Human behavior and the social environment (HBSE) courses in social work focus on the reciprocity between individuals and their social contexts; at the micro level, the curriculum explores human development across the life span. This was the format of volume 1, the companion text to HBSE, Macro Level. Our focus in this second volume is much broader, as the title implies. The dimension is macro/micro or the social environment which the individual inhabits and the impact of these surroundings, whether physical or political or spiritual on the individual, family, or group. Considerations of race, class and gender are paramount across the sweep of the subject matter covered in the book – the group, culture, community, social organization, and the natural and spiritual realms. The importance of the environmental context in shaping behavior is the overarching theme of this text and the critical thinking exercises, resource recommendations, and sample test questions provided in this instructor's manual reflect this fact. The critical thinking exercises have as their purpose the development of awareness of one's beliefs and attitudes toward social oppression in the society, especially of people with backgrounds that are diverse from those of the mainstream.
Consistent with the theoretical framework of HBSE, Macro Level, we present in this manual, a holistic model that encompasses mind, body, spirit, and environment. The biological portion of bio-psycho-social-spiritual framework takes as its focal point, the physical world of the air we breathe, the soil as a source of nourishment for plant and animal life, and the water that sustains the existence of all living things. Theoretically, ecosystems concepts direct our attention to interrelationships as between humans and the earth or the family and work or school. In addition, we draw on an empowerment perspective as we seek intervention strategies toward humanistic social change. Diverse and often contradictory theories about the causes and consequences of human behavior suggest diverse intervention strategies or even if any intervention to alter the status quo is called for. Should we seek sweeping structural change or endorse maintenance of the status quo? It is to such theories and such questions to which we now turn our attention in chapter 1–the theory chapter.
Compared to the first edition, this edition has elevated the concept of sustainability to the level of a key theme that links all the chapters. This includes attention to economic and social policy as well as environmental sustainability. The argument that many policies are unsustainable is another usage of this concept that you will see in the pages of the book. Also you will find in the edition:
Chapter 1 Theoretical Perspectives
Chapter 2 The Social Psychology of Group Behavior
Chapter 3 The Small Group as a Social System
Chapter 4 Families in Society
Chapter 5 Culture and Society
Chapter 6 Community and Community Development
Chapter 7 Human Behavior and the Organizational Environment: The Community of Work
Chapter 8 Human Behavior and the Natural Environment: The Community of the Earth
Chapter 9 Human Behavior and the Religious/Spiritual Environment: The Community of Faith
In addition, comprehensive PowerPoint sets are available for instructors to download for both volumes. To access these resources, please email Mary Helen Turnage to obtain the username and password.
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