Southeast Missouri State University
Department of Social Work Course No. SW 308
Title: Human Behavior and Social Environment II Instructor: Jack L. Stokes
Office 210C Crisp Hall Office Phone 651-2714
E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org Office Hours TBA or by appt.
I. Catalogue Description:
Introduces students to knowledge, theories, and concepts about human behavior within the context of groups, organizations, and communities. 3 Credit hours
II. Prerequisites: SW307
III. Course Purpose and Objectives:
The course purpose is to prepare students for generalist social work practice through the acquisition of knowledge, theories, and concepts about human behavior in reciprocal relationships and interaction with the social environment in the context of groups, organizations and communities. The course explores relevant knowledge and theory with emphasis on empirically based sociological, psychological, organizational, and community theory as well as systems and ecological theories.
Students will explore reciprocal interaction between and among groups, societies and economic systems and the ways in which this interaction influences the achievement and maintenance of health and well being, and learn human behavior content to prepare for advocacy work.
Upon successful completion of this course students will be able to:
A. Understand the relationship between social work values and the selection, acquisition and application of knowledge and theory related to groups, organizations and communities systems for generalist practice.
B. Integrate relevant empirical theories and knowledge about the interaction between and among systems at mezzo and macro levels and the subsequent effect of these interactions on human behavior and access to resources
C. Understand the reciprocal relationships between human behavior and environments as they relate to group, organizational and community systems.
D. Understand the dynamic relationship between ethnic, social and cultural diversity and human behavior in group, organizational and community systems with emphasis on populations at risk including women, age, class, color, gender, marital status, national origin, religion, sex, race, culture, family structure, disabilities, and sexual orientation.
E. Recognize the ways in which group, organizational and community systems affect the achievement and maintenance of health and well being among their members.
F. Acquire the knowledge and understanding of how the basic dynamics of capitalism, laissez faire and free markets impact human behavior at multiple system levels.
IV. Expectations Of Students:
Since knowledge from this course vitally informs competent social work practice students are expected to:
a. Actively participate in class discussions and activities.
b. Complete all assignments.
c. Attend all scheduled classes.
d. Use Drop Box, Forum, Calendar and U-test as needed.
e. Complete their own work. Work that violates the academic integrity policy outlined in the student handbook (below) will receive a ZERO on the assignment!
f. Write effectively and follow APA style guidelines, see library (Final touches) for assistance.
V. Course Content:
Section 1: Overview of Human Behavior and the Macro Social Environment: Implications for generalist practice and Theories
Ø Explore shifting paradigms in our views about macro environments and the impact on our lives.
Mainstream Theory Overview
Reading: Johnson & Rhodes (Chpt.1)
Section 2: Influences on macro behavior
Ø We will examine how culture impacts the social environment. Cultural influences we will examine include; mainstream U.S. values, politics, religion, and mass media. We will also discuss non-dominant cultures.
Reading Johnson & Rhodes (Chpt. 4 and 6)
How to read a newspaper (Robert Jensen) Online
Gunther, A. (1992). Biased Press… Public Opinion Quarterly. 56 (2). 147-167. Online
Video: Class Dismissed
Paper: Write a 1-2 page reflection describing what in your opinion is the greatest cultural influence on American’s? Imagine how the country would be different if that influence did not exist. Describe the differences that would occur without this cultural influence, would people be better or worse off, explain.
Social Class & Privilege
Ø U.S. social class system, the myth of the middle-class, the privilege of being…
Reading Johnson & Rhodes (Chpt. 2 and 5)
White Privilege Shapes the U.S. Online
More thoughts on why system of white privilege is wrong Online
White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack Online
Paper: Write a 1-2 page reflection imagining you are from a different culture in the U.S. How would your interactions with society be different if you did not have your privileges? You might want to meet someone from a different culture and talk with them about their life.
Ø What is meant by distributive justice and where are you on the distributive justice scale? Does distributive justice have application at the macro social environment level or is it just a nice academic ideal?
