International Social Work Activity

Discuss about the International Social Work Activity.

Introduction

The literal meaning of the “Model” is the modality or the pattern of conducting a particular thing, which is replicable. However, another concept indicates that a model is an aid to complex theoretical activity. It helps the person to pay attention to the concept and forms an inter-relationship between concept and attention. The current essay focuses on two different models of existing in different fields of study namely advocacy and social action models. Advocacy is considered as the active support of an idea or it may cause expressed through strategies as well as techniques that have high impact on the opinion and decision of people and the organization. On the contrary, a model of social action refers to a peculiar way or the technique of achieving some specific goals with specific identifiable phases as well as characteristics. As mentioned by Guo& Saxton (2013), social action, with its technique of achieving its objectives, it adopts certain manner or modality. Therefore, it is called the model of social action. In order to understand and analyse these two types of models as well as  its application, the essay considers the case studies where these models have been applied to measure the outcome. The major purpose of this essay is to relate the theories of the individuals and social change with the models of advocacy and social action.

Two different Advocacy models using the case studies

It has been found that there is a long history of social work that involves the advocacy efforts of people, group and communities. The advocacy model promotes the right of the individual and utilise them in the right field. The social work field arises as the advocating voice for the most disadvantages as well as oppressed individual in society. It also arouses as the advocating voice for those changed unable to find the voice of their own. These people have traditionally been charged with creating conditions for social change, poverty as well as the injustice (Fung, Russon Gilman &Shkabatur, 2013). Despite the calls to prolong with this particular tradition, some people believe that social actions for the effectiveness of people have lost the momentum. It has lost the purpose of focusing on the individualistic solution to the social problems with the help of psychotherapeutic services in person. In this context, Adler (2013) commented that different types of advocacy are not necessarily and mutually exclusive. These forms of advocacy do not have the proper boundaries.

Self-advocacy- This particular model stands for one’s self. As mentioned by Baral et al., (2013) anybody could act as their own advocate. This means when an individual makes an informed decision about the matter of importance as well as implements the responsibility for bringing about the change required to make that choice a reality. This particular definition of the self­-advocacy model can be discussed with the case scenario or the social activities. The following scenario discusses the application of this self-advocacy model.

The story of Alvaro Smith, India

The story is about Alvaro Smith who was born in twentieth century in Srinagar. The father Smith is well known investigator and life explorer and he used to work as the colonial diplomat. Smith had to deal with a major issue regarding the inner world of the Great Britain. Likewise, the internal issues were also creating the major barriers in front of Smith. This global scenario has probably influenced the life of Alvaro Smith. On the contrary, Anglicanism was the major issued that time, which has influenced the life of Smith to a greater stage. Therefore, Smith focuses on becoming the social worker and support the community. In addition, she has also observed that the emphasis on social duties and responsibilities regarding the Christianity have influenced and shaped the thinking and life Alvaro Smith. At the earlier stage of her life, her experienced based on the society were taken into the consideration in the settlement in West part of the London. Hence, Smith engaged herself in social and youth work.

Thereafter, Smith worked as the JP with a specific motive for the purpose of young people as well as the crime. She would work in another area where she had to manage and perform the responsibility of social and judicial system. Smith established the campaign for social change.

Later, Smith spent many years in education. She has engaged herself in developing social education. Once she worked as the teacher at “London School of Economic”

The report made by Smith on education as well as of the social workers was instrumental, which is similar to the education and training model that people follow today. Moreover, she also had shown positive interest towards the wellbeing of refugees. Further, she also worked as the social reformer in “Citizens Advice Bureau”, where she is observed to be helping people with poverty and homelessness. Lastly, it can be added that much of the work or the activities were revolved around the international context of social work.

It can be added that in social model, the person or the individual speak up for themselves. The case study indicates that self-advocacy model includes some significant key ideas, which are:

  • Aims at ensuring the individual’s voice is heard
  • Promotes confidence, skills and the knowledge as well as the protection of person’s right

Peer Advocacy- This particular type of advocacy is applied when the individuals providing the support, which has been through, is going through and a similar experience (Almog-Bar &Schmid 2013). This is considered as the support advocacy and support groups normally use it. This can particular model is discussed with a particular case scenario in the following.

