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    Methods and theories of social, personal and organisational change in response to social problems. These are developed in relation to applied practice outcomes in social work.

    This paper is for those who want to go beyond a basic understanding of social problems. It is about troubling one's analytical lens, self and practice as it is about figuring out ways to engage. It explores the influence of critical social work theory in understanding social problems and advancing social justice, equality and social inclusion. A critical appreciation of social problems contributes to effective social work practice and is a valued skill in social service organisations.

    About this paper

    Paper title Social Problems: Policies and Practice Models
    Subject Social Work
    EFTS 0.1667
    Points 20 points
    Teaching period Semester 2 (Distance learning)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $1,482.46
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    126 300-level SOWK or SOWX points
    SOWK 318, SOWX 318, SOWX 406
    Limited to
    BSW, MA
    This is an optional paper for students enrolled in the Bachelor of Social Work programme.

    Teaching staff

    Coordinator and Lecturer: Dr Katheryn Margaret Pascoe

    Paper Structure
    The paper covers these key areas:
    • An examination of social problems from a social work perspective
    • The use of critical theory to examine forms of oppression
    • The use of 'self' in social work practice
    Teaching Arrangements

    The Distance Learning offering of this paper is a combination of remote and in-person teaching. Interactive online sessions will be delivered throughout the semester, as well as a compulsory in-person workshop at the end of the paper.


    To be determined 

    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Ethics.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes

    In this paper students will:

    • Engage in structural analysis of social problems
    • Exhibit critical skills in the practice context
    • Demonstrate reflective practice
    • Gain practice knowledge of how to reduce the oppressive nature of social structures and the social work profession


    Semester 2

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught through Distance Learning
    Learning management system


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    L1 Tuesday 09:00-11:50 30-35
    Thursday 09:00-11:50 29-34
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