A social work professor at Idaho State University has published a 4,357-word paper in an academic journal urging social workers to treat people who pretend they are vampires in a totally sober and dignified manner.
The taxpayer-funded professor is DJ Williams.
Williams’s treatise is entitled: “Do We Always Practice What we Preach? Real Vampires’ Fears of Coming Out of the Coffin to Social Workers and Helping Professionals.”
The co-author of the paper is Emily E. Prior, an adjunct sociology professor at College of the Canyons, a two-year community college near Los Angeles, Calif.
There is a large subculture of people who self-identify as blood-sucking creatures of the night, Williams claims, and working with these people presents a challenge for social workers and other professionals.
“We live in an age of technology and live in a time when people can select new, alternate identities to fit how they understand themselves better,” the professor told Boise CBS affiliate KBOI-TV.
“A lot of people probably assume they are younger kids or young people who watch ‘Twilight’ or other pop-culture types of things,” Williams explained. “Yet, the real vampire community, which is self-defined by people who claim the need for extra energy (either blood or psychic energy), tend not to fit that demographic stereotype.”
These people who believe they are animated corpses with pointy, canine teeth are just regular folks with regular problems, Williams urged. Also, social workers should educated themselves about America’s pretend undead vampire subculture.
“People with alternative identities have the same set of issues that everybody has,” he told the Boise CBS affiliate. People of all kinds sometimes struggle with relationship issues or have a death in (the) family or struggles with career and job-type issues.”
The lengthy article by Williams and Prior appears in the current issue of Critical Social Work, “an interdisciplinary journal dedicated to social justice” produced by the University of Windsor, a public school in Canada.
“This study focuses on ‘real vampires,’ in contrast to lifestyle vampires,” the authors carefully stipulate. “While lifestyle vampires identify in various ways with the persona of mythical vampires, the defining feature of real vampirism centers on claims of needing extra energy regularly in order to sustain health.”
According to the abstract, results from the study “suggest that nearly all participants were distrustful of social workers and helping professionals and preferred to ‘stay in the coffin’ for fear of being misunderstood, labeled, and potentially having to face severe repercussions to their lives.”
In a brief section entitled “Acknowledgement,” Williams and Prior thank “the Atlanta Vampire Alliance for specific advice and support.”
The Atlanta Vampire Alliance exists to “promote unity in the greater Atlanta, Georgia real Vampire Community while being available to the newly awakened to encourage self-awareness and responsibility.”
An extensive discussion forum on the group’s website consists of dozens of topics and threads including “Dealing With Negative Publicity?” as well as “Awakening: Unknowing Friends See Me In Dreams As A Vampire” and “Yes, I Am An Evil Vampire.”
Williams noted that the pretend-vampire subjects he interviewed for his paper hoped they would not be judged as crazy by the rest of America.