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Environmental Justice as Social Work Practice

Christina L. Erickson

Publication Date - 02 July 2018

ISBN: 9780190871055

216 pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

Environmental Justice as Social Work Practice places the natural environment as central to practice. Utilizing the Phases of Practice and micro to macro levels of practice, the book integrates neatly into a college semester course.


Environmental Justice as Social Work Practice places the natural environment as central to practice. Utilizing the Phases of Practice and micro to macro levels of practice, the book integrates neatly into a college semester course. Chapters cover important components of social work such as theory, ethics, conceptual foundations as well as distinct chapters on micro, mezzo, and macro practice. Each chapter expands the discipline's commitment to and applied efforts in the environmental movement while recognizing the unique contributions social work has to offer to ameliorate environmental inequities. Chapters include real-world stories from environmental social work practitioners, case studies, and boxed sections highlighting organizations and people who bridge the human and natural justice divide. Each chapter concludes with learning activities and critical thinking questions providing learning activities that map easily to a course syllabus. A matrix identifying the placement of educational competencies from the Council on Social Work Education is included. The textbook provides a framework for social work educators to bravely and competently teach environmental social work as a stand-alone college course or to incorporate into a traditional practice course.


  • Mapped to Council on Social Work Education Competencies
  • Includes Critical Thinking Questions and Learning Activities for each chapter
  • Features distinct chapters on each level of practice
  • Draws clear connections of theory to each practice skill
  • Shares stories from practicing social workers
  • Provides introductions to organizations worldwide

About the Author(s)

Christina L. Erickson, PhD, is Professor of Social Work and Environmental Studies at Augsburg University. Her work explores the intersections of social work as an applied profession and the experience of humans in their natural, social and economic environment. Dr. Erickson views social work knowledge, skills and values as essential to responding to and ameliorating environmental degradation.


"it is interesting to see how Christina Erickson argues that power-critical debates on gender, race, class, diversity, and intersectionality now should be enlarged with ecological and ecosocial aspects to address social conflictlines in the same way as ecological ones.[This] provides an interesting outlook on a more holistic discourse on intersectionality in social work, ecology, and socio-ecological policies." -- Social Work

"Environmental Justice as Social Work Practice is a first in social work education. And, given the present-day concern with the impact of climate change, its publication could not be more timely. It is timely in another way as well, in meeting the Council on Social Work Education's new standard for competency in this subject area. Writing skillfully and with a great deal of imagination, Christina Erickson has taken the concept of environmental justice and expanded it considerably into such areas as human rights, history, ethics, economics, and social work values. Detailed graphs, narratives, boxed readings, and 'green space' exercises effectively highlight the text. I cannot wait to have a copy of this book." -Katherine van Wormer, PhD, MSSW, Professor of Social Work, University of Northern Iowa

Table of Contents


    Council on Social Work Education Competencies

    Chapter 1
    Environmental Justice and Social Work Practice: Historical Roots

    Chapter 2
    Social Work's Foundational Concepts: Values and Skills for Environmental Justice

    Chapter 3
    Theoretical Foundations: Systems, Narrative, and Structural Theories

    Chapter 4
    Ethics for Environmental Justice

    Chapter 5
    Understanding Yourself and the Natural Environment

    Chapter 6
    Phases of Social Work Practice for Environmental Justice

    Chapter 7
    Social Work Practice with Individuals and Families Towards Environmental Justice

    Chapter 8
    Social Work Practice with Groups and Communities Towards Environmental Justice

    Chapter 9
    Social Work Practice with Policies and Organizations Towards Environmental Justice

    Chapter 10
    Holistic Practice: Stewarding People and the Environment


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