NAMES: VARAIDZO SITHOLE R177529L
YANANISAI G MADIMBE R1713087
NYASHA MAKIWA R1710389
COURSE: HUMAN BEHAVIOUR AND SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT
QUESTION: DISCUSS HOW THE ECLECTIC NATURE OF SOCIAL WORK CAN
ASSIST A SOCIAL WORKER IN UNDERSTANDING HUMAN
Social work as a profession is not rigid it is flexible and can be eclectic in the sense that it borrows theories from other fields such as biology psychology, sociology, religious studies, law, medicine and anthropology. All these fields try to explain the root cause of human problems which are of great to social workers intervention with clients. Human problems include divorce, child delinquency, poverty, prostitution, psychological problems such as mental illness. The eclectic nature of social work can also be projected in the sense that it intervenes with different age groups, widows, orphans and the discriminated in societies. Social work is also a profession which integrates different sources of knowledge into practise. The essay therefore is an attempt to show the ways in which the eclectic nature of social work an aid social workers in understanding and having a broader knowledge concerning causal factors of human problems.
Eclectic refers to the deriving of ideas r theories from a broader and diverse range of sources and theories. According to Mauter (2000), an eclectic thinker is one who selectively adopts ideas from different sources and combines them into the development of a new theory. One might be tempted to point out that Mauter’s idea is an idea which is expected from a social worker since a social worker should acquire knowledge through practise and integrate the theory into practise as well as being 1able to derive background knowledge and strategies from certain diverse fields. Social work is an “art, science and a profession that helps people solve their problems to attain satisfying personal, group and community relationships” as Skidmore et al (1994) denotes. According to the international federation of social workers (2014), the social work promotes social changes, problem solving in human relationships and the empowerment and liberation of people to enhance wellbeing utilising theories of human behaviour and social systems and it intervenes t the point where people interact with their environment.
To commence wit, Skidmore’s definition of social work points to the eclecticism of social work in the sense that as a science social work borrows from biology and it provide the causal factors of human behaviour which can also be part of human problem for example, being aggressive can be well explained through studying biological factors of an individual. Basing on the issue of aggression, a social worker should be well versed with the biological theories of aggression which are tied to biology. There are three types of approaches for biological theories of aggression which includes genetic influence, bio-chemical/neurotransmitter influences and brain structure or neuro anatomical influences. One classic research in the 1960s reveals that number of men in prison had XYY sex chromosomes instead of normal XY. The research hypothesis that the extra Y chromosomes might make men more aggressive. Therefore, this reveal that genetic issues as the root cause of aggressive behaviour such as abuse of women by men. Also, using the neurotransmitter approach, lower levels of neurotransmitter serotonin has got link to aggressive behaviour of pathological nature, the kind evidenced by male on female battering. Ideas from the field of biology can be pointed out as of great importance to social workers as it provides causes of human problems to social workers as it provides causes of human problems. For instance, a social worker might be approached with a female service user complaining about her husband with a female service user complaining about her husband’s violence, her being bartered every day. Instead of just viewing the case as events which happens in marriages or viewing the case as events which happens in marriages or viewing wife as the cause because of not treating her husband well, the social worker might treating take part in the conducting of biological make- up check- up and the treatment of the man. The social worker might also play the role of a counsellor in enlightening the women about the husband not being violent willingly but as an influence of the biological factors hence enhancing the relationship between the two souls and being able to serve clients effectively. Therefore, eclecticism of social work helps social workers to fully have knowledge on the problems of people and provides knowledge of how to intervene and it does not restrict ideas.
Moreover, social work is flexible as it borrows from fields such as anthropology and this can be supported by one of the core values of social which states that social workers should be culturally competent. Culture, background and the environments in which one has been groomed on a direct path of his or her behaviour as it the fundamental determinant of a person’s wants and behaviour. Culture operates primarily by serving boundaries for behaviours and has influence on the way individuals perceive the world around them as supported by Briley (2000). This can assist a social worker in understanding that growing up and surrounding oneself with culture and all its associated subsets can result in bad human behaviour. On the case of culture, one can give an example of an alcoholic addict. A social worker through having knowledge of diverse cultures he or she knows that the client might not have chosen the path but was influenced by the culture and the people surrounding him or her as supported by the association theory. Being culturally competent helps the social worker to be non-judgemental and to be ready to provide service above self. One might get to know that this person is a member of a Rastafarian group who engage in alcoholism and it might be where he gets that sort of problem. Having knowledge of where the behaviour emanate from the social worker can then assist the client through counselling and enlightening on the bad side of alcohol. One can therefore conclude that the eclectic nature of social work can aid social worker in understanding human problems as they get to know that directs challenges sometimes is not theirs in origin but was influenced by the culture and people surrounding them.
More so, from the field of psychology which is the study of scientific of behaviour and mental process from which social workers obtain knowledge concerning human behaviour and problems. When dealing with a client, a social worker might make use of psychoanalytic approach from psychology. Asocial worker can analyse the thoughts, feelings, beliefs, experiences and problems of an individual through asking questions. A social worker might get involved with a client who is a prostitute. Instead of viewing this as bad, a social worker is supposed to trace the causes of such behaviour. Through the psychoanalytic approach a social worker is a supposed to first establish a good relationship between him and the client for him to be able to ask certain questions. Through the unconscious state a client might say and everything which might even revel the causes of her behaviour. For instance, reviewing that her husband abandoned her with children who were all at school and that she is ready to do anything for them. Psychoanalytic approach therefore helps the social worker to see that because of certain situations individuals end up behaving in certain ways that are unacceptable if it was not for the situation the person might not be engaged into prostitution. The social worker can then even try to reunite the woman with her husband or even enlighten the women on the after effects of prostitution or even connect her to where there are job opportunities.
In addition, the social work profession derives some of its ideas from the field of law in order to understand the causes of deviant behaviour in children, hence shoeing its eclectic nature. This is evidenced when social workers act as probation officers in order to deal with the issue of child delinquency and to uphold children whose rights are being violated by the law. For instance, certain laws of the church promote early child marriages which results in children facing mental problems in marriages. Somehow this enlightens the social worker in the sense that he or she gets to know why sometimes children do not just rush into marriages but are bound by certain laws which force them to just rush into unwanted marriages. A probation officer therefore upholding such as destructive laws, thereby through educating churches on the consequences of the laws they set up for their children. This shows that social workers act as agents of the law in order to help their clients to deal with difficult situations in their lifetime. Also, the integration of law in social work practise shows the eclectic nature of social work assist social workers in understanding children challenges as caused by the laws introduced to them.
In a nutshell, the eclectic nature of social work assist social workers in having knowledge concerning human challenges. Its eclectic nature is viewed by which it borrows from these fields’ include psychology, biology, law, sociology and anthropology. All these fields have got different explanation on how individual’s act as the way they do and how individuals are introduced to certain problems. Social workers receive such assistance from the diverse nature of social work profession as they become exposed to causes and explanation of human behaviour and human problems.
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