Community Development & Social Change - SPY00027I

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  • Department: Social Policy and Social Work
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Katie Graham
  • Credit value: 30 credits
  • Credit level: I
  • Academic year of delivery: 2019-20

Module summary

The aim of this module is to challenge and support you to critique and connect ideas of equality, citizenship and empowerment to real world contexts in respect of community organisation and grassroots advocacy. You will gain an understanding of how community development approaches seek to challenge the power relations embedded in professional practice. You will synthesise and critically evaluate research, policy and practice evidence regarding community development and put these ideas into practice.

Professional requirements

This module is not formally a part of the regulated content of the MSW, however the learning in this module will support students' learning in the following Professional Capabilities Framework domains:

  • Values & Ethics
  • Diversity
  • Rights and Justice
  • Knowledge
  • Critical Reflection
  • Interventions and Skills

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2019-20 to Summer Term 2019-20

Module aims

Due to the contested natures of ‘social justice’ and ‘community’, we face significant dilemmas in the application of the principles of social justice to support change in an increasingly unequal world. The aim of this module is to challenge and support you to critique and connect ideas of equality, citizenship and empowerment to real world contexts in respect of community organisation and grassroots advocacy.

This module aims to encourage students to critically engage with some of the key theoretical standpoints informing approaches to community development, both within the UK and internationally. You will have the opportunity to consider and critique the viability, sustainability and ethics of particular approaches to community action. This module explores the challenges and contradictions of community development practice in the contemporary context learning from local and more high profile social movements.

In this module you will consider how to work within community settings by looking at local policy and provision; your knowledge will then grow from the local to the global, increasing your cultural awareness. You will gain an understanding of how community development approaches seek to challenge the power relations embedded in professional practice. You will synthesise and critically evaluate research, policy and practice evidence regarding community development and put these ideas into practice.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module you will:

  1. Be able to engage in discussions around the core concepts taught in the module; power, social justice, community and social change.

  2. Have developed a broad understanding of a range of community development approaches and their theoretical traditions.

  3. Be able to critically evaluate of a range of specific theories and models of practice that are relevant to community development

  4. Be able to apply research, theory and knowledge from sociology and social policy to the area of community development.

  5. Have an awareness of the complex interrelationships between the individual, community, society and state

  6. Use critical reflection to develop ‘critical consciousness’ demonstrating your openness to explore your own position within society.

  7. Use theory in combination with critical reflection to inform your interpretation of the world around them and their approach to working with others.

  8. Be able to demonstrate the ability to build and conclude effective collaborative relationships.

Module content

Key concepts / theories / content to be covered:

  • Interpretations of ‘community’ and ‘social justice’

  • Theories of power, structure and agency

  • Social capital

  • Approaches to community development and social change, both historically and currently.

  • Local and global contexts for community development.

  • The relationship between the Individual / Society / State

  • The connections between community work, social change, advocacy and anti-oppressive practice

Assessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework
2000 word critical reflection
N/A 80
Practical
Group Project : Documentary film
N/A 20

Special assessment rules

None

Additional assessment information

The group project starts at the beginning of the Autumn Term and will be worked on throughout the module. Formative feedback will be given in group workshops and discussions throughout the module. More formal formative feedback will be given in Autumn week 10 (see formative assessment).

Reassessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework
2000 word critical reflection
N/A 100

Module feedback

  • Formative: Autumn week 10. As a group students will produce a plan for how how their project will develop and be presented. Opportunity given to each group to discuss group process and any difficulties encountered. Feedback will be given verbally and in writing.
  • Summative assessment feedback will be given within 4 weeks.

Indicative reading

Cornwall, A. (2011) The Participation Reader. London: Zed Books.

Craig, G. & Mayo, M.(eds) (2011) The Community Development Reader: History, Themes and Issues. Bristol: Policy Press.

Dutta, M.,J. (2011) Communicating Social Change. Structure, Culture and Agency. London: Routledge.

Field, J. (2016) Social Capital. London: Routledge.

Gilchrist, A. (2009) The well-Connected Community. Second Edition. Bristol: Policy Press.

Ledwith, M. (2016) Community Development in Action. Putting Freire into Practice. Bristol: Policy Press.

Meader, R. R., Shaw, M. & Banks, S. (eds) (2016) Politics, Power and Community Development. Bristol: Policy Press.

Journals:

Community Development

Community Development Journal



The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.