and text references of social work administrators, by contrast, were more gender equitable. It appeared that there were just as many female social work administrators as male represented and discussed in the texts.

The second example of misrepresentation found in the sample occurred in the texts' discussion of historical figures in the social work profession in the United States. Although Jane Addams and Mary Richmond are commonly cited as founders of social work when discussing the origins of the profession, men predominate and are given credit for contributing to the evolution of the profession from the 1930s onward.

For example, one text discussed the contributions of Harry Hopkins toward the policies of President Franklin D. Roosevelt that brought relief to people during the Great Depression. However, the author failed to mention the work of Ms. Frances Perkins (a former social worker, appointed Secretary of Labor in 1933) whose work ultimately resulted in the Social Security Act of 1935, one of Roosevelt's programs under The New Deal (Kearns-Goodwin, 1994). Similarly, when discussing the 1996 landmark legislation of Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF) under President William J. Clinton, another text referenced the work of male members of Congress but failed to mention the contributions of Senator (and social worker) Barbara Mikulski. Women in general, and female social workers in particular, continued to influence the growth of the social work profession and social welfare policy long after the contributions of Jane Addams and Mary Richmond. Depicting them as prominent in the profession's origins, but nearly absent since that time, undermines their roles as policy and legislation shapers throughout the course of social work history while privileging the male presence and impact in the same.


For the purpose of this study, oversimplification was defined as the reduction of index topics and subtopics related to the general area of gender and sex into categories that do not accurately portray the complex nature of gender/sex representation. A prominent area of oversimplification appeared in the analysis of text indices. The researchers were particularly interested in discerning which gender-and-sex-speciftc topics textbook authors included in their indices and how the inclusion or exclusion of these topics might be perceived by readers.

A simple count of the number of index references revealed a discrepancy. The researchers noted the inclusion of the following main index topics related to women: "women," "sexism," "feminism," "mother," and "gender." Main topics related to men that were counted included only "men," which was indexed only once. All of the other female index topics were indexed at least twice, and in two instances ("women" and "gender"), 5 times.

Researchers further sampled subtopics for "women" and "men" in each of the textbook indices and observed that authors oversimplified gender-and-sex-specific topics. The subtopic under the one index reference "men" was "Men's Movement." Subtopics under "women" were extensive and included, but were not limited to, "sexual harassment," "aging," "risk of poverty," "single mothers," "domestic violence," "unemployment," and "mental illness."

The pattern revealed by textbook indices was to reduce the intricacies of issues related to men, limiting the various needs and challenges of this population to a social movement. Women, by contrast, were portrayed as victims and/or a marginalized, "special population." One area of focus where this discrepancy was particularly glaring was in the texts' discussion of elder abuse. The statistics and discussion of this topic featured women as the victims almost exclusively.


Omission was operationally defined in this study as the exclusion of information or references and the consequent inclusion of other information or references. Because of the scope of the study, the researchers read carefully the chapters related to sexism and feminist practice. In this reading, two examples of omission emerged.

In their discussion about sexism, authors on the whole failed to incorporate any issues men experience related to individualized and institutionalized sexism. One text offered a discussion concerning the inequities of child custody for men, but it was embedded in a larger discussion about social work's response to women's issues. In this omission, the authors suggested that the sole responsibility for combating sexism lay in the hands of women. By implication, men, viewed through this lens, have no constructive role in that process.

A second example of omission noted in the chapters about sexism related to the discussion of nontraditional workplace roles. Many of the texts discussed the needs and challenges of women who occupied nontraditional workplace roles as a concern for social workers. Fewer explored issues related to men who do the same. The texts that did reference men in nontraditional roles focused on occupations other than social work (nursing, elementary education, etc.).

