In our discussion last week, we considered the many societal groups we belong to and how those groups and others, at both the micro- and macro-level, contribute to a complex society. Not all groups are perceived or treated equally in our society. Like other social issues, inequality can be explored with sociological theory.
As you prepare for this discussion, have in mind a social situation in the U.S. where inequality plays a role. Put on your ‘sociologist hat’ and consider the sociological theories we talked about last week as you approach these questions. Respond to the following in a minimum of 175 words:
Summarize the situation where inequality appears. Do you consider this a micro- or macro-level social issue?
Which institutions or groups are negatively affected by the inequality?
Which social institutions or groups are involved in creating or promoting this inequality? Provide some examples.
What sociological theory or theories might be used to help generate solutions to this inequality?
Your experience with inequality has formed part of your personal identity. If we want to develop impartial perspectives about inequality and other social problems, we can review information gathered by groups who try to be objective. As we expand our understanding beyond our personal experiences, we can better communicate with others to either broaden their awareness of a social problem or persuade them to consider the limitations of their own perspectives. Considering different perspectives encourages us to reexamine our own opinions when we work with others to address social problems.
This week’s assignment provides a scenario in which you will consider inequality from different sociological perspectives. You’ll be asked to use the sociological theories you have learned about as you address this scenario.
You belong to a community task force that volunteers to improve social problems. The city council has asked your team to provide a report on social problems at a micro-level (your neighborhood or community) rather than a macro-level (state or country).
The task force has nominated you to put together an Inequalities Report on their behalf to help inform the city’s decisions about solving these problems. For this report, you will select 2 types of inequality that exist in your community and discuss how they affect your community at a micro-level. You will also identify sociological theories that city leaders can consider as they plan for solutions.
Download and complete the Inequalities Report on behalf of your fictional task force.
Submit the completed report for your assignment.
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Each member should bring one example article and discuss how the researcher(s) organized the literature review to provide relevant study background.
Define evidence-based practice in your own words.
Explain how you can improve your practice and achieve your professional goals by reading articles about practice or attending trainings and continuing education.
Explain how you can improve practice by evaluating the outcomes of practice.
Provide an example by identifying whether you met or did not meet the goal from Week 2. Explain how you will use this information as you plan your skill development for moving forward in the program.
If libraries were closed and access to information privatized, what would be the impact to communities and schools? Perform a quick internet search for local libraries. How many did you locate? If they were all to close or become restricted, where would individuals go to receive vital information? Is there a situation in which restricting access to information would be beneficial to society?
Build on a classmates’ post by asking questions, offering thoughtful ideas, or sharing personal connections. Be sure to demonstrate respect for classmates’ comments.
“Why the Success of The New York Times May Be Bad News for Journalism.”
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Mama Might Be Offer Dead:
Critical Thinking Questions 1
1. What is the setting of “Mama”? Who are the main “characters”? Describe each one in detail. Describe the family overall.
2. What are the health challenges faced by the various “characters”?
3. How do these challenges seem to impact their health thus far?
Social workers make decisions in practice settings based on different sources of knowledge, including their intuition, personal experiences, tradition, authority, and theories and research evidence. These sources of knowledge can be used together to contribute to decisions. Which source(s) of knowledge do you rely on? What are the strengths and limitations of each source of knowledge, and how will they affect your social work practice? For example, think about the sources of knowledge you used when you made decisions in your field experience. In this Assignment, you consider the sources of knowledge that inform your practice decisions.
Complete the “Situations 1 and 2: Making Decisions About Interventions” handout. (Note: You do not need to upload the handout with your Assignment.)
Reflect on your thought process in your handout and apply it the prompts below.
Explain how and why your choices differed in Situations 1 and 2.
Explain why it is important to use research and evidence to support your practice decisions.
Explain when using theories and research evidence is most appropriate for making clinical decisions. Provide an illustration of this from your fieldwork experience, from something learned in previous coursework, or from a case study you have encountered.
A description of your vision of a social work hero
An explanation of how you might use principles related to strengths, empowerment, and resiliency in your practice
Select and focus on one of four case studies listed in the Learning Resources. You will use this same case study throughout the course.
Submit your completed Dissecting a Theory and Its Application to a Case Study Worksheet. When completing the Worksheet, do the following:
Focus on the identified client within your chosen case.
Analyze the case using a systems approach, taking into consideration both family and community systems.
Reasons for pursing an MSW
Identify what you learned in this week’s Learning Resources that inspired you the most about the social work profession.
Explain why what you identified inspired you. Make sure to refer to specific details, stories, or examples.
Explain how what you learned aligns with your own professional goals.
You may have been drawn to social work because of a desire to help a specific population or to address certain social problems. You may already possess a large amount of knowledge related to these populations or problems based on past work experience, personal history, or academic studies. But as you also may know, a social worker cannot assume a client’s experience based on an identity category. Individuals hold multiple, intersecting identities, which influence their unique experience. This is why research and evidence-based practice are essential to social work.
You and your colleagues may have interests in different fields of social work practice or may be interested in assuming different social work roles. However, all will need foundational knowledge and skills related to understanding how the environment affects individual experience, assessing the influence of diversity and difference, and applying advocacy on behalf of client welfare and social justice. For this Discussion, you consider these issues with your colleagues.
Describe your population of interest.
Identify one professional role that a social worker may assume when working with this population.
Explain how you might apply ecological or systems theory when working with the population.
Describe specific steps you will take to develop your knowledge of this population through critical thought and research.