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Human Behavior and the Larger Social Environment, Third Edition

Context for Social Work Practice and Advocacy

Third Edition

Miriam McNown Johnson and Rita Rhodes

Publication Date - July 2015

ISBN: 9780190615550

275 pages
6 x 8.9 inches

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $84.99


From schools to the military and from class structure to cultural diversity-all individuals function within complex social systems that shape them and are, in turn, shaped by them. This text introduces students to these broader social contexts within which human behavior occurs and how a community's social settings may promote or deter people in maintaining or achieving personal health and well-being. Johnson and Rhodes use seven basic theoretical perspectives as the frameworks to explore how clients are impacted by social institutions and social structures.

Keeping up to date with emerging societal trends and changing environmental contexts is important and Human Behavior and the Larger Social Environment provides readers with the tools necessary to use their knowledge to provide appropriate interventions at all levels of practice, as well as promote social and economic justice. This book offers complex concepts in a simple format, allowing students to analyze the relationship between individuals and various systems, and better retain and apply their knowledge as they prepare to engage with clients and client systems.

New to this Edition

  • coverage of recent political developments including post-recession economic recovery, growing disparities in income and wealth, and changes in LGBT rights
  • information from most recent census incorporated into each chapter
  • content on implications of widespread use of social media


  • effectively links content to current EPAS competencies
  • includes "person-in-environment" orientation necessary for policy and macro practice
  • instructors' manual with chapter summaries, key terms, suggested exercises, discussion questions, and test bank

About the Author(s)

Miriam McNown Johnson (MS in Educational Psychology, University of Wisconsin Madison; MSW, PhD, University of Alabama) is associate professor and associate dean for Academic and Student Affairs at the College of Social Work, University of South Carolina. She has more than twenty years of social work practice experience, working with children in out-of-home care and their families, and almost twenty years' experience teaching HBSE classes. She has published multiple journal articles on many topics and has presented at national and international social work education conferences.

Rita Rhodes (MSW, University of South Carolina; MA, PhD, University of Illinois, Chicago) is professor emerita at the College of Social Work, University of South Carolina where she has chaired the HBSE sequence for over ten years. She has a research and practice interest in women's issues including depression, addition, domestic violence, and incarceration.

Table of Contents

    Preface to the Third Edition
    PART I: Building on an Integrated Foundation
    Chapter 1: Introduction to Perspectives and Theories
    PART II: Social Institutions
    Chapter 2: The Political Economy
    Chapter 3: Government-Related Social Institutions
    Chapter 4: Non-Government-Related Social Institutions
    PART III: Social Structure in American Society
    Chapter 5: Social Stratification
    Chapter 6: American Society and Cultural Diversity
    Chapter 7: Other Social Status Groups
    PART IV: Social Settings
    Chapter 8: Locational Communities
    Chapter 9: Organizations
    Chapter 10: Residential Institutions