Intercultural and Minority Relations

September 29, 2008

Catalogue Description: Dynamics of intercultural and intergroup relations using assignments to develop cross-cultural understanding, empathy, communication skills; application of theory to social issues and social work practice.

Student Academic Outcomes: (What the student who successfully and satisfactorily completes the course should know or be able to do):

Consistent with the WSSS Mission and the CSWE educational standards, the academic outcomes listed below include professional social work foundation content related to social work values and ethics, diversity, social and economic justice, populations-at-risk.


  1. Understand historical and contemporary mechanisms used to oppress minority groups.
  2. Understand the affective and cognitive dimension of one?s own identity development and how these inform worldview and impact behavior such as prejudice and discrimination.
  3. Understand the dynamics of power at the micro and macro level as it applies to individual and group identity development.
  4. Recognize how economic, social, and psychological forces play a role in the acculturation process.Values
  5. Demonstrate understanding of social work values, ethics, and ethical dilemmas as they apply to selecting theories for practice in culturally diverse settings.Skills
  6. Analyze Individualism versus Collectivist cultural traditions and explain their impact on social work practice in a diverse society.

Means of Assessment: (How the student?s achievement of the above academic outcomes will be evaluated):

Activity Outcomes Assessed Points
Reading Critiques 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 40
Student Journal (3 submissions) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 30 (10 points each)
Dismantling ?Ism? Papers (2-part) 1, 2, 3, 4 20 (10 points each)
Oral Reflection Integration 5
Participation 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 5
Total 100

Special Requirements of ?A? and ?B? Grades (what the student must know or do beyond necessary content mastery to demonstrate excellence): In professional education, excellence is distinguished from acceptable by qualitative means, including breadth, depth and original thinking. A grade of ?B? generally means that course expectations have been met. A grade of ?A? means that course expectations have been exceeded.

Topical Outline, Bibliography, & Required Textbooks:

Required texts:
Anderson, S.K. & Middleton, V.A. (2005). Explorations in Privilege, Oppression, and Diversity. Belmont, CA: Thomson Brooks/Cole Publishing Co.

Recommended Textbooks
Freire, P. (1970). Pedagogy of the oppressed. New York: Continuum.

Linkages to Other Courses:
Together with SOWK 1300, 2300, 3331 and 3332, the Intercultural and Minority Relations course provides content and knowledge that the students will use in their practicum, forming the foundation for the advanced curriculum.

Content on Diversity:
Congruent with Worden?s mission, this course will examine social work practice with marginal populations such as ethnic/racial minorities, women, disabled, and gay and lesbian populations.

All course assignments must be completed to receive a
passing grade for the course. The course assignments are:

  1. Journal (3 submissions@10 points=30 points total) ? Due 2/23, 3/30, 5/4 by midnight
    Submit electronically as a Word file
    Use the Rubric for Learning/Reflection Journal as your guide or your grade will be lowered.Each journal consists of four types of entries that are on average 2-3 pages per entry (some longer, some shorter). Title
    each entry using the following headers (in bold):

    • Entry 1: Service-Learning Reflection (See MOU)
      Students will participate in a service-learning project. Service-learning is with organizations that are culturally-based and identified so that service-learning activities will provide students a hands-on model of culturally competent practice. Activities are described in the Memorandum of Understanding. Your journal will contain descriptions and reflections on your service-learning experience. These should be constructive pieces that enrich your thinking about social work practice from a culturally grounded and sensitive perspective.
    • Entry 2: Explorations: Chapter #
      Select any chapter from the Explorations book that has been assigned within that due date period and respond to the questions at the end of the chapter.
    • Entry 3: Video Critique: Title
      A list of approved videos/DVDs is on reserve at Sueltenfuss Library. A video guide at the end of the course outline provides an example of the types of questions to reflect upon.
    • Entry 4: Media Critique: Headline
      Entries should summarize, analyze, and react to a current piece in the media (i.e., newspaper, magazine, websites such as those listed on page 2-3, etc.). These media pieces relate to privilege, oppression, and diversity associated with culture, ethnicity, race, social/economic justice, sexual orientation, and other aspects of cultural pluralism. The media entry should include:

      • a brief summary of the major points of the piece;
      • your critical analysis of what the piece reveals or suggests about oppression, racial politics in America, social/economic justice, etc.;
      • our reaction to the piece based on personal beliefs and values;
      • implications for social work (advocacy, practice, policy, research, code of ethics).
      • You may select your own media article. If you do so, a copy of the article must be included after the critique.

    Conflicts between personal beliefs and attitudes and professional values and principles prescribed in the NASW Code of Ethics are particularly relevant here. In assessing your journal, the instructor will look for depth of meaning, understanding, and critical thought. The journal is an opportunity to demonstrate your ability to capture the salient and relevant points of material read and viewed, analyze situations, and address areas of personal and professional conflict.

  2. Dismantling ?Ism? Paper (2 parts@10 points each=20 points) ? Due Fridays 2/2, 4/20
    Use two rubrics provided or your grade will be lowered.?It?s not enough to refrain from overt acts of racism.? Author unknown

    Part One (Due Feb 2): We all have a part in dismantling inequality and oppression. What will your part be? Students will develop a personal plan for dismantling an ?ism? such as racism, sexism, ethnocentrism, or heterosexism. As a starting point, research current efforts organized around social justice and change. Then begin your own exploration to answer these questions:

    1. What is presently going on?
    2. What is my sphere of influence?
    3. How can I use it to make a difference? How can I be actively anti-(racist, sexist, classist, homophobic)?
    4. What actions can I take to live the idealism of equality?
    5. How have I been afforded privilege due to skin color, class, sexual orientation, etc?
    6. How can I better understand what it means to have ?privilege? and to understand what it means to others not to have ?privilege,? e.g. to be a ?sexual minority??
    7. What can I do to address any uncomfortable feelings that may surface when I?m involved in conversations about ?isms??
    8. Do I feel hostility towards a group? What issues do I need to reach past?

    Part Two (Due April 20): Between part one and part two of your papers you will act on your plan to dismantle an ?ism.? Part two of your paper will report your experiences, findings, and any changes you might suggest based on your efforts. Points to address include:

    1. How your experience has implications for culturally competent practice
    2. Impact on your own self-awareness as a social work practitioner
    3. Self-examination/exploration of your privilege as revealed through completion of your plan
    4. Documentation that illustrates your plan (photos, emails, copies of letters, contact information, a program or flyer you design, survey, etc.)
  3. Reading Critiques (40 Points)Keeping up with assigned reading is critical to class participation. Critically thinking about what you have read and being prepared to share your ideas will enrich class discussion. To underscore the importance of reading, a critical summary of what you have read is due by 9:00 a.m. on class days. This allows me to review and respond to your reading critiques.

    These reading critiques are worth 40 points. The Lum chapters are worth 2 points each (15 chapters @ 2 points each = 30 points) and the Anderson readings are worth

School: Our Lady of the Lake University
Professor: Cynthia Medina
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