Course Catalog

SW 358 Justice-Based Social Work Practice II

NOTE: This course is open only to senior Social Work majors who transitioned from Wheelock College and completed SWK440 prior to Fall 2018. Social work practice that is justice-based reflects two key commitments: (1) ongoing development of a justice-based perspective; and (2), ongoing development of practice skills that are applied to the goals of working toward human rights and social, economic and environmental justice at all levels of society (see Birkenmaier, 2003). Developing a justice-based perspective means understanding and being committed to the concept of distributive justice as an organizing framework for social work (Lum, 2011), that is, the fair and equitable distribution of social and material goods. This perspective entails having a critical, contextual, systemic approach to all aspects of social work practice. It is a perspective that encompasses knowledge of the role of power, ideology, and institutionalization in how oppression, racism, discrimination and disadvantage manifest in society, as well as one's own location in those dynamics. This perspective also acknowledges how the construction of difference in society (locally and globally) is oriented to deficiency and that this construction underlies how individual, family, and community needs are met or not met through definitions of advantage and disadvantage. Consequently, individual and family issues are seen as inextricably linked with larger community, societal, and global trends and realities; and local human needs are known to be inextricably connected to broader issues of human rights. A justice-based perspective seeks the promotion of human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice as an explicit and sustained goal.