Reading: Jerome C. Wakefield, "Psychotherapy, Distributive Justice, and Social Work: Part 1: Distributive Justice as a Conceptual Framework for Social Work," Social Service Review, 62 (1988), 187-210. On Reserve in Crisp 213
Before class go to: Distributive Justice
Paper: Read about each theory (seashell), play the games to discover your distributive profile and create the society of your desire (gear). Then write a 1-2 page reflection of your distributive profile and society. Was your profile and society what you expected? How are they different than the rest of society? Include your theory profile and society type.
Section 3: Communities
Ø What are communities? The impact of rural communities on American society. What issues are relevant and unique to rural communities?
Reading Johnson & Rhodes (Chpt. 8 Read the entire chapter except pages 139-143 begin re-reading at rural communities)
Bender (On Reserve in Crisp 213)
Rural Community Assistance Corporation Online
Midwest Assistance Program Online
Video: Mr. Sears Catalogue
Ø Issues in the urban environment; redlining, blockbusting, steering, employment issues (spatial mismatch) and societal disconnect …
Paper: Go to: Sample City and design your ideal town, then write a 1-2 page paper explaining why you made your decisions. How are the choices you made different from the most popular choices. (Please attach a list of the 10 features in your city.)
Reading Page 139-143 in Johnson & Rhodes
Reserve Material (Crisp 213)
Video: Holding Ground or The New American Renewal
Ø What is a non-place community? How are they different than place communities?
Johnson & Rhode (Chpt.7) and Reserve material (Crisp 213)
Community Paper* Due March 28
Section 4: Organizations
Informal or Groups
Ø How do groups form and what impact do they have on the social environment? Which organizations are the most effective? What kind of organizations are social service agencies?
Reading: Johnson & Rhodes (Chpt. 11 pgs. 188-198)
Ø Do formal organizations control the flow of resources be they political, economic, environments, services, etc…more than other types of organizations?
Reading Johnson & Rhodes (Chpt.9)
Video: The Corporation
Ø How do social movements impact our lives? Do social movements still have an impact on today’s social interactions?
Reading: Johnson & Rhodes (pgs. 198-204)
Video: Eyes on the Prize
Ø How do global organizations impact the social environment?
Readings: Corporate Power is the central issue and
Polack Social Justice and the Global Economy (you can get this article online through Ebscohost)
Ø Bureaucracies: Helpful tools or life killers?
Reading Lipsky (On Reserve)
Organization Paper* Due April 21
Presentations (May 2, 4 & 9)
Johnson, M. Mc. And Rhodes, R. (2005) Human Behavior and the Larger Social Environment : A New Synthesis. Allyn & Bacon. Boston
VII. Basis for Student Evaluation:
Class participation 100 points (this will include written quizzes)
Short written assignments 25 points each (turn in through Drop-box, due dates are posted on the calendar)
Papers 200 (50, 50 and 100 respectively, turn in through Drop-box)
Class Presentation (50 points)
Community Paper: (50 points) Due March 28
Respond to the following question in less than three double spaced typed pages, plus a reference page. You will need to include at least 4 references to support your answer (2 from scholarly sources). Your reference page is an additional page not counted in the three page maximum.
How do communities rely on large corporations? Could your community become self-sufficient? If it did how would that change the community, what barriers would impede your community form being self-sufficient? How would relationships change between small groups of individuals and members of the community? Be sure to include a theoretical framework, the impact of culture, social class and privilege in your paper.
Agency Paper (50 Points) Due April 21
Select an agency to review, preferably one where you are not known. Make an appointment to see one of the social workers, NOT the director, one of your friends or a practicum student. Imagine how your interactions would change if you were a member of a discriminated category i.e. a homeless schizophrenic person, a pregnant African-American teenager, a single-mother of four whose husband has just abandoned her, etc…
Here are a few things you will want to observe, reflect upon and discuss:
The above questions are meant to give you direction they are not the only things you can discuss. Be sure to make some connections to the agency and the readings or the class discussions. Pay attention to management styles and other theoretical issues.
