SWO-411 Human Behavior in the Social Environment

Human Behavior in the Social Environment addresses two areas of focus. One is an ecological-developmental approach to human behavior in the social environment, taking a social constructionist perspective, emphasizing the ways in which culture (of large groups and small) and the broader social environment shape human behavior and identity. Concepts of resilience and resistance to oppression are emphasized using frameworks such as empowerment theories, systems theory and human ecology. This course emphasizes micro, meso, and macro level social systems that influence individual behavior, including families, groups, organizations and communities, as well as the larger society within historical and cultural contexts. Particular attention is paid to culture, race, class, gender and sexual orientation as dynamic social constructions that can be sources of both oppression and strength at all levels of social systems. The second area of focus is on current theoretical frameworks to understand the bio-psycho-social-cultural processes that shape human behavior and development of self across the life span. We emphasize the interaction of individuals with their environments as they mutually influence each other, emphasizing cultural diversity and social justice. The application of multiple theoretical perspectives to Social Work practice is emphasized.