Rebeca’s Story

Rebeca is a 21 years old fair girl having two small children who are 5 and 6 years old. She had experienced a difficult upbringing. Her foster parents used to take care of her when she was under 15. She was going through several complexities in her life. After leaving her foster parents at 18, she had experienced a dramatic change in life. Over the years, Rebeca had had trouble with the habit of her drinking and consuming cocaine. This has made her stay apart from her family. Therefore, Rebeca sought help from community “Drug and Alcohol Team”. However, she occasionally drinks and for several years, she was away from consuming drug. Nevertheless, this has not changed the situation. Conversely, she was having some financial issues. She got late to pay the school fees for her children and school authority cannot allow wait for long as their other students waiting for admission. At this point Rebeca’s boyfriend David moved into the house. However, both Rebeca and David were not working when they would live together. In such situation, Rebeca got some light of hope since if they live together; they need to make sure that their benefits situations were all clear. Therefore, they made a new joint claim for “Job seeker’s Allowance”. Now, Rebeca realised that she would close her old income support claim. Thereafter, all compulsory facilities and benefits are paid back directly into her Post Office Bank Account. Then, a few months ago, David was trying to get a crisis loan for the family. However, the benefit agency had put some conditions on them and made situation worse. When the agency personnel looked into the matter, they found out that, the agency was paying optimal benefits to the family, through the family did not have any clearance paper. Now, the debt become double. All benefits that being paid to the family were taken off. At the point David left the family and threatened about finishing her life. Hence, Rebeca needed genuine help from the social workers.

Rebeca’s story is not an unusual referral to socialist. Rebeca had to deal with some practical issues, which were easily solved by the action implemented by social workers. Hence, the peer advocacy model could be a significant element in her invention here. She took help from the benefit agency in conducting the investigation.  After several attempts, she received the solution. With the help of social workers, Rebeca focused on the police complaints. However, the community workers also investigated the story of the relationship and eventually developed the solution for both of them.

Comparatively analysis of these examples of advocacy related theories, and effectiveness in actions

Both of the models stand for the social justice. There have certain benefits associated with the advocacy models, which provides the tools for measuring the effectiveness of advocacy services against the principles as well as standards using the framework (Moulaert, 2013). Both of the examples demonstrated different ways of resolving the issues faced by the individuals. The self-advocacy model focuses on the fact that when an individual is facing an issue or going through injustice, the voice of the individual is heard. In addition, key principle of the model indicates the individual action of promoting the knowledge, skills, and protection of the individual rights.

 In this context, Shragge (2013) commented that advocacy could help the individual receive the information they require, understand the rights as well as make their own choices. Hence, it should be noted that advocacy is not mediation, counselling, giving advice and taking the complaints. On the contrary, second story of the including the application of peer advocacy model provides the different approaches of resolving the social issues. In Rebeca’s story, she was found to be partially guilty of the action she did. However, the social workers and the assistance from the community gets her own right and benefits. In this context, Wilkins (2013) argued that peer advocacy is conducted or can be conducted on individual or collective basis. It helps to develop the solution, for example, the care home or the day centre. Some of the significant key features of this model are:

  • Emphasised on common problem resolving
  • Decrease the level of imbalance of power in between the advocate and their advocacy partner since they have shared experience
  • The peer advocacy model is generally used with the individuals having substance misuse problem or the individuals who are having mental and health problem.

Social action-models using the case studies

The elites exclusively without the participation of the masses could undertake social action.  It could also be conducted with the elites with a larger or lesser extent of participation of the clientele.  Therefore, it is necessary to conduct or examine the key features of social action models as well as inter-relationship of these models. There are two different well-known models of social action including Elitist Social Action and Popular Social Action.

