In the history of social work practice, there are two theories, among many, that have influenced the field greatly. The theories in which I speak of are those of social systems theory and ecological perspective theory. Social systems theory is referred to as large systems interacting with each other and, ecological perspective focuses on persons interacting with the environment and vice versa. Within this paper I will be discussing a few concepts in which help explain each theory and undoubtedly reflect how they are interrelated to that particular one. In order to demonstrate the concepts and the understanding of the overall theory the case of four years old Abby will be applied to the concepts to provide clarity through examples. Social Systems Theory
The first theory to discuss is social systems theory, this perceptive emerged in the late 1960's/1970's. This theory "provides social work with a way of seeing the complex interrelationships among biological, psychological, and social forces, emphasizing interdependence, interaction, and adaption (T. Parker-Dominguez, personal communication, September 3rd, 2007) " this certain theory views everything as a system. "A system is a set of elements that are orderly and interrelated to make a functional whole (Zastrow & Kirst-Ashman, p.g. 12)" in other words a set of things or parts forming a whole. An example from Abby's case would be Abby herself. The individual, Abby, is comprised of biological, cognitive and emotional elements which work together in order to help her function. There are also subsystems present within this theory; subsystems are the components for a system or the things that make up the system. Referring back to Abby as a system, the subsystems would be those biological, cognitive and emotional elements, which were mentioned earlier. A Suprasystem on the other hand is larger than a system, or contains larger amounts of components. Abby is the system so therefore examples of suprasystems would...
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