Individual vs. Structural-Cultural Theories

Individual vs. Structural-Cultural Theories

Theories help frame more than presenting problems—they also frame social problems, and both types of problems can be linked in relation to client issues. For example, many scholars and social workers have attempted to understand the social problem of poverty. Turner and Lehning (2007) classified various psychological theories to explain poverty under two headings: (1) individual-related theories or (2) structural/cultural-related theories. In other words, think of these two headings as lenses in viewing poverty. In this Discussion, you apply lenses through which to understand a client’s problem in relation to social problems.

  • Read this article listed in the Learning Resources: Turner, K., & Lehning, A. J. (2007). Psychological theories of poverty. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 16(1/2), 57–72. doi:10.1300/J137v16n01-05
  • Select a theory under the individual-related theories and a theory under the structural/cultural-related theories.
  • Complete the handout “Comparing Individual-Related and Structural/Cultural-Related Theories” to help you craft your response. (Note: You do not need to upload the handout to the Discussion forum. The handout is intended to assist you in writing your Discussion post.)

Post:

  • Describe how a social worker would conceptualize a presenting problem of poverty from the two theories you selected.
  • Explain how this conceptualization differs from an individual-related versus a structural/cultural-related theoretical lens.
  • Compare how the two theoretical lenses differ in terms of how the social worker would approach the client and the problem and how the social worker would intervene.

SOCW 6301, Sara Parker & Ethics

One of the reasons there can be so much debate about ethical issues is because ethics are opinions informed by people’s values and people have different values. People can disagree about whether or not something is unethical, and, oftentimes, there is no right answer. In order to make decisions about what may be ethical or unethical, Yegidis (2018, p. 25) suggests focusing on these three questions:

“Who should benefit or suffer from the actions of the researcher?”

“Whose rights should take priority over those of others?”

“Does the end (increased knowledge) justify the means (the methods used to acquire it and their potential for harm)?

“For this Discussion, view the Sessions episode on the Parker family. As you do so, consider which, if any, ethical mandates or standards were violated.

Post a response explaining your reaction to the Parker episode. Be sure to address whether or not the social worker violated any ethical mandates or standards. Also explain which strategies could have been used to guide ethical practice. Finally, describe the responsibility of the social workers in the Parker case. Please use the resources to support your answers.

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