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The Swedish Model: Challenges for social work with social exclusion

This course is intended as a general introduction to the emergence and development of the Swedish welfare state with a focus on the welfare states importance for social work.

The course consists of three parts.

A first where the historical context and political circumstances that form the basis for the Swedish model is highlighted. This part covers key areas of political economy and welfare policy, social rights, relationships and power relations in the labor market, gender aspects of welfare policy, welfare state organization and distributional outcomes and changes in conditions in the Swedish model.

A second part study social exclusion. Social exclusion is understood as a multidimensional process leading to different forms of exclusion that prevents people to fully participate in and share activities and possibilities that citizens normatively mostly share. Social exclusion is analyzed with intersectional perspectives including class, gender and ethnicity. The goal is to understand processes leading to exclusion and to understand processes towards inclusion.

A third part will cover central parts of the national welfare law, in particular Swedish social welfare legislation. The part of the course covers key aspects of the Swedish welfare law in relation to international law and human rights, with particular focus on children's rights. The course deepens the student's skills and ability to integrate welfare law in the context of relevant scientific, social and ethical aspects of social work and to argue and come to reasoned conclusions about welfare law based on different theoretical perspectives.

  • Course structure

    The following themes will be treated during the course:

    • Political theories of the welfare state and the constitutional state
    • The public sector and welfare policy
    • Gender aspects of welfare policy
    • Social inclusion and exclusion
    • Social work based on law and human rights
    • Central aspects of social work
    • Contemporary development trends
    • analyse contemporary development trends in welfare policy and their consequences for social work

    Upon successful completion of the course students shall be able to:

    • describe the emergence and transformation of the Swedish model in a historical perspective
    • identify important driving forces and actors behind the Swedish model using political theories of the welfare state
    • describe and discuss the place and function of social work in the Swedish welfare model
    • reflect upon how including and excluding practices arise and their importance for social work
    • analyse and discuss the Swedish welfare model and social work with a point of departure in relevant law and human rights, including the child perspective

    Modules

    Module 1: MOD4 The Swedish model 4, 5 credits

    Content:

    • Theoretical perspectives of- and the organization of - the welfare state
    • Central aspects of social work and its relation to social policy

    Intended learning outcomes:

    Upon successful completion of the module students shall be able to

    • identify central driving forces and actors behind the Swedish model and relate these to operating procedures in social work
    • reflect upon and discuss the historical background of the Swedish model
    • analyse contemporary development trends and their consequences for social work

    Module 2: EXCL Social exclusion, 5 credits

    Content:

    • Theoretical perspectives on social problems, social exclusion, social justice and social capital
    • Analysis of processes of social exclusion in marginalised districts and communities
    • Strategies for combatting the social exclusion of individuals and groups within the population

    Intended learning outcomes:

    Upon successful completion of the module students shall be able to

    • present a theoretical understanding of social problems, social exclusion, social justice and social capital
    • identify processes leading to social exclusion and connect this with individuals and groups within the population
    • discuss social exclusion in relation to gender, class, ethnicity and age
    • analyse processes of social exclusion in marginalised districts and communities
    • describe and discuss social work methods to counteract social exclusion and develop strategies for social inclusion

    Module 3: SLAW Law in social work. 5 credits

    Content:

    • Law and human rights in the welfare context – background and development
    • Perspectives on law and human rights in social work practice

    Intended learning outcomes:

    Upon successful completion of the module students shall be able to

    • relate law and human rights to the welfare context
    • discuss and problematize law and human rights in social work practice

    Teaching format

    Instruction is in the form of lectures and seminars with active student participation. Course language: English.

    Limitations:

    In a final degree this module may not overlap in terms of knowledge content with any other similar module.

    Assessment

    Attendance at seminars and examinations is obligatory.

    Grades are set according to the following scale:

    A: Excellent; outstanding performance with only minor errors

    B: Very good; above average standard but with some errors

    C: Good; generally sound work but with a number of notable errors

    D: Satisfactory; fair but with significant shortcomings

    E: Sufficient; performance meets the minimum criteria

    Fx: Fail; some more work required before the credit can be awarded

    F: Fail; completely unacceptable performance

    Information on grading criteria and forms of examination will be communicated at the start of the course.

    To pass students must have obtained at least grade E on written assignments and satisfied other demands of the course.

    For information on examination and retake regulations as approved by the Board of the School of Social Work, see the school website.

    Students have the right to request re-examination with another examiner if failed twice. Such requests must be made in writing to the director of studies no later than one year after the course has ended.

    Plagiarism, self-plagiarism and other attempts to mislead at examinations or other assessments of study achievement will result in reporting for suspected cheating, which can lead to disciplinary measures.

    Basis for final grade: A summation of the home exam results for each module.

    Consequences of getting a fail grade: Getting the Fx or the F grade mean that the student must retake the exam at the next suitable opportunity.

    MODULE 1: MOD4 The Swedish model, 5 credits

    Examination with graded ratings: Individual home exam

    Other demands of course: Obligatory, active participation in seminars

    MODULE 2: EXCL Social exclusion, 5 credits

    Examination with graded ratings: Individual home exam

    Other demands of course: Obligatory, active participation in seminars

    MODULE 3: SLAW Law in social work 5 credits

    Examination with graded ratings: Individual home exam

    Other demands of course: Obligatory, active participation in seminars 

    Examiner

    Not yet appointed.

  • Schedule

    The schedule will be available no later than one month before the start of the course. We do not recommend print-outs as changes can occur. At the start of the course, your department will advise where you can find your schedule during the course.
  • Course literature

    Note that the course literature can be changed up to two months before the start of the course.
  • Contact

    Torbjörn Bildtgård
    E-mail: torbjorn.bildtgard@socarb.su.se