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SWM5230 - Social workers, politics and social action

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Postgraduate Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Leader: Dr Philip Mendes


Caulfield Second semester 2007 (Day)
Caulfield Second semester 2007 (Off-campus)


Social workers are facing increasing political and ideological challenges. An analysis of the dynamics and sources of this criticism is offered. Attention is drawn to the historical role of the Australian Association of Social Workers and other professional social work associations in social activism, and to potential strategies which social workers can use to effectively intervene in policy debates at both a local and international level.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students will be able:

  1. To understand the relationship between social workers and politics;
  2. To critically examine the basis of political and ideological attacks on social work;
  3. Understand the key role of the media in social policy debates, and it's positive as well as negative potential for social work;
  4. Analyse the attitude of professional social work associations to social activism;
  5. Develop skills in effective social action strategies.


Essay from three options, (3000 words): 40%
Essay from two options (6000 words): 60%