Saint John the Evangelist Seminary
MT 504: Cultural Diversity
Bishop James Wilkowski
This course focuses on issues of diversity, oppression and social
justice. It is designed to prepare social work students to be
knowledgeable of peopleís biases based on race, ethnicity, culture,
religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, social and economic status,
political ideology, disability and how these contribute to
discrimination and oppression. Students will learn about diverse
cultures, family structure, roles, immigration and assimilation
experiences of marginalized groups. Students will also learn about the
influence of dominant culture on these diverse and marginalized
(population at risk) groups.
Additionally, this course will examine the adaptive capabilities and
strengths of these marginalized groups and how such capabilities and
strengths can be used in effective social work practice. The course will
assist social work students in understanding the complex nature of the
person in the environment taking into consideration the dynamics of
social oppression, diversity and social functioning. Students will
explore their own personal values, beliefs, and behaviors that may limit
their ability to practice effective social work with people of diverse
backgrounds, in particular, disadvantaged and oppressed persons.
Text: Appleby, G.,
Colon, E., & Hamilton J. (2011). Diversity, Oppression, and Social
functioning: Person-In-Environment Assessment and Intervention,(3rd
..ed.) Boston: Allyn and Bacon Course.
* Used copies of this text available on internet.
CONCEPTS AND DEFINITIONS
1. Social work ethics and values related to diversity, oppression and
social justice, NASW Standards for Cultural Competence in Social Work
Practice. Framework for practice with diverse and oppressed clients. Appleby
2. Culture, Social Class, and Social
Identity Development. Appleby
Oppressed Segments of U.S. Society
Institutional and Systemic Practices of Oppression
3. Racism: People of Color Appleby
4. Women and Sexist Appleby
5. Multidiversity Perspective on Latinos:
Issues of Oppression and Social Functioning. Appleby
6. Native Americans: Oppression and
Social Work Practice. Appleby
7. Asian Americans: Ethnocentrism and
Discrimination. Appleby pp.131-143
8. Middle Easterners
9. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender
People Appleby pp.
Social Work Practice with Individuals with physical disabilities. Appleby
11. Religious bigotry and Religious
Minorities. Appleby pp
Institutional and Systemic Practices of
12. Affirmative practice with people who
are culturally diverse and oppressed. Appleby
Analysis Paper: Instances of Personal and
Institutional Discrimination (3-6 pages in length)
1. Write about one incident in your life in which you were in
power/privilege or the victim of discrimination or prejudice and one in
which you were the perpetrator of discrimination or prejudice.
2. Identify the practice of institutional
discrimination in an area of social work practice. This may occur in an
area such as your agency board composition, staff recruitment and
promotion, professional relationships with clients and community or
interpersonal relationships in the agency including professional,
clerical and maintenance support
The Study of a Familyís Ethnicity or a Groupís Diversity
Select one ethnic or diversity group and examine its collective
history. Consider the sources of cohesion, identity and strength, as
well as the sources of stress, discord and strife which may influence
problem generation and resolution.
Select a family or support system from
this ethnic or diverse group. Ask permission to interview members.
1. How the family or group may be viewed
in the light of its collective history.
2. What are the sources of cohesion, identity and strength; stress,
discord and strife that are
evident as the result of the groupís reality?
3. How are roles assigned in relation to gender and age? Is this
assignment a reflection of
the groupís cultural reality? What are the consequences of the role
4. How does the group function in relation to other systems: e.g.,
5. How does it function as a transmitter of cultural values?
6. How does this group compare with the information contained in the
people of similar identity?
7. What are the implications for social work practice at both micro and
macro levels? Be
specific in terms of principles of practice.
Saint John the Evangelist Seminary
An Online Academic Program