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Lecture 7

Lecture 7 Social Work with Communities.docx

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Social Work
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Sandra Preston

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1 Social Work 1A06: Introduction to Social Work Oct. 29 2012 Lecture 7: Social Work with Communities Mezzo and Macro Practices - Mezzo o Community development work - Macro o Social policies What is Community? - What defines communities? o Geography  City or town  Neighbourhood o Meaning  Clubs, religious community, sports fans  All diff kinds of communities develop around meaning  People come together because of ideas or because of a common interest o Oppression  Group experiencing oppression together = community o Social bonds – of interest, obligation and responsibility  E.g. social worker belonging to a social work club  Of interest and of responsibility o Shared concerns about social issues  Activist groups Mezzo Social Work - Skills required to work with communities similar to skills of social work with individuals but applied to a community - Oppression and Power are still important issues in community o Community capacity cannot develop if these are not addressed - We collaborate with community members to collectively make change – to do this we must understand our role o Knowing who you are and where you stand in power relationships Types of community? - Communities of place - Communities of meaning - Communities of meaning/oppression 2 - Intentional communities o Communities people build on purpose Aspects of Community - Leadership o Informal and/or formal leaders - Mission o Lots do, like intentional or meaning communitites o Some don’t – neighboughood - Boundaries o May be physical or created some other way  E.g. oppression  E.g. club – rules of membership  Religious community – religious folks only - Social capital o Those resources that are things like relas, skills, understanding, history  E.g. big blackout – neighbourhood got together and bbqed all th foods b4 it went bad  How come they could do that? o Because relas. o Relas = leverage in a crisis to deal with whatever issue comes up - Social glue o Bonds that connect individuals  Keeps the relas together  Solid, connected - Social bridges o Links that connect people in groups with the outside world  Eg. Neighbourhood committee = connection to city hall - Stories o History  Oral history that we share with eachother in community - Celebration/tragedy o Shared among communities - Collective efforts o Eg. Shovelling snow in the neighb – working together - Political identity Functions of Community - Local participation in production/dist/consumption o Economics, education, religion, politics o Opportunity to be involved on a local level 3  Eg. Art Crawl  Bringing economic participation into a neighbourhood  To create aspects of production, consumerism etc. - Opportunities for Socialization - Social control to community norms o E.g. All the parents in a neighbourhood watch out for all the kids in the neighbourhood – everyone policies the kids to make sure they aren’t fooling around o Can be pos or neg social control - Mutual support - Acts as mediator/link btw personal and soc o Your connection to a broader world - Social participation – membership - Provides a sense of self and social meaning o We know who we are by the communities we belong to – social identity theory Community Development Theorist – Saul Alinsky - Approach is confrontational and strategic o Community dev is about contfronting power o Get enough people together – confront o Process by which those who do not have power, get power - Morality is for the rich o Only they can afford to have morals o Because, the only way to win power is to fight dirty  Do whatever you have to to get the job done - Worked in NA cities like Chicago and Detroit Community development Theorist – Paulo Freire - Worked in Brazil with some of the poorest people there - Middle class academic - Felt that education/pop education was the way to create community and to help those without power to gain power o Gain power over naming their own experience  Often other people examine and name and describe the poor experience, the powerless need to do it themselves  Give people the language and the capacity to describe their own world
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