Masters Thesis

Social worker advocacy for homeless population in the city of Fresno and ethical challenges faced by social workers

Homelessness in Fresno is a commonality within the city. Criminalization of homelessness is also common but on worldwide scale. The purpose of this thesis is to look at the perspective of social workers and their application of their ethical principles when dealing with a vulnerable population and the criminalization of said vulnerable population. I will use several theoretical concepts such as Michel Foucault’s concept of the panopticon and the discipline and punishment of vulnerable populations, as well as Edward Soja’s concept of spatial justice, which incorporates social justice with our relationship to public and private geographical spaces. I believe that the problem is that there is not an appropriate safety net for homeless peoples in Fresno which is resulting in the criminalization of homelessness. The plan for this research study is to get the perspective of social workers and hear about their experiences about being ethically challenged when working with marginalized communities, in this case homeless people.

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