Discussion of Manifest and Latent Content Analyses: The Erasure of Male Social Workers

The following section discusses responses to the aforementioned research questions. Taking into consideration how the manifest content and latent content analyses inform one another places the data in Agger's (1989) work on critical theory of text. Agger argues that when read deconstructively, textbooks reinforce the existing social order and, concomitantly, social identity inequalities that exist (Wachholz & Mullaly, 2000). In other words, a purely manifest content analysis indicates that Introduction to Social Work textbooks subvert the gender inequities that exist in the social work profession. A deeper reading produces a message that reproduces these very inequities.

The manifest content analysis revealed very few differences between how many and how male and female social work providers were portrayed in the texts. One reading of this phenomenon is an intentionality on the part of the authors to "de-gender" the profession. Using gender-neutral pronouns and ensuring that visual depictions and textual references are not constrained by sex and sex role are two manifestations of this de-gendering process. The message, in this case, is that male and female providers have equal access to job settings and opportunities within the profession. A male student who reads a text, then, receives the message that the profession is welcoming and inclusive for him. His sex remains invisible in this reading. It is neither an asset nor a liability.

The finding that male clients are rendered more negatively than female clients might reinforce this reading, as it adheres to the cultural script that a prominent role of the male social worker is to be mentor for male clients (Williams, 1995). The text authors, by propagating the cultural conception of men-at-risk, and depicting as many male social work providers as female social work providers to serve them, are, inadvertently or not, carving a niche for male social workers, offering them a culturally accepted role within the profession.

This agenda, however, is as constraining as it is inclusive, a notion that a latent content analysis can bring to light. The ideal that male social workers will serve as alternative role models to at-risk men, for example, is undergirded by hegemonic notions of masculinity. For example, it fails to take into consideration the possibility that some male clients might be more comfortable with female social workers and vice versa.

The latent content analysis further subverts what is read on the surface. If, as Agger (1989) argues, texts are delivery systems for political assumptions about the social world that largely reflect the interests of capitalism, patriarchy, and White male supremacy, it behooves us to examine Introduction to Social Work texts from a wider lens. While on the surface it may appear that men and women are represented equitably, beneath that surface the texts reproduce the interests of patriarchy, and in the process, erase male social workers. In this subversive reading, gender and sex are constraining forces that implicitly tell the reader that men have no place in the profession by virtue of their gender. A few examples will explicate this point.

Male readers who, through text images, "see themselves" in criminal justice-oriented roles and do not "see themselves" in child welfare and school social work roles are given the implicit message that social work is gendered. There are certain roles that are culturally accepted for men and other roles that are culturally accepted for women. By the same token, the gender-neutralized depictions of administrative roles conceal an important reality of social work that has been discussed in the literature: the pressure male social workers experience to move from direct practice to administrative roles. In this case, the equitable manner in which texts represent administrators, while a positive message for women, fails to prepare men for the very real possibility that they will, by virtue of being coded "male," in Christine Williams's (1995) words, "ride the glass escalator."

The erasure of women from discussions of social work history appears to be further evidence of the privileging of patriarchy revealed in the texts. However, a deeper reading erases male social workers from the picture as well. The exclusion of prominent female social workers, beyond Jane Addams and Mary Richmond, creates a mothering paradigm for the reader. It is as if women gave birth to their "baby" (the profession), which then grew up as a male. Yet a latent content analysis fails to even privilege the male social worker in this rendering. Men referenced in the texts who advanced the interests of social work were all men of power (presidents and legislators, for example), who were not coded as social workers. Male students who read the texts are given the message that to shape policy and legislation, they must assume positions that have traditionally reinforced patriarchal norms. Thus, a double erasure results: Men are neither trendsetters for the origins of the profession (as Jane Addams or Mary Richmond were) nor social workers who take the baton and advance the interests of the profession.

Further evidence of this erasure of men can be viewed in the latent content analysis of indices. The victim-focused subtopics under the index heading "women" may be interpreted as the social work profession mirroring and perpetuating a patriarchal culture. Are female clients only seen as victims in the profession? Where do male clients fit into this structure?

