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A PHENOMENOLOGICAL STUDY: THE PERCEIVED EFFECTS OF A POVERTY SIMULATION ON GOVERNMENTAL EMPLOYEES’ ATTITUDES AND SOCIAL EMPATHY TOWARD INDIVIDUALS LIVING IN POVERTY

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Date Issued:
2022
Abstract/Description:
The problem of the current study was the challenges experienced by those living in poverty can be propagated by poor attitudes and lack of empathy among the social service workers tasked with helping them. A key factor in individuals’ attitudes and empathy are their understanding of the experiences of others, as well as an awareness of their personal biases. While poverty simulations can help increase individuals’ awareness of personal biases and difficulties experienced by individuals living in poverty (ILP), little was known about how poverty simulations may influence the perceived social empathy and attitudes of participants who work for local government organizations. Accordingly, the purpose of the current phenomenological study was to examine the perceived effects of a poverty simulation on social service providers working for a local governmental agency tasked with distributing funds to assist ILPs. Specifically, the researcher explored participants’ perceptions of changes in social empathy and attitudes toward ILPs following participation in the Cost of Poverty Experience (COPE) poverty simulation exercise. Data were collected via semi structured interviews with 10 social service providers employed at the study site location, who had completed the COPE poverty simulation within the last 6 years. Data were analyzed following Groenewald’s approach to phenomenological analysis. The themes included: Participation in the COPE simulation influenced participants’ attitudes, participation in the COPE simulation influenced participants’ social empathy, and the system is broken, but participants feel disempowered to change it. The subthemes included: Developed an understanding of system flaws, developed an understanding of struggles faced by ILPs, uncovered personal attitudes/biases, the COPE simulation produced emotional reactions among participants, and the COPE simulation created empathy through simulated experiences of poverty.
Title: A PHENOMENOLOGICAL STUDY: THE PERCEIVED EFFECTS OF A POVERTY SIMULATION ON GOVERNMENTAL EMPLOYEES’ ATTITUDES AND SOCIAL EMPATHY TOWARD INDIVIDUALS LIVING IN POVERTY.
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Name(s): Green, James E. , author
Bryan, Valerie, Thesis advisor
Florida Atlantic University, Degree grantor
Department of Educational Leadership and Research Methodology
Charles E. Schmidt College of Science
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Electronic Thesis Or Dissertation
Date Created: 2022
Date Issued: 2022
Publisher: Florida Atlantic University
Place of Publication: Boca Raton, Fla.
Physical Form: application/pdf
Extent: 132 p.
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: The problem of the current study was the challenges experienced by those living in poverty can be propagated by poor attitudes and lack of empathy among the social service workers tasked with helping them. A key factor in individuals’ attitudes and empathy are their understanding of the experiences of others, as well as an awareness of their personal biases. While poverty simulations can help increase individuals’ awareness of personal biases and difficulties experienced by individuals living in poverty (ILP), little was known about how poverty simulations may influence the perceived social empathy and attitudes of participants who work for local government organizations. Accordingly, the purpose of the current phenomenological study was to examine the perceived effects of a poverty simulation on social service providers working for a local governmental agency tasked with distributing funds to assist ILPs. Specifically, the researcher explored participants’ perceptions of changes in social empathy and attitudes toward ILPs following participation in the Cost of Poverty Experience (COPE) poverty simulation exercise. Data were collected via semi structured interviews with 10 social service providers employed at the study site location, who had completed the COPE poverty simulation within the last 6 years. Data were analyzed following Groenewald’s approach to phenomenological analysis. The themes included: Participation in the COPE simulation influenced participants’ attitudes, participation in the COPE simulation influenced participants’ social empathy, and the system is broken, but participants feel disempowered to change it. The subthemes included: Developed an understanding of system flaws, developed an understanding of struggles faced by ILPs, uncovered personal attitudes/biases, the COPE simulation produced emotional reactions among participants, and the COPE simulation created empathy through simulated experiences of poverty.
Identifier: FA00013989 (IID)
Degree granted: Dissertation (Ph.D.)--Florida Atlantic University, 2022.
Collection: FAU Electronic Theses and Dissertations Collection
Note(s): Includes bibliography.
Subject(s): Poverty
Empathy
Phenomenology
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fau/fd/FA00013989
Use and Reproduction: Copyright © is held by the author with permission granted to Florida Atlantic University to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Use and Reproduction: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
Host Institution: FAU
Is Part of Series: Florida Atlantic University Digital Library Collections.