Shawn Cassiman

Contact Information

Curriculum Vita

Shawn Cassiman

Associate Professor

  • Full-Time Faculty


Dr. Cassiman joined the department in 2007. Dr. Cassiman’s research is most concerned with the impact of poverty and oppression among marginalized populations, primarily women, and with the constructs, particularly discursive constructs, societies use to explain or make meaning of oppression in designing social welfare policy. She is also interested in how resistance is conceptualized and expressed among populations. This interest in meaning making and the powerful nature of language and theorizing proves relevant to all of her research projects. She has published several articles and 2 book chapters that feature discourse or narrative analysis in social work research.

Faculty Perspective

I enjoy opportunities to bring research and community activities together in the classroom. My research and activism inform my teaching, and my students’ engagement contributes to my activities in the community. I am committed to teaching about the liberatory potential of social work, as well as the challenges faced by social work, social workers and those we stand in solidarity with.


  • Ph.D., Social Welfare, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2008.
  • M.S.S.W., School of Social Work, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2004.
  • B.S., Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Superior, 2002.

Professional Activities

  • International Federation of Social Work
  • Motherhood Initiative for Research and Community Involvement
  • North American Global Studies Association
  • Society for the Study of Social Problems

Research Interests

  • Discourse
  • Poverty
  • Neoliberal Globalization
  • New Social Movements
  • Resistance
  • Community Organizing
  • Labor and Social Work
  • Structural Social Work

Selected Publications


Caroline Merrithew, Organizer. Panelists: Jane Latour, Mimi Abramovitz & Cassiman, S. A. (October, 2012). Panel presentation. "'We Don’t Want Any Unions Here': Defining the 99%." The 34th Annual North American Labor History Conference, Detroit, MI.

Cassiman, S. A., Abney-Korn, K., & Fleetham, D. (August, 2012). "Imagination as Revolution: A Case Study." Paper presented to the Society for the Study of Social Problems, 62nd Annual Meeting, Denver, CO.

Cassiman, S. A. (July, 2012). "Neoliberalism, Poverty and Austerity: What role for Social Work." Poster. Social Work Social Development 2012: Action and Impact, Stockholm, Sweden.

Abney-Korn, K., Cassiman, S. A., & Fleetham, D. (June 15, 2012). "'Occupying' on Campus: Student and Faculty Experiences. Southwestern Ohio Council on Higher Education." Dayton, OH. (Presenters in alphabetical order.)

Abney-Korn, K., Cassiman, S. A., & Fleetham, D. (May, 2012). "While We Were Sleeping: From Dystopia to Global Awakening." Global Studies Association, Victoria, BC, Canada. (Presenters in alphabetical order.)

Cassiman, S. A. (August, 2011). "Crossing Disciplinary Boundaries: Sociology and Social Work." Society for the Study of Social Problems, Las Vegas, NV.

Cassiman, S. A. (May 2010). "Legacy of the 'Welfare Queen': Contemporary budget priorities meet the risk/fear discourse." 6th International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry, Urbana/Champaign, IL.


Abney-Korn, K., Cassiman, S. A., & Fleetham, D. (Forthcoming, Spring 2013). "While we were sleeping: From dystopia to global awakening." Perspectives on Global Development and Technology, 12: 1-2, p. 80-97. (Authors in alphabetical order.)

Parish, S.L., Rose, R.A., Dababnah, S., Yoo, J., Cassiman, S.A. (2011) "State-level income inequality and family burden of US families raising children with special health care needs." Social Science & Medicine (2011), doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2011.10.035

Cassiman, S. A. (2009) "Compass teaching and learning guide for: Resisting the neo liberal poverty discourse: On constructing deadbeat dads and welfare queens." Sociology Compass, 3, (2009):10.1111/j.1751-9020.2009.00220.x.

Cassiman, S. A. (2008). "Resisting the neo-liberal poverty discourse: On constructing deadbeat dads and welfare queens." Sociology Compass, 2/5 (2008): 1690–1700, 10.1111/j.1751-9020.2008.00159.x

Parish, S.L., Magaña, S., & Cassiman, S.A. (2008). "It's just that much harder: Multi-layered hardship experiences of low-income mothers with disabilities." Affilia, 23, 51-65

Magaña, S., Parish, S.L., & Cassiman, S.A. (2008). "Policy lessons from low-income mothers with disabilities." Journal of Women Politics and Policy, 29, 181-206.

Cassiman, S. A. (2008). "Poverty, disability, resistance: Articulating global social works." 19th World Conference of Social Work, International Federation of Social Work: Conference Proceedings. Salvador, Bahia Brazil.

Cassiman, S. A. (2006). "Of witches, welfare queens and the disaster named poverty: The search for a counter-narrative." Journal of Poverty, 10, 51-66.