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Chapter 2

SW 312 Chapter Notes - Chapter 2: John Wiley & Sons, Social Constructionism, Racism


Department
Social Work
Course Code
SW 312
Professor
Richard Tyler- Walker, Jr.
Chapter
2

Page:
of 7
Chapter 2: Theoretical Foundations for Multicultural Social Work Practice
Theoretical Perspectives for Competent Multicultural Social Work Practice
These perspectives are foundational in developing the knowledge, skills, and values that
inform and undergird culturally competent social work practice
They enable the social worker to:
oUnderstand difference, diversity, and distinctiveness in cultural perspectives,
worldviews, and ways of living.
oUnderstand the experience of oppression, devaluation, and exploitation endured
by those seen as belonging to distinct racial, ethnic, and cultural groups
oUnderstand the reality for populations whose members experience a
disproportionate share of social, political, and economic vulnerabilities.
These perspectives complement each other by emphasizing different aspects of the
domain of multicultural social work
Ecological Systems Perspective
Also called ecosystems framework
Views individuals and families within the context of their transactions with a variety of
biological, psychological, social, and cultural environment.
Can focus on adaptive (and maladaptive) transactions between people and between
people and environments
Recognizes that both the individual and the environment at every level (biological,
psychological, social, and cultural) are constantly changing and adapting
Individuals and families are understood in terms of their physical and geographical
location or habit within their environment
Environment means: physical/geographic location, culture, economics, class location,
ethnic and racial identity, etc.
Enabling niche: a good niche that avails the occupant the right of equal opportunity to
educational and economic resources
Entrapping niche: contains elements that rob one of self-affirming power and further
blocks one from the resources needed to acquire that power
oPeople in an entrapping niche are those with a vulnerable status
Provides a framework for addressing issues of diversity, marginalization, and oppression
Can ground intervention strategies in the following practice principles:
Sue, D. W., Rasheed, M. N., & Rasheed, J. M. (2016). Theoretical foundations for multicultural
social work practice. Multicultural social work practice. (pp. 29-58).
Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
find more resources at oneclass.com
find more resources at oneclass.com
oIndividual or family problems are not conceived as pathology.
oIntervention strategies should acknowledge and make use of the natural systems
(community, family, and cultural networks) that are part of the client’s ecological
space.
oThe focus of intervention should be on enhancing the goodness of fit between the
client and the environment through influencing the social, physical, and economic
resources in the environment to meet the client’s needs as well as influencing
organizations and government entities to develop more responsive policies,
programs, and legislation.
Strengths Perspective
Shifts the focus from psychological and social pathology to affirming and working with
strengths found both in people seeking help and in their environments
Strengths: resources and assets available to a person
Gives attention to clients’ basic dignity and to the resilience that individual clients exhibit
as they strive to overcome the challenges in their lives
Six principles are the philosophical underpinning of this perspective:
oEvery individual, group, family, and community has strengths.
oTrauma and abuse, illness, and struggle may be injurious but they may also be
sources of challenge and opportunity.
oAssume that you do not know the upper limits of the capacity to grow and change
and take individual, group, and community aspirations seriously.
oWe best serve clients by collaborating with them.
oEvery environment is full of resources.
oCaring, Caretaking, and Context.
Shifts the focus away from the specific negative, debilitating stereotypes and cultural
narratives that may be associated with those who are culturally different to narratives of
strength and resilience.
Creates a space where new, more empowering counternarratives of culture, personal and
group competencies, and resilience can be spoken and heard.
Social Justice Perspective
Core to social work
Reflected in the 2008 code of Ethics of NASW
Sue, D. W., Rasheed, M. N., & Rasheed, J. M. (2016). Theoretical foundations for multicultural
social work practice. Multicultural social work practice. (pp. 29-58).
Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
find more resources at oneclass.com
find more resources at oneclass.com
The social work profession has historically challenged conditions of unemployment,
poverty, discrimination, inequitable distribution of social and economic resources
necessary to meet basic human needs, and other forms of social injustice
There is not a common, universal, and accepted definition of social justice
oThere are differing and sometimes competing political and philosophical views of
what social justice comprises
Also important is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (United Nations, 1948)
oAlso other similar documents are important
Common themes:
oHuman rights are inherent to each individual
oHuman rights are universal regardless of race, culture, social status, political
affiliation, religion, gender, or other social group membership.
oHuman rights are inalienable and cannot be taken away or withheld for any
reason.
oHuman rights are indivisible in that humans are entitled to freedom, security, and
a decent standard of living.
Critical Perspective
Represents a synthesis of postmodern theory, social constructionism, narrative theory,
critical social science, conflict theory, radical feminist theory, critical race theory, and
antiracist and anti-oppressive theory
Critical social work practice theory
Social constructionism focuses on how a person “languages” his or her experience, and
on the meaning derived from those language events
There is acknowledgement that the meaning of social problems is socially constructed,
but that one must give primary attention to the elite’s in problem construction
This perspective argues that our views of problems that exist in society have been
distorted by the power relations involved in the construction of the problems
Splits the social order into two groups:
oThe dominant
oThe subordinate
A multicultural social worker need to give attention to the social, political, and economic
power relationships within the social order
Sue, D. W., Rasheed, M. N., & Rasheed, J. M. (2016). Theoretical foundations for multicultural
social work practice. Multicultural social work practice. (pp. 29-58).
Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
find more resources at oneclass.com
find more resources at oneclass.com