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Article

Community Development in Taiwan  

Wan-I Lin

The United Nations has long promoted community development as a way to improve people’s livelihoods and beautify the environment, and the concept was adopted as the main approach to social work in Taiwan between the 1960s and the 1980s. However, the government took a top-down directive approach and violated the principle of community participation, focusing more on physical construction than on human development. With the lifting of martial law in 1987 Taiwanese society has gradually moved in the direction of democracy, providing fertile ground for the concept of community building to take root, a development that will, in time, lead to the displacement of the term community development.

Article

Community Economic Development  

Steven D. Soifer and Joseph B. McNeely

The basic concepts and history of community economic development (CED) span from the 1960s to the present, during which there have been four different waves of CED. During this time period, practitioners in the field have worked with limited resources to help rebuild low-to-moderate-income communities in the United States. There are particular values, theories, strategies, tactics, and programs used to bring about change at the community level. The accomplishments in the CED field are many, and social workers have played a role in helping with community building at the neighborhood, city, county, state and federal levels.

Article

Community Macro Practice Competencies  

Tracy M. Soska

Community macro practice is one of three spheres of macro social work practice along with human services management and policy practice. The historical context on macro practice and community practice since the Council on Social Work Education first adopted competency-based professional education through its Education Policies and Accreditation Standards in 2008 is important to appreciate how macro practice competencies have evolved. It is also salient to understand how the Association of Community Organization and Social Action (ACOSA) has been at the forefront of developing macro practice and, especially, community practice competencies, and it these efforts present the most current framework of community macro practice competencies entailed in ACOSA’s Community Practice Certificate partnership program with schools of social work.

Article

Gentrification  

Amie Thurber and Amy Krings

Gentrification can be understood as the process through which geographical areas become increasingly exclusive, which disproportionately harms people living in poverty and people of color, as well as the elderly, families, and youth. As such, this article argues that macro social work practitioners should view gentrification as a key concern. Thus, to help guide macro interventions, the article begins by first defining gentrification and describing ways to measure it, while emphasizing its difference from revitalization. Second, the article explores causes of gentrification, including its relationship to systemic racism. Third, the article explores the consequences of gentrification on individuals’ and communities’ well-being, considering how these consequences can influence macro practice. Finally, the article provides insight into ways that macro practitioners can strategically with others to prevent gentrification, mitigate its harms, and proactively support community well-being in areas threatened by gentrification.

Article

Sustainable Development  

Sudershan Pasupuleti, Susheelabai R. Srinivasa, and Ram Shepherd Bheenaveni

The World Commission on Environment and Development’s report, “Our Common Future,” explicitly outlines social and ecological justice as vital and inherent parts of the idea of sustainable development. The global agenda of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) offers social workers the chance to reframe their position in the areas of people empowerment, socioeconomic development, human rights, and environmental protection. Social work practices are based on social justice conceptual framework. Social workers who follow social justice concepts examine all their assisting efforts through the lenses of equality, fairness, and egalitarianism. In general, social work problem-solving techniques are not only compatible with ecological approaches to sustainability, but also provide much-needed social justice awareness. The article attempts to analyze and correlate the imperative aspects of “idea of ecological justice” and “concept of sustainability” to frame and offer appropriate and progressive social work interventions for common future for all within the framework of SDGs.

