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International Community Organization

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SW716, Section 001

This course provides intensive didactic and experiential learning for students interested in comparative community work across countries of concern or interest. The course examines core concepts of community practice, major models of comparative policy work, and practical steps for community-based work. It is designed to provide knowledge and skills to build upon and prepare for more advanced courses in comparative urban policy, community-based work with youth, and non-governmental social justice community organization.

This course exposes students to the ways in which organizations and agents (organizations, municipal governance, grass roots and community residents) in various countries throughout the world organizing community residents to engage in social and political action on their own behalf or on behalf of others. Students will analyze the ways in which countries use different approaches to mobilizing people for collective action, challenging oppressive structures and processes, building organizational capacity, implementing action plans, and generating power in the community. The course includes analysis of the impact of international flows of labor, education, people and related commodities on creation and disruption of power structures; the formulation of action strategies; the use of tactics involving persuasion, consensus, and conflict; the organization, implementation and evaluation of community campaigns; the use of political and media advocacy; and the relationship of social and political action to contemporary issues which affect oppressed and disadvantaged communities in these countries. Case examples will be drawn between the U.S. and other nations. Special emphasis will be placed on organizing communities of color, women, refugees, LGBTQ populations, and other under-represented groups in global society.

This course will focus selectively on the challenges and opportunities agents and actors within communities in countries face in improving the lives of their citizens and the roles social workers currently or possibly can play in solving or successfully addressing them. We will also address the ways in which community practice may be used either intentionally or unintentionally as agents of social control.

Semester: Winter 2015
Instructor: Larry M. Gant
U-M Class #: 30717
Program Type: Residential
Credits: 3 Credit Hours

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