1)“Elitist Social Action”: This model of social action is usually performed by the elites for generating advantages of the masses. As mentioned by Hagan, and Donovan (2013), the model does not involve the general individuals or any particular targeted audiences. However, few sub-models are associated with this particular model are known as “LegislativeSocial Action Model”, “Economic Sanction Model” and “Direct Physical Model”.

Direct Physical model- Itis considered as the particular technique where the leaders implement the law by themselves to fight against the wrong activities and injustice that are taking place in the society. They take the laws in hands to gain benefits for the effectiveness of people of the society. For example, the people who work under the NGO for their wellbeing and development of the society. These leaders raised the voice against the child labour problem across the country. It is observed that existing laws for lessening the presence of child labour is not sufficient to increase security and help children who forcefully have to work under undesired circumstances. Therefore, these leaders started a necessary campaign in 1992 at the country level to promote the awareness of the education and preventing child labour activities. The workers of NGO have shown a strong protest against it by conducting rallies, Dharna, Morchas. The initiative was to make the government aware of such action and take the legal action to resolve the child labour issue in the country.

Another example of the elitist social action model is the naxalite movement. Naxalities have used the laws by themselves without the government initiative for giving people their right and benefits in India. The action performed by some Naxalities, which has shaken the country regarding the issues of poor people and their right in the rural area of the country. Thus, to resolve the issue, different reform initiative have been developed and implemented. Additionally, the action regarding the land reform have also shaken the country. In this context, Keck and Sikkink, (2014) commented that Naxal movement was formed due for purpose of removing social injustice and wrong activates. However, this movement has lost its momentum as many people have considered this initiative as the anti-social activity. People thought the laws are misused; thus, the government did not act on their protests.

2) Popular Social Action-This is another type of social action model developed by Britto. In the application of this model, a large population of the people with elite contribution are engaged. The model is applied to focus on their confrontational action to oppose the unjust and illegal activities that kills the right of people. This model also includes some sub-models that differ from each other in some particular respects. The sub-models are such as “conscientization model”, “dialectical model mobilization model” and “direct mobilization model of social action”.

“Direct mobilization model of popular social action”

In this particular model, the social actions raise the voice to some particular issues. Some social action such as unrest, protest on the road and strikes are performed to achieve the objectives. In the application of the model, the leaders are observed to focusing on the individual issues or grievance of people that negatively affecting their life largely. The leaders naturally analyse the crucial factors that largely influence the people and lead them towards injustice. In such context, the leaders build the alternative policies to fight against persistent wrong activities and achieve the objective of giving people their right.The application of the model is discussed in the following section:

It is observed that at the time of post independence period in India, several trawlers and mechanised boats got into the fishing field. This leads to massive over fishing to acquire lucrative foreign markets. However, the technique applied in their fishing destroyed and damaged many species of fish. The imbalance appeared in the eco-system, which led to minimising the stock of existing for the traditional fishermen. This technique of fishing created a catastrophic situation in the fishing sector. Due to the application of this technique, poor fishermen were standing at the mercy of moneylenders, merchants and exporters. The government was observed to be indifferent in this context. Hence, the fish workers became unanimous and raised their voice against the persistent problem. The poor fishermen formed a well-structured organization as well as initiated their protest. As the movement went around blocks to districts, the leaders raised their voice. They bargained for their demands and right with the government. The movement were spreading around the coastal area of the Kerala, Goa, Maharashtra. The union formed by the leader forced the governments to make effective policies as well as the programs to enhance and secure their livelihoods and follow eco-balance.

Comparative analysing of these examples of social action, related theories and effectiveness in action

The major difference between the two forms, Elitist as well as the popular action lies in the fact that in the elitist social action, the masses are not involved either in determining the objectives or the strategy. Popular action on their hand include the mobilization of the masses for their own effectiveness. In this context, Ife (2012) commented“there is a loophole in the elitist sponsored social action”. On the contrary, it has also been identified that elitist social action could result in some particular benefits to some sector of the population; thus, the real problem will not be resolved. As argued by Payne (2014), the elitist idea of the problems of the weaker section as well as the solution provided could inevitably be determined by their individual value system. This would probably not be in conformity with how the weaker section themselves consider their issues and how they could wish to resolve them. In addition to this the above-mentioned models based on social actions, Larkin, Felitti and Anda, (2014) explains the particular other models of social action. Thus, the techniques involved in these models of social action could be overlapping.

