The problem of Community is introduced and different meanings of community are explored with special reference to community development and social change. The unit focuses on ways of making sense of change, its dynamic nature and the striving for peace and social justice. Learners are introduced to the assumptions and theory of practitioners who seek to bring about social change and to the practical ways of responding to the challenge of social inequality. Critical theory frameworks and perspectives on community work will be covered, drawing on texts by Butcher et al and three major contemporary Australian texts – Ife and Tesoreiro; Kenny and Weeks; Hoatson & Dixon as well as contributions of Friere. The unit will introduce key underpinning social theories including a range of concepts of particular relevance to community development such as: discourse (Foucault) social power and habitus/field (Bourdieu) social contract (Rousseau) state-society formation and roles (e.g. Weber, Marx) liberalism, socialism and social welfare (e.g. Marx, Mills) natural rights (Hobbes) and human rights the public sphere and communicative rationality(Habermas) civil society (Aristotle) structure and agency (Giddens) Students are exposed to the basic common elements of community change that include building the strengths and independence of community groups, organizations and networks; building equity, inclusiveness and cohesion amongst people and their groups and organizations; and empowering people and their organizations where appropriate to influence and help transform public policies and services and other factors affecting the conditions of their lives. The unit offers learners the opportunity to engage with compelling accounts of resistance, critique, hope and vision from communities whose stories are often invisible, trivialized or erased by the dominant society. Thus the role of narrative is explored to demonstrate how people have reclaimed and reshaped a traditional art form in the service of their ideas and demands for justice. Learners will also develop understanding of how groups are bringing out, bringing up and bringing back values of justice and fairness into their communities.
+ Understanding Community Development and Social Change
+ Frameworks for social change
+ Theoretical Concepts
+ Theories and Philosophies of Community Development
+ Power Imbalance.
+ Poverty and wealth
+ Challenges faced by minorities
+ What’s the real problem?
+ Learning to listen
+ Creative Strategies