Assignment Help | Practice methods supporting these theorists/theories might include individual work

SWB220 Assessment 2: Practice Essay


This assessment task is designed to build on your learning from assessment 1 and 2 and will take the form of an essay (2000-2500 word). The essay will require you to demonstrate your understanding of 3 or more critical theories/theorists covered in this unit and critically analyse each perspective in terms of its implications for informing your practice with a given case scenario (as provided in the assessment 2 folder). This involves articulating your understanding of how various theories/theorists ideas can be used in social work and human services practice and inform practice responses using a range of methods.

Theories might include:  Marxism/ critical theory/critical pedagogy, AOP, Foucault/Derrida/Bourdieu/poststructural/postmodern theory, feminist theory/Smith/hooks/Butler, Duboi/anti-racist/whiteness theory, Kumashiro/queer theory, eco-feminism, Pikkety,).

Practice methods supporting these theorists/theories might include individual work (counselling), critical analysis, critical reflection, narrative practice, group work, research, critical case management, collaborative practice, community development, community education, advocacy and activism.

The paper will discuss how various theories complement or conflict with one another, how they respond to discourses and power relations and will consider the implications for how the social worker/human services workers might proceed in the situation.

Please note: At least one of the theories/theorists you choose need to be one you haven’t already work with in assessment 1 and 2.

Additional Guidelines

You can choose one case-scenario from those provided in the assessment 2 folder, or you can choose another/make up your own.

(Hint: if you develop your own case study, don’t make it too complex. You only have 2000-2500 words. One key issue in the case study to focus on is enough for the purposes of this essay, considering you will cover the views of 3 different theories/theorists in relation to the case study and describe each of their implications for practice methods, etc).

Please choose a different/new case study; not the case study that your tutoral group used for the performance assessment.

(Note: there are readings/lectures/unit materials you can draw on in QUT readings, however it is also okay to read more widely. It would be advisable to draw on readings from the unit in the first instance).


You need to apply 3 theories/theorists to the case study and address similar questions that your performances addressed. This is to expand and help reinforce your theoretical learning and support a more indepth critical analysis.

Some questions that you might find useful are:

  • What are the theory’s main tenets? (i.e. What are its main values, assumptions?)
  • What does the theory prioritize?
  • How does the theory inform how I view the case study?
  • What are its implications for practice? (i.e How does this relate to methods of practice, and to the ways the theory informs which methods are chosen and how they are used?)
  • Do these theories complement each other/share the same values/work well together? Or do they offer conflicting/competing views that are philosophically opposed? Which can you use together? And which do you need to make decisions about leaving out of your practice in this situation? Why?
  • Are the gaps/limitations in using this theory? If so, what are they?
  • What are my personal theoretical preferences and why? (Critical reflection – as part of the essay needs to be written in the first person i.e ‘I’ statements. Own your position…). This is only a small part of the essay possibly a small paragraph at the end or you can filter it through if you prefer.

Possible structure for essay

There are many valid ways to structure your essay so this is by no means meant to be prescriptive, but I am aware some students like this kind of detailed guidance so, this might be helpful. … If not, then please disregard.

Introduction: What I am planning to do/cover in this essay? What is the main issue to be addressed in my case study?

(You can provide a copy of the case-study as an appendix either before or after your essay – preferably before for easy access to marking).

Choose 3 theories to compare and contrast (e.g. Marxist, feminist, Foucauldian etc). It is recommended to choose perspectives that vary in their assumptions (i.e. different ideas about discourse/ideology or how power is constructed) so you can demonstrate a contrast. You need to state what theories you have chosen in the introduction. Identify practice methods you are going to discuss. Also state these in your introduction. You could also suggest your intended outcome.

Paragraphs to follow: Introduce your first theory. Describe its key tenets. Apply it to your case study. (How does adopting this theoretical lens inform my view of this case study/the main issue/s within it?). If the theory has assumptions about a particular discourse/ideology (i.e. capitalism, patriarchy, neoliberalism and so on) or assumptions about how power is constructed (i.e. as a commodity, power/knowledge etc.) this type of analysis could be explored. Explain how this theory informs your practice. (Explain how it would inform your practice in counselling/individual/casework. Would the theory also focus on other methods of practice? (such as group work, community development, social action, policy development. Why or why not?) What are the strengths and limitations of this theory?

Introduce your second theory. Follow the same questions covered in the paragraph above.

Repeat this for your third and (fourth theories if so inclined).

Include at least one paragraph comparing and contrasting the theories (or you can do this as you go when you are discussing each of them). How do the theories complement each other/share the same values/work well together? Which theories offer conflicting/competing views? Which can you use together? And which do you need to make decisions about leaving out of your practice in this situation?

Critical reflection – Which theory/theories would you prioritise and why? What does this say about your values and developing framework for practice?

Conclusion – include a paragraph restating what you’ve done in this paper and summarising your main argument.

References – Should be at least 12. Should show engagement with the unit materials. Should use APA 6th edition, or at least be in a consistent form. See QUT cite write for instructions.

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