Community Practice: Theories and Skills for Social Workers

By David A. Hardcastle; Patricia R. Powers et al. | Go to book overview
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For background on community capacity, see Bowen, Martin, Mancini, & Nelson (2000); Chaskin, Brown, Venkatesh, & Vidal (2001).
The organization-mobilization tradition is similar to Rothman's social action mode and to Jeffries's direct action and social campaign modes (see Chapter 2, this text). The coordination-participation tradition is similar to Rothman's social planning and Jeffries's partnership promotion mode. The innovation-narration-liberation tradition can be likened to Rothman's locality development mode and Jeffries's capacity and awareness promotion mode but is a more encompassing and experimental practice model. For more on community organizing practice models, see Hardina (2002, Chapter 4).
In 2002, journalist Katherine Boo received a MacArthur “genius award” for her writing about the less fortunate; earlier, the Pulitzer Prize public service committee singled out her work.
Experienced organizers know that connecting through action, for example, in a political campaign or a social movement, usually brings an increase in power (see Chapter 4, this text) and that standing up for social justice may trigger red-baiting and name-calling (“anti-American”); see Horwitt (1989, Chapter 16). Yet, as the old labor song “Joe Hill” tells us, it takes more than names, elections, or even guns to kill the organizing spirit.
Parren Mitchell was interviewed by Michael Oppenheim for Powers, P. (Ed. ). (1994). Challenging: Interviews with Advocates and Activists [Monograph]. Baltimore: University of Maryland at Baltimore, School of Social Work.
For more on recruiting members, see Bobo et al. (2001) and Kahn (1970, 1991). For 20 strategies used to reclaim a park by involving more and more people, see Steve Coleman's article, “Organizing and Programming Across Cultural Boundaries” (Urban Parks Online, 2002) at the Project for Public Spaces Web site ( topics/parkuse/coleman2).
Copyright 1999, by Makani N. Themba. Reprinted by permission of Chardon Press and John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Kerry Miciotto, formerly of Solidarity Sponsoring Committee (SSC) and IAF, interviewed by Karen Sokolow and Sharronda Jackson. Janice Fine (n.d. ) calls Miciotto “a talented organizer who interned with Solidarity as part of her MSW training and subsequently joined the staff” (p. 14).
The example in the text is a project funded by Community Integrated Service Systems (CISS). CISS seeks ways to assist communities to better meet consumer identified needs, fill gaps in service, coordinate systems building efforts, and support community organization activities. CISS is part of the U. S. Maternal and Child Health Bureau.
Copyright is held by the Administration in Social Work journal. Excerpts from Cohen are used with permission from Haworth Press.
Nathaniel Branson, University of Maryland at Baltimore, interviewed by Maria Luisa Tyree (March 27, 2001). In Horwitt's biography of Alinsky (1989), a powerful contrast is made between the roles taken by upwardly mobile Robert J. Dunham and Dan Carpenter versus true community member James R. Norris.
Community engagement and public consultation materials can be found on-line at the websites Principles of Community Engagement (http:// and Association for Community Organization and Social Administration ( For more on identifying leaders, see Kahn (1991) and Bobo et al. (2001); on identifying stakeholder groups, see Chrislip (1995); on stakeholder management, see Huegens (2002).
For advice on planning cultural actions, see Incite! Women of Color Against Violence (available through P. O. Box 6861, Minneapolis, MN).
Keep an eye and ear out for resource people. For example, a radio show on ethnic media had four guests concerned about various immigrant groups: Andrew Lam (Vietnamese), Pilar Marrero (Latino), Ibhrahim Nidal (Arab) and Mei Ling Sze (Chinese). Expand your contact list by culling names from media outlets.
Think of the Vagina Monologues play. See Halperin (2001) for group work and theatre.
At a practical level, rape victim and author Anne Marie Aikins of AMA Communications has written “Authentic Boys/Safer Girls: A Teacher's Guide to Helping Boys Break Free of Gender Stereotyping” (133 Morse St., Toronto, ON Canada M4M2P9) to bust the negative “boy code” that distorts the boys' real selves. At a theoretical level, while our example exemplifies sincerity, not performance or farce, identifying the artificiality of gender distinctions and moving toward a deconstruction of traits would fit with feminist theorist Judith Butler's idea of gender as a form of “drag” with no core (Klages, 1997).
Here is an online experiment with nontraditional change. For an introduction to issues about the Nike corporation, see the home page of Professor David Boja at New Mexico State University (∼dboje/) and click on the link “Nike Studies”.


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