Article

Applying Religion  

Frederick (Fritz) P. Lampe

Anthropology has long been interested in religion. Shifts in the anthropology of religion include expanding notions of what it is beyond Eurocentric distinctions between sacred and profane, real and superstitious, pure and syncretic, primitive and civilized, and true and naïve. With these shifts come creative and collaborative approaches to understanding systems of meaning. The result is that anthropologists are now engaging with global movements, the ways proponents of particular movements impact, influence, and shape local discourse and practice, and the creative ways religious ideas coalesce into meaningful social practice. Approaches to the domain of religion and its relevance for and within communities recognize: (a) that comprehensive systems of meaning shape individual and social experience; and (b) the ways religion influences and informs ideas about health and healing, community development, climate change, and sustainability. Opportunities to apply anthropologically informed approaches to religion result. Religion, health, and healing are deeply intertwined. For example, many people seeking life-work balance have turned to meditative practices. Yoga classes, for one, have many people meeting in health clubs, church basements, in city parks, and other community venues. Deep breathing and experiencing the wholeness of one’s body, mind, and spirit impact the ways people understand themselves in relationship to others and the world. The novel coronavirus, COVID‑19, has highlighted the relationships people have with scientific inquiry vis-à-vis their faith, the ways God’s work and will interface in a global pandemic, and what responsibilities people of faith have. These things have come to the fore during the pandemic. These same tenets inform how communities of faith respond to government regulations about childhood immunizations. In addition to physical health, religion is relevant to social health and healing as well. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, massive protests called for an end to systemic racism in the United States. A rainbow of people took to the streets to protest the continued and systematic oppression of minority communities—Black, Indigenous, Asian, Hispanic, and White together with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer/Questioning—and they quickly became allies calling for change. Protesters and those who opposed them invoked symbols filled with religious meaning to support their cause in order to restore the nation to health, and what that means. Pilgrimages physically substantiate underlying meaning for people, their sense of identity and purpose. Making a pilgrimage removes someone from ordinary time, immersing that person into liminal time and space. With some pilgrimages come changes in status, marking a shift in someone’s identity, status, or place in life. Communities tie these rites of passage to important moments in people’s lives; from birth to a conversion experience, from last rites to the ancestral realm and everything in between, people and the communities they are a part of continually mark changes in status and stature. Religious perspectives inform those working in international aid and community development, how they understand their role and task as well as those with whom they work. When fostering community development, private and public organizations reflect and sometimes reinforce ever-persistent ideas linking religious ideas and practices with material wealth, social organization, and relationships to the nonhuman world. When terms like “developed,” “developing,” and “undeveloped” are used to describe the settings within which they work, a socioreligious value is being placed on people and their ways of living and being in the world. Human relationships to the earth are fundamentally religious. The ways communities use their time, energy, and resources reflect religious values and perspectives. Modern environmentalism has long recognized the importance of reimagining human beings and their relationship to the cosmos. Religious ideas and practices inform whether people see the earth, water, sky, and creatures as things to be used for the pleasure of humans, as gifts to be cared for, or as living, sentient beings. Responses to climate change are reflected in the relationships fostered by formal and informal religious movements. With the movement away from Eurocentric models of religion have come new opportunities to envision how anthropologists can approach health and healing, community development, and sustainability. People trained in anthropology have many ways to put these perspectives and methodologies to work in applying religion. Public and private sector organizations including government, for-profit and not-for-profit entities are hiring people able to translate these seemingly tenuous relationships into pragmatic yet complex opportunities for making the world a better place.

Article

Solo Athumani Solo  

Helmut Spitzer

Solo Athumani Solo (1959–2004) was an influential social work practitioner and educator in Tanzania. His professional life was dedicated to the advocacy of children’s rights and the empowerment of marginalized and vulnerable population groups.

Article

Community-Based Adaptation to Climate Change  

Tim Forsyth

Community-based adaptation (CBA) to climate change is an approach to adaptation that aims to include vulnerable people in the design and implementation of adaptation measures. The most obvious forms of CBA include simple, but accessible, technologies such as storing freshwater during flooding or raising the level of houses near the sea. It can also include more complex forms of social and economic resilience such as increasing access to a wider range of livelihoods or reducing the vulnerability of social groups that are especially exposed to climate risks. CBA has been promoted by some development nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and international agencies as a means of demonstrating the importance of participatory and deliberative methods within adaptation to climate change, and the role of longer-term development and social empowerment as ways of reducing vulnerability to climate change. Critics, however, have argued that focusing on “community” initiatives can often be romantic and can give the mistaken impression that communities are homogeneous when in fact they contain many inequalities and social exclusions. Accordingly, many analysts see CBA as an important, but insufficient, step toward the representation of vulnerable local people in climate change policy, but that it also offers useful lessons for a broader transformation to socially inclusive forms of climate change policy, and towards seeing resilience to climate change as lying within socio-economic organization rather than in infrastructure and technology alone.