The reliance on the women-as-victim narrative to the exclusion of men conceals the fact that men can be and also are victims. Furthermore, it automatically produces the dichotomy that reinforces the male-as-victimizer paradigm. The message is that if men do not, on the whole, experience risks and vulnerabilities related to sexual harassment, aging, and domestic violence, they must be the agents that perpetrate these conditions.

The index analysis additionally reveals a discrepancy in the discussion of social movements as they relate to gender and sex. All texts devoted a portion of their chapters on sexism to the feminist movement. Equal coverage was not given to the men's movement, however. In fact, only one text referenced it. The discussion of the movement in that text was more a footnote rather than a reasoned and extensive treatise about the impact of the movement on social work practice and policy. This discrepancy may not be surprising, given its emerging and fluid identity as a social movement, compared with feminism. Coupled with the aforementioned omission of men's relationship to sexism, other than being associated with the patriarchy, it conceals the notion that men have a place in any social movement related to the rights of men or women. Men are neither affected by nor can affect sexism in society. Furthermore, the discussion of sexism and social movements fail to take into account the intersections of race, sexual orientation, and other social identities. The implicit suggestion is that there are certain groups of men (gay men, for example) who are vulnerable and marginalized as a result of being associated with the "feminine."

A final example of the erasure of male social workers in these texts relates to their exclusion in the narrative about men and women working in nontraditional occupations.

The implicit message is that male social workers do not experience the same challenges that men in other female-identified professions such as nursing and elementary education do. Similarly, this omission implies that the needs of male and female social workers are the same. For example, what are the potential limitations and strengths of a male social work provider working with a female client and vice versa? What pressures do male social workers experience in the field that, according to demographic studies, keeps their numbers so low? Perhaps the fact that Introduction to Social Work texts tend not to be practice-oriented explains this omission. However, to discuss males who work in nontraditional occupations, as one text does, and not reference male social workers is worthy of a critical reader's attention.

Conclusion: Implications, Limitations, and Areas of Future Research

The findings of the content analysis conducted on seven Introduction to Social Work textbooks confirm Agger's (1989) "critical theory of text." A manifest content analysis signifies that men and women are, on the whole, equally represented as clients and providers, delivering the explicit message that the social work profession subverts patriarchal norms. Such a reading adheres to the values of a profession committed to advancing the needs of vulnerable and exploited populations and actively working to avoid discrimination based on any social identity, expectations about which the texts are quite explicit in their chapters related to the values and ethics of the profession. Yet a reading underneath the text reveals what might be construed as a violation of these norms. A latent content analysis reveals that the texts erase men from the profession, thereby placing them within the patriarchal narrative that the profession purports to oppose.

What implications does this study have for social work educators and textbook authors? Instructors who teach introductory courses have a responsibility to "teach against the text," pointing out to their students the gaps, limitations, and omissions related to the narrative around men. Specifically, they might assign additional articles as readings designed to compensate for the lack of material (material on male social workers throughout history, men as victims, the men's movement and its relationship to feminism, to name a few).

On a more informal and intuitive level, social work educators at the introductory level would do well to "gender" their classrooms in a way that does not privilege men. For example, engaging in discussion about the gender dynamics playing out in the classroom as a replication or contestation of the profession or society in general would be a worthwhile endeavor. Raising the notion that men in social work positions experience different and varied pressures than women in those positions is yet another way to "bring men back into the text."

Introduction to Social Work instructors are often perceived as the gateway into the profession for students who are "straddling the fence" about the major. Students look to these instructors not only as experts, as conveyers of knowledge, but also as signifies of the values and norms of the profession. Students are often asked, for example, "Why did you choose this major?" A gendered discussion around this question could elicit very real risks and vulnerabilities males (and females) have about the profession.

