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Human Developing

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1. Chaper 1: Briefly define the multidimensional approach to studying human behavior. Include all and define all of the dimensions found in this approach.

A multidimensional approach means that you see human behavior change depending on the person, the environment around the person and in a time aspect. Even though it is difficult at times to separate one dimension from another, and all are interdependent,these three dimensions of human behavior can not be understood fully separately, one has to look at all three combined, if one wants to use the approach in the daily social work.

The study employed a naturalistic approach and focused on several dimensions, rather than on isolated factors or variables. It pointed to a variety of factors that influenced the information behavior of the users involved.

The Personal Dimension; the psychological approach focuses primarily on the study of psychological states and processes in relation to information behavior.

For every story a client tells you, you have to think about the various dimensions of the people who are involved in that story, and that have affected the client. For many years where there used a psychosocial approach, like in Freud's theory with ego, superego and id. Emotions, feelings, personality and cognition where important features. But currently social workers have taken on a different approach, a biopsychosocial approach. Human behavior is here seen as a result of interactions between biological, psychological and social systems. It means that emotions and feeling affects the body's health and wellbeing, that additional factors that are't psychological such as the physical environment, cultural background, and goals of a search affect information behavior.

The Environmental Dimension; has always been thought of as multidimensional, from as early as 1901 by Mary Richmond. Anderson and Carter developeded a classification of environmental dimensions which has had an impact on the way that social workers think about the environment today. They divide it in to 5 dimensions; culture and society, communities, organizations, groups and families.

An other famous social work scientist, Bronfenbrenner, who is huge in social work in Norway too, developed an ecological perspective which identifies four levels of systems;

Micro, Meso, Exo and Macro-systems.

The Time Dimension; the interaction between person and environment are always changing and ongoing. Nancy Yattaw has written about four ways to think about time in changing, which is;

Constants - you move in one direction, no moving back, like aging.

Trends - also moves in one direction, but not as constant as the one above. It can be explained as if you are member of a group which lifestyle that's drifting towards a more understanding among the general population, like the gays or the Hispanics.

Cycles - as the names says, a behavior which recur repeatedly in different patterns, like weekly or monthly, such as the cycle from spring to summer and so on.

This is a stabile direction, yet it's never exactly the same pattern that is repeated.

Shifts - is the last one and are sudden changes is direction, which can make us change patterns long-termed in the long run.

2. Chapter 2: Many theories or perspectives are needed to understand human behavior in the social environment. Select four of the theories/perspectives discussed in this chapter. Briefly summarize them and state why you think these theories would be helpful for social workers.

The Conflict perspective has become a popular theory again and again through history, drawing our attention to conflict, dominance and oppression in social life. This theory looks after sources of conflict and why people behave like they do based on the economic and political arenas. The textbook lists 6 ideas of the conflict perspective which I would like to write here because I think they describe the theory so well.

1. Groups and individuals try to advance their own interests over the interests of others.

2. Power is unequally divided, and some social groups dominate others.

3. Social order is based on the manipulation and control of nondominant groups by dominant groups.

4. Lack of open conflict is a sign of exploitation.

5. Members of nondominant groups become alienated from society.

6. Social change is driven by conflict, with periods of change interrupting long periods of stability.

(E. Hutchinson, "Dimensions of Human Behavior", page 56)

I think conflict theory would be helpful to social worker because of the world we live in today. Its chaos and conflicts everywhere, and we as social workers need to handle that. Let me take an example; there are a lot of race conflicts, and that will not go away with the first, so we need to know how to cope with different races and their experiences with race conflicts. There will always be groups with more power that will dominate other groups, and we need to know that this exist and then we can help our clients from there. Human beings are a selfish race, so individuals in general will try to advance their own interests over the interests of others.

The term Humanistic perspective is used to include humanistic psychology and existential psychology because both of them teach about the individuals' right to choose and the search for meaning. This perspective is richly influenced by great philosophers like Sшren Kierkegaard, Jean Paul Sartre and Abraham Maslow. This perspective has some values which I think is important, at least to me, that's why I choose this one. These values are;

 Each person is unique and has value. This it's so important to believe

in this, no one has more or less value then others, and at least I would like it to be that way in theory. I don't think anyone would agree that Hitler was valuable to humanity...

 People always have the capacity to change themselves, even to make radical change. I think this statement is important for social workers. If we don't believe

that people can change, then why do we do re-habs and managing classes? We need to believe

that it works.



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