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by Phil Bartle, PhD

Training Handout

What essay type questions could be asked in a course on community based social work?

1.  It has sometimes been claimed that community participation is simply a cheap way to obtain resources from target communities, and agencies are simply exploiting the communities by calling for it.  Argue an alternative point of view.

2.  Explain why setting up a social work office in a community does not constitute a community based approach.

3.  The profession of social work is supposed to assist in the solving of social problems, yet the approach (as indicated in text books) has often being in the form of assistance to individuals, especially in Western societies.  What arguments can you use to support a social approach in your country?

4.  Sometimes the solving of an individual problem hinders the solving of a social problem.  Explain, in reference to one of the following:
  (a) poverty;
  (b) physical disability;
  (c) drug addiction; or
  (d) street children.

5.  In order to develop a community approach to social work, it is important to know something about the social nature of communities.  How does any one of the following contribute to that understanding?
  (a) the “super-organic;”
  (b) a tree transcends the atoms which compose it; or
  (c) the six cultural dimensions.

6.  Social change is inevitable, therefore social problems are inevitable.  Explain.

7.  The interface between the social level and the individual level can be found in the sociological concept of “role.”  Please explain the nature of “role” and how it links individuals to society.

8.  Two types of social “glue” hold a community together, mechanical solidarity and organic solidarity.   In what ways do these differ, and how can a modern community have elements of both?

9.  If people do not own both the problem and the solution, it remains unsustainable.  What does the word “own” mean in this context?  How does this community development principle apply to social work?

See: Community Based Social Work with Afghan Refugees in Pakistan?
See: What is Community?

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