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Why do social workers need an understanding of sociological perspectives on social class in the 21 century - Essay Example

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The profession of social worker comprise encouragement of social change and solving problems in human relationships apart from giving power to the people and improving their welfare…
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Why do social workers need an understanding of sociological perspectives on social class in the 21 century
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Download file to see previous pages According to International Association of Schools of Social Work, “Utilising theories of human behaviour and social systems, social work intervenes at points where people interact with their environments. Principles of human rights and social justice are fundamentals to social work” (Llewellyn, Agu and Mercer, 2008, p.5). The roles of a social worker comprise a vast range of domains. These might include the roles of “caseworker, advocacy, partnership, assessment of risk and need, care manager and agent of social control” (Llewellyn, Agu and Mercer, 2008, p. 6). Certain roles might be in conflict such as the roles of advocacy and case management. Providing supportive relation with clients and enabling their access to facilities is a significant role of a social worker. Their specific roles depend on the particular area where they practice and also the nature of the social problem addressed. Sociology is an important subject of study for social workers as it helps in perceiving the nature of communication between social worker and his or her clients. This subject also helps in understanding the orientation of the society people live in. In fact society shapes and structures individuals. A prime responsibility of a social worker is to place him or her in the place of the social victim or a particular social group and respect the viewpoints of other individuals they deal with. This facilitates them to appreciate diversity and execute in a manner which is not repressive. Sociology in general provides realistic assistance towards people by evaluating the outcomes and efficiency of policy measures from opinions of others. The study of the subject imparts knowledge with respect to the reasons behind oppression, differentiation, diversity and social activities. Only by understanding the social circumstances and the self, one can determine the future better (Llewellyn, Agu and Mercer, 2008, p.11). For this purpose it is crucial to understand the dimensions of social classes. In fact several basic differences or problems arise owing to the social stratification or social classes. For instance health inequalities arise mainly owing to the differences in social classes and in fact sociologists project that different kinds of classifications lead to different patterns of problems related to health. Similarly access to education is also determined by social classes (Heineman, 2000, p.99). Hence in order to deal with such differences social workers would require learning more about the classes which are responsible for the diversity and the differences arising from the stratification. The idea of social work came into effect mainly from the concerns or thoughts about exploitation of people who are marginalized and under poverty stricken conditions owing to industrialization. Marx stratified the society into classes on the basis of means of production. Class society according to Marx, depends on the existence of surplus labor and their requisition by a minority possessing the means of production. When these means belonged to common people, surplus labor was very less. In those days production was mainly for subsistence but later owing to technological upgradation, productivity of labor increased and these surplus labor was hired by the more advantageous (in terms of economic resources and political accessibility etc) groups and from this basic concept emerged the idea of exploited and exploiters and the ruling and oppressed class (Callinicos, 2010, p.99). The classification of social classes has become more and more complex in recent times. Earlier one used to recognize three categories – upper class, middle class, lower class, working class and underclass. The stratification is done on the basis of access to economic, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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