Social Work and Human Services

Theory helps to explain and predict behavior. Social workers use theory to understand the social world of their clients. One or more theoretical perspectives may be used in order to assess the strengths and various systems influencing a client’s life. At the same time, social workers may critically analyze the different systems in terms of social justice and oppression.

Within the social world of the client, the intersection of two or more social identities creates a unique experience that can’t be defined by only one dominant identity. For example, a heterosexual Asian woman may have a different experience than a heterosexual Asian man or a lesbian Asian woman, despite sharing a common ethnicity. Therefore, in addition to theory, social workers consider various social identities that affect cultural experience, such as class, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, age, and ability status.

This week, you learn more about different theories that are used in the social work field. You then apply these perspectives when working with issues of gender.

Learning Objectives
Students will:
Analyze the influence of the social environment on gender
Analyze the impact of intersectional identities
Apply principles of social justice to gender-related issues
Reflect on values, prejudice, and biases and their impact on social work

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