Social Work 301

SOWK 301: Human Behavior in the Social Environment II

Pre-requisite: PSYC 121, SOCY 110, and admission to SOWK major

Co-requisite: SOWK 300

Credit Hours: (3)

Builds upon concepts drawn from the social and behavioral sciences to further our understanding of the human condition. Special emphasis on collectivities (groups, communities, and organizations).


Detailed Description of Content of Course

Major emphasis is placed on an analysis of the various systems involved in human services and an exploration of these systems in facilitating changes in human behavior in social service agencies."


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

I. Students complete assignments including theory presentation, minority group research paper, a family project, and a final examination.
II. Format - Combination of the following:

Lectures, class discussions, films, writing assignments, and activities as the teaching methods. Writing assignments will make use of reading assignments, responses to lectures and class discussions, and explanations of key concepts.


Goals and objectives of the course

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Examine major theories drawn from the objectivist school: behavioralism, developmental theories, conflict theories, systems theories, and symbolic constructivism.
  • Examine major theories drawn from the subjectivist school: symbolic interactionism, role theories, existential, communitarianism, etc.
  • Understand the role of the environmentally informed theories versus the role of individually informed theories in shedding light on the human condition.
  • Assess how environmentally informed theories build our understanding of families as they move through life stages.
  • Assess how each environmentally informed decision versus individually informed theories treat the concepts of groups, community, and organizations.
  • Assess how each theory attends to the concepts of race, ethnicity, the gay community, and the feminist community.
  • Understand how theories born from the social and behavioral sciences and philosophy inform every aspect of the social work assessment of families, groups, communities, and organizations.
  • Understand the correspondence between each theory and values and ethics in social work, especially as they relate to family, community, organizations, and group status and change. 


Assessment Measures

Student work will be examined through written assignments, group work, and through class presentations.


Other Course Information



Review and Approval

Revised, April 23, 2013

February 2005 Updated Steven Culver

Revised 2/5/09