It is doubtful that much could be done to change social work textbook authors' perceptions about these issues, given that they are driven by the market. As Apple and Christian-Smith (1991) stated, "[Textbooks are] geared to what will sell, not necessarily to what is important to know" (p. 31). Yet instructors who review social work textbooks for publishers might make their concerns about the gender misrepresentation known. More pragmatically, perhaps, a critical review of the practice-related portions of these texts can reveal the inadequacies they contain in speaking to the needs and challenges of men intending to be social workers. If introductory social work textbooks are designed as gateways for students intending to practice, a broader critique about how practical they are in preparing students in general for a profession that is already gendered would be in order.

Although this study demonstrates some deficits and opportunities for improvement in representing men in more visible and meaningful ways in Introduction to Social Work texts, it falls prey to the limitations inherent in any content analysis. Busha and Harter (1980), for example, warn against authors who attempt to draw meaningful inferences about relationships and impacts implied in a study. The sheer volume of data to be coded and analyzed presents challenges to researchers who must make unbiased decisions about what is significant or not to the text reader (Elo & Kyngas, 2007).

Another limitation that might affect the conclusions raised in this study involves the sample and how it was utilized. The researchers acknowledge that the selection process may not have captured all of the most influential social work texts used in schools of social work. The decision about what to code in the texts, though based on a previous study, was arbitrary. An incomplete reading of a text inadvertently elevates material that may be less relevant, while ignoring material that may be more relevant.

Finally, the study is based on an assumption that students interact with texts in a meaningful, knowledge-producing manner. It is possible that students do not get their messages about a profession at all from academic textbooks, but from other venues. Furthermore, none of the texts sampled in the study were e-texts, a trend that many textbook companies are moving toward. Students might interact differently with e-books than hard copies. A recommended area of future research, consequently, might be qualitative and quantitative studies of students of both sexes about their perceptions and impressions of text material. The perceptions of Introduction to Social Work instructors, particularly related to the decisions they make in choosing material for their students, is also a worthy topic of exploration.

As gatekeepers of the profession, social work instructors of introductory courses and textbook authors have power in relation to their students. The readings they assign from their texts, the topics they choose to lift out, and the manner in which these topics are discussed all play a role in how their students view the profession. The introductory textbook is especially important as it is often the first contact a student has with the field and possibly shapes a long-lasting impression. It is incumbent on social work instructors who use these texts and the authors who write them to view their work as a responsibility to their students/readers. How they represent men in the profession without reinforcing the privilege that inherently comes with their sex and gender status are matters that cannot be erased.

DOI: 10.1177/1060826515582486

Declaration of Conflicting Interests

The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.


The author(s) received no financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.


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Mark A. Giesler, PhD, LMSW, is an associate professor of social work at Saginaw Valley State University who publishes on topics related to men on the margins of social and sexual identities.

Teresa Beadlescomb, LMSW, is an assistant professor of social work at Saginaw Valley State University whose research and practice interests include drug treatment courts for youth and families.

Mark A. Giesler (1) and Teresa Beadlescomb (1)

(1) Saginaw Valley State University, University Center, Ml, USA

Corresponding Author: Mark A. Giesler, Department of Social Work, Saginaw Valley State University, 7400 Bay Road, HHS 238, University Center, MI 48710, USA.

Table 1. Male and Female References by Role.

             Males   Females   Statistic     p value

Providers      68       132    2.87570743   .08992545
Clients       197       284
Total         265       416

* p < .05.

Table 2. Provider References According to Agency and Connotation.

           Males   Females   Statistic    p value

Active      63       120     .17429958   .67631857
Passive      5       12
Total       68       132
Positive    53       98      .19222877   .66106807
Negative     7       16
Total       60       114

* p < .05.

Table 3. Client References According to Agency and Connotation.

           Males   Females   Statistic      p value

Active      101       125    2.8246057    .09282969
Passive      92       156
Total       193       281
Positive     67       124    4.52880848   .03332882 *
Negative     90       107
Total       157       231

* p < .05.
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Author:Giesler, Mark A.; Beadlescomb, Teresa
Publication:The Journal of Men's Studies
Article Type:Report
Date:Mar 22, 2015
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