Topic 2 DQ 1 386

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<dc:title xmlns_dc=””>Applying Theory to Generalist Social Work Practice</dc:title>
<dc:creator xmlns_dc=””>Langer, Carol L.; Lietz, Cynthia; </dc:creator>
<dc:publisher xmlns_dc=””>John Wiley &amp; Sons, Incorporated</dc:publisher>
<dc:identifier xmlns_dc=””>1874136</dc:identifier>
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1690537 – Pearson Education Limited ©

1 Introduction

1690537 – Pearson Education Limited ©

1690537 – Pearson Education Limited ©

Chapter Outline
Human Behavior Theory and Social Work Practice 2

CSWE Core Competencies 3

Generalist Practice 4

Theory and Practice in Social Work: Connecting the Dots 7

Theoretical Range 9

Theories as Maps: Grand, Middle Range, and Focal Theories 10

Summary 12

Practice Test 13

Mysearchlab Connections 14

1690537 – Pearson Education Limited ©

Competencies Applied with Practice Behavior Examples — in This Chapter




Diversity in

Human Rights

& Justice







Assess, Intervene,

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Human Behavior Theory and
Social Work Practice
Human behavior is, to put it mildly, a puzzle. All around us we see daily
evidence that people are alternately kind and cruel, wise and foolish,
generous and selfish. We are bombarded constantly with conflicting
images of human nature. Consider the following headlines as illustrations:

Hero Fireman Saves Children

Father Convicted of Child Abuse

Earthquake Orphans Find New Homes in U.S., France

No Aid for Growing Numbers of Refugees

You have seen similar headlines on a daily basis. Thoughtful readers are
left shaking their heads at the paradox of human nature, on the one hand
inexplicably cruel, on the other inspirationally brave and selfless. Our
efforts to understand and predict human behavior seem to be hopeless in
the face of such contradictions. Social work practice exposes us to the
best and worst in human nature on a regular basis. Despite the apparently
irreconcilable extremes, it is our nature to seek some framework to
understand and manage human behavior. This book is dedicated to that
quest, and to providing an overview of the myriad theories that have been
developed to help bring order to the apparent chaos around us.

One of the oldest attempts to understand the apparently contradictory
truths of our existence is the allegory of the blind men and the elephant.

1690537 – Pearson Education Limited ©

You know the outlines of the story. There are versions of it in all of the
world’s great religious and moral traditions. In the Jain version, six blind
men are asked to describe an elephant. Each touches some part of the
elephant, and then relates his understanding of the animal. The man who
grabs the tail believes the elephant rese

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