Integration Paper: (100 points) Due May 2
Select a group, organization, community or social movement that interests you either professionally or personally. Analyze the topic you selected from the rational choice, social exchange or conflict perspective. Be sure to consider the concepts that these theories might affect. How is the theory evidenced in the actions of the group, organizations, community or movement? A well written paper will integrate; the material covered this semester, outside readings regarding the topic, issues they address and other organizations/movements that are similar or different. You should tell the instructor know what topic you are going to explore by February 7th. This paper will require you to conduct research and explore your topic during the entire semester.
Class Presentation: (50 points) May 2, 4 and 9
You will have 10 minutes to present what you learned from your integration paper and how they are affected and affect the social environment and how their presence affects human behavior a the macro level. This is another opportunity to demonstrate what you learned this semester, be thorough, clear and articulate. Using PowerPoint® is STRONGLY recommended!!
Type papers in Times New Roman 12pt. double spaced. Use Drop box to turn in written assignments. Late papers are penalized 10 % per academic day. No papers accepted after 10 academic days.
****Papers are graded based on your comprehension and integration of the material learned in class. Papers that address the topic but do not demonstrate critical thinking are considered average and are graded as such. ****
Instructional Method: Reducing the “Teacher” and “Learner” Dichotomy
Traditional roles of teacher and learner imply a linear relationship inconsistent, in this professor’s view, with social work theory and values. Teachers are those who impart “truth” learners passively accept as just that. This may work in teaching someone how to tie a shoe, but is not appropriate when exploring various theories others have constructed in an attempt to explain human behavior. Our intent in this class is to apply critical thinking when exposed to theory so that each of us can take from the class what seems of value in further constructing theory bases to apply to individual interpretation of the social world and social work practice.
Please do not expect to be taught. You will be “professed”. As a professor, my role is to state my opinions and beliefs. I will be the first to admit that they may be wrong. My hope is that this class will offer all an opportunity to develop relationships where each of us are both professors and learners.
“Question Authority” – To gain as much as possible from this class it is important that you do so (although the command is paradoxical). In other words, critically analyze course content and reject what does not fit for you. Also, be open to questioning your own authority: be willing to critically analyze perceptions you brought into the classroom.
Guidelines for Classroom Discussions
The content of this course will be intellectually, personally, and emotionally challenging. In order to achieve the objectives of the course, the classroom environment must be a safe one for all to participate. Therefore, it is important that all members of the class are free to discuss their thoughts and feelings, ask questions, and state their opinions. It is equally important that all statements made are respectful and do not demean or humiliate any individual present or any group of people. The following guidelines for classroom discussions are adapted from materials written by the Center for Research on Women at the University of Memphis. We offer them here as a starting point for negotiating the ground rules we will adopt and agree to observe as a class to create a safe environment that will promote productive interaction.
The following are example of statements that honor these guidelines and statements that do not.
Acceptable: I really disagree with you. It makes me angry when I hear people say that feminism is responsible for the decline of the family. [Elaborate why...]
Unacceptable: You sexist pig! I can't believe anyone would say anything so stupid.
Acceptable: I've thought about it a lot, and I really don't believe that homosexuals should be allowed to marry and adopt children [because...]
Unacceptable: Gays are disgusting. If you're gay you shouldn't hang around influencing kids.
Acceptable: It doesn't seem fair that I have to wait until I'm financially secure to have kids, but mothers on welfare get my tax money to support their families and don't have to work.
Unacceptable: People on welfare are just plain lazy...all the time driving Cadillac’s and buying drugs with their welfare money.
The following are links which contain significant material that is relevant for HBSE courses:
§ National Association of Social Workers
§ Occupational Outlook Handbook: Social Work
§ SWAN [Social Workers Advocating Network]
§ World Wide Web Resources for Social Workers
§ Gateways to Social Work/Welfare on the Net
SOCIAL WORK DEPARTMENT WRITING STANDARDS
Ø In general, all written work should follow APA guidelines (the most recent revision).
Ø All citations should follow APA format in the body of the text.