However, the above-mentioned models on social action are characteristically different. Each model has its own features and objectives. Moreover, it can be added that model of social action includes a specific manner or the modality used in the technique of social action for meeting its objective. In elitist model of social action, it is seen that elite conduct the social action exclusively with marginal participation of the masses or by themselves. This model is developed with three sub-types. In the legislative social action model, it is observed there is a process in which elite groups conduct researches on the gravity of the problems. This model creates public opinion and try to develop the social policy.  On the contrary, in the popular social action model, a large section of the people with elite participation tend to take confrontational actions against the wrong activities and the injustice. While analysing the effectiveness of these models, Garrow and Hasenfeld (2014) paid attention to some particular social action theory. Garrow and Hasenfeld (2014) added that a social action theory is considered as the community-orientedmodel that is used to maximise the problem solving ability of the whole communities via achieving concrete change towards social justice. This refers to a fact that individuals within the society or the community are united to compensate the imbalance of power.

Conclusion

On the completion of the essay, it can be mentioned that social action model and advocacy models play an important role in resolving the social issues. The social models are developed for resolving the social injustice, right and giving people their right. From the case studies, it is learnt that with the help of social work activities helps to implement the social change and resolve the issues by developing effective solution. In addition, the profession of social work also helps to form the human relationship, increase empowerment to develop wellbeing of people. In addition, it is also observed that advocacy provides as significant mechanism to involve the social workers to identify the issues of right as well as social justice and support people in getting necessary service and resources. The completion of the essay helps to derive some key ideas based on which, the persistent injustice and other social problem can be resolved. Each of the model of social action and advocacy provides the mechanism of fighting against the social problem. The essay can be further analysed with other models of social action and advocacy.

Reference list:

Adler, E. (2013). Constructivism in international relations: sources, contributions, and debates. Handbook of international relations, 2, 112-144.

Almog-Bar, M., &Schmid, H. (2013). Advocacy activities of nonprofit human service organizations: A critical review. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 0899764013483212.

Baral, S., Logie, C. H., Grosso, A., Wirtz, A. L., &Beyrer, C. (2013). Modified social ecological model: a tool to guide the assessment of the risks and risk contexts of HIV epidemics. BMC public health, 13(1), 1.

Fung, A., Russon Gilman, H., &Shkabatur, J. (2013). Six models for the Internet+ Politics. International Studies Review, 15(1), 30-47.

Garrow, E. E., &Hasenfeld, Y. (2014). Institutional logics, moral frames, and advocacy explaining the purpose of advocacy among nonprofit human-service organizations. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 43(1), 80-98.

Guo, C., & Saxton, G. D. (2013). Tweeting social change: How social media are changing nonprofit advocacy. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 0899764012471585.

Hagan, T. L., & Donovan, H. S. (2013, March). Ovarian cancer survivors’ experiences of self-advocacy: a focus group study. In Oncology nursing forum (Vol. 40, No. 2, p. 140). NIH Public Access.

Ife, J. (2012). Human rights and social work: Towards rights-based practice. Cambridge University Press.

Keck, M. E., &Sikkink, K. (2014). Activists beyond borders: Advocacy networks in international politics. Cornell University Press.

Larkin, H., Felitti, V. J., &Anda, R. F. (2014). Social work and adverse childhood experiences research: Implications for practice and health policy. Social work in public health, 29(1), 1-16.

Moulaert, F. (Ed.). (2013). The international handbook on social innovation: collective action, social learning and transdisciplinary research. Edward Elgar Publishing.

Payne, M. (2014). Modern social work theory. Palgrave Macmillan.

Shragge, E. (2013). Activism and social change: Lessons for community organizing. University of Toronto Press.

Wilkins, L. T. (2013). Social deviance: Social policy, action and research (Vol. 9). Routledge.

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