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Sociology 1020

S.W. 2204 - SECTION I: Introduction Ethics, History and Oppression 1 Unit 1- INTRODUCTION: The Nature, Purpose and Focus of the Social Work Profession Learning Expectations – TO INCREASE OUR UNDERSTANDING OF… 1. Canadian SW context, 2. … needs and concerns, 3. common human needs, 4. Development, to help identify need, 5. of powerlessness and human need, 6. Human diversity and its use in identifying human need, 7. … as well as social systems and identifying human need and 8. …Social Functioning as focus of SW Please Note: When I put square brackets around words or phrases, that means it is [my word, phrase or opinion], for clarification purposes. The Canadian SW context includes… - Diversity - Geographical vastness - Pluralism [many groupings] - Changing society, with many values and perspectives These factors have influenced (SW) Social Work practice, the social welfare system and the provision of social services In Turner’s 1999 edited work, it is noted “…each first Nations culture has its own assumptions, values, beliefs, ways of thinking and living…” • Shapes S.W. practice with First Nations clients [diversity within diversity] • Helps to clarify how limiting the [past] Eurocentric assumptions and values have been • … AND means that SW Needs to be more inclusive in its orientation Diversity has also been influenced by geography and the creation of regional parties Turner notes, paradoxically, that within and above the differences, there are common values, concerns and commitments – the “Canadian Persona” is therefore a position of differences and a respect for these differences THIS [PARTIALLY] ANSWERS THE QUESTION of “… WHAT is the Canadian context?” The WHY of social work practice, is: “AS A RESPONSE TO CONCERN AND NEED” • From this perspective, Social Workers can “start where the client is”… where needs are felt From A Concern To A Need… • Some concerns might include: that a son is doing poorly at school; there are insufficient resources for local family issues. These are example of individuals experiencing conflict with one social system or another So, what’s a ‘Concern’ >>> “something is not right” – [I’m worried - something needs to change/improve or, “My needs are not being met here”] • Can be directed at self and/or others • Usually affects the relationship with individuals or systems [larger groupings] Notes from Johnson, Chap 1 Compiled by Prof. C. Levy, for September-2010 S.W. 2204 - SECTION I: Introduction Ethics, History and Oppression 2 Unit 1- INTRODUCTION: The Nature, Purpose and Focus of the Social Work Profession • All behaviour has a purpose/meaning – expressed needs come out of concerns felt • NEEDS are expressed through behaviour And Needs are – “that which an individual or a system requires in order to function reasonably well” o Client has a “felt need” which also deserves respect & attention o Sometimes these aren’t identical [perceived/recognized and felt] o Still, SW tries to “start where the client is” [from their point of view] • In assessing individual needs, the two-way interactions with the various social systems cannot be ignored Common Human Needs  In Charlotte Towle’s 1945 classic text, “Common Human Needs”, she identifies four elements which must be met BEFORE any societal needs can be addressed: Physical Welfare, 2. Opportunity for emotional & intellectual growth, 3. Relationships with others and 4. Provision of spiritual needs  All are relative [slightly different] to age & development  Similarly, Abraham Maslowe’s “Hierarchy of needs”, in order of their importance, 1. Physiological [absolutely necessary] 2. Safety 3. Belonging & love 4. Esteem 5. Self-Actualization 6. Cognitive understanding of self & others [ideal]  Each of Maslowe’s needs can only be addressed after the previous needs have been met – [HOWEVER, NEEDS CAN BE RE-VISITED] SW understands that both individuals & groups must feel that they have the power to meet their needs [AN INITIAL PART OF EMPOWERMENT – see last Unit, “Feminist Theory”]  Amidst Canada’s diverse population, many individuals and groups perceive a power inequity - Leading to feelings of helplessness and hopelessness o This leads the SW profession to find ways of regaining hope, for… [Empowerment]  Locus of power [control]  Power within a group [family, work group]  “ with others [everyday interpersonal]  And over others [when leadership is required] Notes from Johnson, Chap 1 Compiled by Prof. C. Levy, for September-2010 S.W. 2204 - SECTION I: Introduction Ethics, History and
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