Ø All papers with citations should include a "reference list" in APA format at the end. The basic APA format is essential for referencing books, articles, and all other material. This is the case no matter how the material was located or accessed. The student should refer to APA standards under the Writing Center's web page for additional APA guidelines (Library).
Ø In addition to always documenting direct quotations, general references to ideas, summarized texts, and quotes from lectures must also be documented using APA standards. In short, any idea, in any form, that is taken from someone else must be documented. Deviations from this standard will be regarded as plagiarism. Plagiarism may result in disciplinary action in accordance with university and departmental standards.
Ø Running headers and abstracts are unnecessary for student work unless required by the specific professor.
· Papers should be completely free of spelling mistakes and grammatical errors including sentence fragments, run-on sentences, subject/verb agreement problems, verb/object agreement problems, missing articles, vague pronoun references, improper or missing punctuation, and so forth.
· All written work should be organized into clear, logical sections. Subheadings are encouraged in every paper.
· Within the sections, ideas should be organized into clear paragraphs. An individual paragraph should be about one idea (generally stated close to the beginning). Subsequent sentences within the paragraph should all be related to that idea. Paragraphs should typically end with a conclusion or summary sentence related to the original idea and/or a transitional sentence introducing the subject of the next paragraph in the text. Students should avoid overly long or very short paragraphs.
4. Flow of thought:
· Sentences should be organized so that they sustain a consistent flow of thought. Sentences within paragraphs should flow into each other in a way that makes sense and enhances readability.
5. Economy of language:
Ø In general, students should strive to write with a minimum of words. Consider combining short sentences in ways that enhance readability and use less space. (At the same time, however, avoid overly long and complex sentences.)
Ø Consider dropping whole sentences that may be redundant or unnecessary.
Ø Consider word choice very carefully and work toward building a stronger vocabulary.
6. Individual professors may have requirements in addition to those specified here.
Academic honesty is one of the most important qualities influencing the character and vitality of an educational institution. Academic misconduct or dishonesty is inconsistent with membership in an academic community and cannot be accepted. Violations of academic honesty represent a serious breach of discipline and may be considered grounds for disciplinary action, including dismissal from the University.
In speaking or writing, plagiarism is the act of passing someone else's work off as one's own. In addition, plagiarism is defined as using the essential style and manner of expression of a source as if it were one's own. If there is any doubt, the student should consult his/her instructor or any manual of term paper or report writing. Violations of academic honesty include:
Cheating includes using or relying on the work of someone else in an inappropriate manner. It includes, but is not limited to, those activities where a student:
General Responsibilities for Academic Honesty--
It is the University's responsibility to inform both students and faculty of their rights and responsibilities regarding such important matters as cheating and plagiarism. Most of what is considered unethical or dishonest behavior can be avoided if faculty and students clearly understand what constitutes such practices and their consequences. The University community should also be aware of the procedures to be followed should a breach of academic honesty occur.
The faculty member is responsible for clarification to the class of those standards of honesty for class assignments or functions where such standards may be unclear or when such standards vary from the accepted norm. Further, some faculty may choose to utilize preventive measures (multiple exams, alternate seating, etc.) to help insure the maintenance of academic honesty. However, the use of such measures is the prerogative of the individual faculty member and is not a responsibility or requirement of faculty in general.
The fundamental responsibility for the maintenance of honesty standards rests upon the student. It is the student's responsibility to be familiar with the University policy on academic honesty, and to uphold standards of academic honesty at all times in all situations.
It is the responsibility of the faculty member to resolve cases of academic dishonesty in the classroom or examination room. Any action to resolve questions of academic dishonesty must be an appropriate academic decision based on University guidelines. Permanent suspension from class or dismissal from the University are not prerogatives of the faculty members. Additionally, faculty members should treat details of a breach of academic honesty with appropriate discretion. In particular, faculty members should make sure that every student charged with academic dishonesty is afforded due process, as follows:
** If you have any condition such as a physical or learning disability which will make it difficult for you to carry out the work as outlined or which will require academic accommodations, please register with the Learning Enrichment Center and notify me immediately to receive the appropriate accommodations.