SWK6135 Cultural Diversity
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WSSW course syllabus / Open access
¶The changing demographics in the world reflect a growing social diversity and require a heightened awareness of the need to develop culturally competent practitioners. A primary challenge is acknowledging our and others multiple social and cultural identities in an inclusive rather than exclusive way. This course is designed to heighten students’ knowledge, awareness and understanding of differences among people,as well as raise students' consciousness and sensitivity to socially constructed problems resulting from difference. As social workers we engage the world in the service of helping the most vulnerable and disenfranchised populations. Thus, understanding social injustice, the dynamics and consequences of power and oppression on life experiences, and the need for social change become the foundation for a dialogue on diversity of all types. Social workers are the border crossers and agents of change in this experience. ¶A critical dimension and foundation of the course is the understanding of the importance of intersectionality in the equation of power, oppression and social justice. The social construction of issues related to ethnicity and race, language, poverty, denial of access to resources and services, powerlessness, racism, sexism, heterosexism/homophobia, classism, and ageism change substantively when explored within the contextof intersectionality. Through a process of didactic reading, critical thinking and analysis and self-examination, students will explore themselves and the society in which we live, develop an appreciation for the multifaceted meanings of diversity, and cultivate professional alternatives for combating discrimination, stereotyping and oppression across age groups, ethnicities, genders, classes, religions, physical and mental disabilities, and gender orientation. ¶The course is the second in a series of courses that focuses on self-awareness and builds upon the understanding developed in HBSE I and lays the groundwork for Jewish Social Philosophy. Additionally, the macro focus continues the consciousness begun in Social Welfare Organization and continues to build a foundation for the macro methods approaches. While practice is not a co-requisite of this course, the nature of practice issues related to diversity is presented as a fundamental for working with differences, understanding issues of oppression and privilege, and developing an appreciation for the social justice and non -judgmental perspectives of the social work profession.
Blackman, Laurie & Skolnik, Sari. (2021), Syllabus, SWK6135 Cultural Diversity, Wurzweiler School of Social Work, Yeshiva University.
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