Article

A Reappraisal of the Chalcolithic of Central and Deccan India  

Shweta Sinha Deshpande and Esha Prasad

The Chalcolithic Period of India, first identified at the site of Jorwe in the 1950s, is an important cultural period in the history of India’s civilizational development, especially for the Central, Deccan, Southern, and Eastern regions of the subcontinent. The period ranges from the 3rd millennium bce to the mid-1st millennium bce and covers the origin, development, and decline phases of the Chalcolithic cultures in these regions. While traditionally referred to as two distinct groups, the “Central” Indian and “Deccan” Chalcolithic cultures represent a cultural continuum across the regions of southeast Rajasthan or Mewar, Central India or Malwa, and the Deccan. The archaeological sites are found along the river valleys, and some of the typological sites include Ahar, Balathal, and Gilund in Mewar; Kayatha, Eran, Navdatoli in Malwa; and Savalda, Inamgaon, and Daimabad in the Deccan region. The Central Indian and Deccan Chalcolithic cultures form a cultural community defined by the Black-on-Red Ware (B-on-RW) and the Black-and-Red Ware (B&RW) ceramic types, along with their associated pottery types that have helped frame the chronology and cultural sequence of origin, development, and decline. Also referred to as the early farming communities, they are defined by a sedentary lifestyle with permanent and semi-permanent structures, an agropastoral economy with the production of goods for exchange and commerce, along with variations in religious practices that include fire worship, bull worship, and distinctive burial customs, among others as identified by the excavators. Based on stratigraphic sequence, stylistic similarities, and material culture, five distinct cultural phases have been identified in Central India and the Deccan—namely, the Ahar, Kayatha, and Savalda followed by the Malwa and Jorwe. The origin of these cultures, while not distinctively clear, has been attributed to various native and foreign elements including the Mesolithic and Neolithic cultures of the region, contemporary Pre-Early-Mature-and-Late Harappan cultures, and West Asian influence, among others. The Chalcolithic period in the history of the Indian subcontinent provides a bridge between Prehistory and Early History while raising several relevant questions with regard to its identity in terms of origin and influence, and its placement within the general frame of existing archaeological chronology between the Mesolithic, Neolithic, and Iron Age. Interaction and exchange networks within cultures such as the Southern Neolithic and Harappans—including Early, Mature, and Late periods of Haryana, Gujarat, and north Rajasthan, which contribute to the Chalcolithic period’s rich material assemblage—need to be seen from a fresh perspective. In addition, it is important to reexamine the excavated material from these sites, and possibly undertake fresh excavations in light of new information from sites in southeast Rajasthan, to establish the cultural continuum that these Chalcolithic cultures represent within the chronology of cultural development of the subcontinent.

Article

Adams, Frankie Victoria  

Lou M. Beasley

Frankie Victoria Adams (1902–1979) was a social worker who influenced the development of social work education and of professional social work in the American South. She developed the Group Work and Community Organization concentrations at Atlanta University.

Article

Marriage and Healthy Relationship Intervention  

Colita Nichols Fairfax

Marriage remains a central institution among all races and ethnic groups. Legalized marriages have become an important aspect of family life among LGBTQIA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning, or intersex, asexual or allied) community. Given the cultural significance that marriages underscore in all communities, applied social scientists should have access to the most appropriate and affirming interventions. By having knowledge about and access to a wealth of marital interventions, social workers, family therapists, community developers, counselors will be empowered to attend to the needs of couples who desire to experience purposeful marriages. This in turn will strengthen family and community life for all who value intimacy. This article explores a brief history of marriage in America, specifics with regards to cultural groups, and a variety of interventions that may be reproduced in best practice approaches from a conflict theory lens.

Article

Technology Transfer  

Pranab Chatterjee, Heehyul Moon, and Derrick Kranke

The term technology transfer was first used widely during the Kennedy and Johnson administrations when the role of the United States in relation to developing countries was being formed. At that time, it meant knowledge transfer from the rich countries to the poor countries. In social work, the idea is important in efforts of community organization, community development, and social development. It is also an important idea in direct practice. Technology in these practice settings means the application of a basic social science toward facilitating one or more given ends that benefit human beings. Technology transfer means the passing on of such applied knowledge from one discipline or specialty to another. The application of technology transfer also requires understanding of the cultural setting where it originates as well as of the setting where it is imported for local use.

Article

Community Building  

Umeka E’Lan Franklin

The history, theory, and empirical and practical knowledge of community building social networks and social ties contribute to informal social control, while neighborhood behavior is key to the development and maintenance of social cohesion. Diversity, equity, and inclusion is considered when examining the relationships among the elements of community resources, civic engagement, and civic participation. Empirical work provides evidence of effective ways to produce and promote community building in poor neighborhoods, as well as the practical knowledge that suggests its importance for the role of social work.

Article

Rahman, Mohammad Habibur  

Tulshi Kumar Das

Mohammad Habibur Rahman taught social work in two public universities in Bangladesh. He was the founder of a social work program in a science and technology university, the first of its kind in the country. Despite social work being a less familiar academic discipline, especially in a science and technology university, Rahman, a professor of social work, was for the first time appointed as the vice chancellor of the same university. Apart from teaching, he wrote a number of books on social work and social development, community development and community organization, and urbanization and urban social services and also conducted research on the socioeconomic and psychological causes of suicide, rural development and social services in Bangladesh, and urban community development. He presented social work-related papers in national and international conferences and also attended training courses and seminars on social work methods, social welfare policy formulation, and advanced planning in different countries.

