SOCW09009 2017 Sociological Perspectives for Social Work

General Details

Full Title
Sociological Perspectives for Social Work
Transcript Title
Sociological Perspectives for
Code
SOCW09009
Attendance
100 %
Subject Area
SOCW - Social Work
Department
SOCS - Social Sciences
Level
09 - NFQ Level 9
Credit
05 - 05 Credits
Duration
Semester
Fee
Start Term
2017 - Full Academic Year 2017-18
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
Author(s)
Maire Hanniffy, Brenda Feeney, Breda McTaggart
Programme Membership
SG_WSOWO_M09 201800 Master of Arts in Social Work
Description

This module explores the sociological basis of childhood, family and the life course. Within this module, students are encouraged to think critically, and understand the influences on people in society. This requires an analysis of agency throughout. Core to this module is an exploration of; the plurality of childhood experiences across time and space; change in families in terms of structure and behaviour; the life course approach; and power and social inequalities in society. This module provides the context for social work practice and supports students to identify the driving and restraining forces for change in people's lives. It links with modules on social work theory such as systems theory and social work skills such as anti-oppressive and anti-discriminatory practice.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;

1.

Assess childhood from a sociological perspective and explain the impact of this on social work practices.

2.

Evaluate family from a sociological perspective and explain the impact of this on social work practices.

3.

Appraise the life course approach from a sociological perspective.

4.

Scrutinise the concept of social power and apply this to the relationship between a social worker and a client.

5.

Critically analyse the marginalisation and discrimination experienced by people due to social inequalities.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Teaching and learning in this module is based on weekly online lectures, and participation in blog discussions of a series of readings and case studies in order to understand the contribution of a sociological perspective to the work of social workers.

This is a blended module: 2.5 hour online lectures will be delivered weekly and an onsite workshop (seminar) will take place near the end of the semester.

Module Assessment Strategies

Assessment of this module requires students to demonstrate an advanced understanding of sociological perspectives.

Assessment 1: 50% An essay that explores the theoretical perspectives of childhood, family and the life course, the students own social construction of childhood and family, and how this all can affect their social work practice.

Assessment 2: 40% In-class presentation of an analysis of case studies based on marginalisation and discrimination. This will require a thorough examination of social power, social work practices and interventions applied in each case

Finally, to support active student engagement with learning when offsite 10% will be awarded for participation in VLE Subject Blog.

Repeat Assessments

Any repeat assessment will be based on failed components.

Repeat requirements will be decided at Exam Boards.

Indicative Syllabus

LO1: Assess childhood from a sociological perspective and explain the impact of this on social work practices.

 

  • The social construction approach to the study of childhood: dominant discourses of childhood in western societies: implications for children's lives and social work practices
  • Discourses about children in social work literature that polarises children as either 'innocent victims' at risk from abusive parents or 'out-of-control' and in need of restraint (Stainton-Rogers and Stainton-Rogers 1992) 
  • Historical and cultural constructions of 'childhood' and 'children'
  • Analysing legislative and policy developments from a sociological perspective including an examination of the enactment of the UNCRC and Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures: The National Policy Framework for Children and Young People, 2014-2020

LO2: Evaluate family from a sociological perspective and explain the impact of this on social work practices.

 

  • Theorising family: Functionalist, Marxist, Weberian, Conflict, Symbolic Interactionism, Feminist, modern and post-modern perspectives
  • Family Life in Ireland
  • The 'problem family' 
  • Debates about 'family values'
  • Analysing legislative and policy developments from a sociological perspective including an examination of the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015

LO3: Appraise the life course approach from a sociological perspective.

 

  • Examination of socialisation from the 'old' sociology and 'new' sociology perspective
  • The life course approach (Elder)
  • Life transitions: marriage, retirement
  • Dimensions of age
  • Social construction of ageing
  • Ageism
  • Agency

LO4: Scrutinise the concept of social power and apply this to the relationship between a social worker and a client.

 

  • Social power (Marx, Foucault, Mead, Butler)
  • The power of authority and powerlessness: consensus theory and coercion theory
  • The self and social work
  • State intervention within the family
  • Exploring structure and agency as central tenets in sociology and how the tensions between these are manifest in people's lives
  • Deviance and Resistance 
  • Role theory and the sick role (Parsons, 1950)
  • The presentation of self and the concept of dramaturgy (Goffman, 1956)

LO5: Critically analyse the marginalisation and discrimination experienced by people due to social inequalities.

 

  • Class Inequality in society (Marx, Engels, Weber)
  • Impact of social class positioning, poverty, social exclusion, gender, disability, sexual orientation, illness and ethnicity on people's lives
  • Social determinants of health
  • Marginalisation and discrimination in society
  • Equality

Implications for Social Work across all learning outcomes

  • Exploring how the sociological approach supports the social worker in understanding the lives of the clients they work with eg children as 'social problem's and the 'problem family'
  • Supporting social workers to understand their own childhood and family, their 'model' of society, and how this may differ from their clients'
  • Recognise how lives are influenced at the micro and macro level
  • Exploring how their knowledge of the impact of social issues such as poverty and social exclusion informs the social work practice.

Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

Coursework & Continuous Assessment
100 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Essay Continuous Assessment Essay 50 % Week 10 1,2,3
2 Presentation Continuous Assessment Assessment 40 % Week 12 4,5
3 Blog recording Continuous Assessment Assessment 10 % OnGoing 1,2,3,4,5

Full Time Mode Workload


Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Seminar Flat Classroom Seminar 6 Once Per Module 0.40
Independent Learning Not Specified Independent Learning 4.5 Weekly 4.50
Total Full Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 0.40 Hours

Online Learning Mode Workload


Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Online Lecture Distance Learning Suite Online Lecture 2.5 Weekly 2.50
Total Online Learning Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 2.50 Hours

Module Resources

Non ISBN Literary Resources

Baker, J., Lynch, K., Cantillon, S. & Walsh, J. (2009) Equality: from theory to action. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Ciabattari, T. (2017) Sociology of Families: Change, Continuity and Diversity. California: Sage Publications.

Dunk-West, P. (2014) ‘Social Work Identity, Power and Selfhood: A Re-imagining’ in Cocker, C. & Hafford-Letchfield, T. (eds) Rethinking Anti-Discrimination and Anti-Oppressive Theories for Social Work Practice. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Gray, J., Geraghty, R., and Ralph, D. (2016) Family Rhythms: The Changing Texture of Family Life in Ireland. Manchester University Press.

Green, L. (2017) Understanding the Life Course Sociological and Psychological Perspectives. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Green, L. & Featherstone, B. (2014) ‘Judith Butler, Power and Social Work’ in Cocker, C. & Hafford-Letchfield, T. (eds) Rethinking Anti-Discrimination and Anti-Oppressive Theories for Social Work Practice. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

James, A., Jenks, C. & Prout, A. (1998) Theorizing Childhood. Cambridge: Cambridge Polity.

Morrow, M. (2011) Understanding Children and Childhood. New South Wales: Southern Cross University.

Svallfors, S. (2005) Analyzing Inequality: Life Chances And Social Mobility In Comparative Perspective. California: Stanford University Press.

 

URL Resources

Journal of Sociology and Social Work

Journal of Marriage and Family

Social Work

Childhood 

Childhood and Society

Journal of Sociology