In recent years, advocates for civil rights for minorities, women, and gays and lesbians have become more informed consumers of mental health services. As a result, social work practitioners need to prepare themselves to serve diverse constituencies for who previously held behavioral and cultural assumptions have proven not to be universally applicable. The purpose of Greene's book is to help students and practitioners better understand how social workers have used human behavior theories to more competently address variations in group and community membership within the social worker-client encounter.
The book's approach is largely thematic. Most of the chapters explore how particular assumptions of a human behavior theory--psychoanalytic theory, psychodynamic/ego psychology theory, systems theory, behavioral theory, symbolic interaction theory, feminist theory, constructionist theory, small group theory, and an ecological perspective --have been used to answer issues related to cultural diversity. The challenges and limitations of each theory's applications across varying client constituencies are discussed throughout. What sorts of new conceptual issues for the practitioner of family services are raised in work with minority families, for example, or with lesbian families? How does a specific theory help, or not help, in group-specific interventions and evaluations?
Intended as a companion volume to the widely adopted human behavior text by Greene and Ephross, Greene's new book fills the need for a wide, synthetic reading of the recent literature.