Article

Action Research  

David P. Moxley

Through cycles of systematic and purposeful iterative engagement with problems they face in specific practice settings, social workers engaging in action research build knowledge that is useful in advancing practice for the purposes of social betterment. This entry situates action research in the development of social-work knowledge and then examines variants of action research formed when degrees of participation and control vary among members of vulnerable populations, particularly within community situations involving coping with a degraded quality of life. The author identifies the importance of methodological pluralism and addresses how sound action research results in knowledge dissemination and utilization for the purposes of social betterment, often through alternative methods of inquiry. The entry concludes with caveats social workers engaged in action research should heed, and the author emphasizes the pivotal role social work can serve in local efforts to engage in knowledge development for social betterment.

Article

Social Development  

Benjamin J. Lough

Social development is a broad and somewhat elusive concept connoting the well-being of people, community, and society. The United Nations has assumed a key role of promoting social development globally, with historical efforts focused on advancing human rights, social and economic equality, and inclusion. Social development strategies are classified as enterprise, communitarian, and statist based on their ideological orientations. An institutional approach to social development offers a pragmatic synthesis of these strategies with a balanced integration of bottom-up and top-down methods. The centrality of social development for international social work practice is accentuated in the Global Agenda for Social Work and Social Development. Current trends emphasize the complementary integration of market-oriented, community-based, and government supports to advance social development.

Article

Community Needs Assessment  

Mary Ohmer and Emily Underwood

Community assessments in macro social work practice focus on identifying the needs and assets of a community that can be mobilized for community improvement and change. Macro social workers engage with residents and community members as partners in conducting and utilizing the findings from community assessments. The first section describes the values and principles underlying community assessments. This is followed by a discussion of approaches for conducting community assessments. The overall approach to community assessment discusses the shift in community assessment from focusing mainly on needs and deficits to understanding both community assets and needs. Two specific approaches to community assessment are then described in greater detail, including the consensus organizing approach to conducting a community analysis and the asset-based community development approach to conducting asset mapping. This section is following by an overview of the key methods for collecting and reporting data for a community assessment.

Article

Community: Practice Interventions  

Anne Williford and Marie Villescas Zamzow

This article offers an introduction to macro social work practice interventions. Specifically, it seeks to: (a) identify the difference between direct service (micro) and macro practice; (b) describe historical and contemporary foundations for macro practice; (c) establish a connection between macro practice and core social work values; (d) describe specific examples of macro social work practice using 21st-century social justice issues as exemplars; and (e) identify roles needed for macro social work practice. This article emphasizes the need for macro social work practice to create much needed change in the areas of social, environmental, and economic justice. It will examine the trend in social work that has increasingly placed emphasis and value on micro practice, which has marginalized macro-level social work as a result. Society continues to confront seemingly intractable social justice issues and is, in the early 21st century, experiencing a critical reckoning of how systems of oppression continue to exact violence against vulnerable populations. This article uses examples of social, environmental, and economic justice issues with specific recommendations on how to adopt an anti-oppressive macro practice framework.

Article

The Principles, Possibilities and Politics of Community-Based Educational Research  

Lesley Wood

Globally, there is a shift toward embracing educational research with a social justice intent, based on the principles of inclusion, authentic participation, and democratic decision-making. This shift toward doing research with, rather than on, participants could be seen as a reaction to the criticism of contemporary universities being exclusive and in need of finding ways to connect with traditionally marginalized groups. Universities need to be more responsive to the real learning and development needs of communities and use their theoretical knowledge to complement and facilitate, rather than direct, research conducted in partnership with those whose lives are directly affected by the phenomenon being studied. Community-based educational research accepts local knowledge as the starting point of sustainable change and the learning and development of all involved as an important outcome of the research process. Community-based research thus has an educative intent; it is also inherently political since it aims to change systems that breed inequity. Yet these very characteristics stand in opposition to the neoliberal, silo-like models of operation in academia, where the bottom line trumps social impact in most strategic decisions. Negotiating the bureaucratic boundaries regarding the ethics of community-based research becomes a major hurdle for most researchers and often leads to compromises that contradict and undermine the ideal of partnership and equitable power relations. There is a pressing need to rethink how we “do” community-based educational research to ensure it is truly educational for all. This begs the question, in what ways does the academy need to change to accommodate educational research that contributes to the sustainable learning and development of people and to the democratization of knowledge? Community-based educational research can help close the gap between theory and practice, between academic and community researcher.

Article

Dunham, Arthur  

Jean K. Quam

Arthur Dunham (1893–1980) was a pacifist, writer, and social work educator. He wrote extensively about community development and social welfare administration. His writing contributed to the evolution of community organization as a social work method.