Community Development Practice – Sociology Assignment Help

Assignment Task


Asset Map Analysis.

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In the 1990s, Australian social work academic Jim Ife (1995) developed and explained in detail his perspective on community development practice ,which has been expanded on an explained in more detail in Ife and Tesoriero (2006), Tesoriero (2010) and most recently Ife (2016).

Ife (1995) began to outline his perspective by identifying five ‘characteristics of community’. This list of characteristics effectively defines community as Ife sees it, in the same way Kelly (1996), Smith (1996) and Bender (cited in Bulmer, 1987) also do when we looked at the definitions of community. The characteristics of community according to Ife (1995) are:

  • Human scale
  • Identity and belonging
  • Obligations
  • Gemeinschaft – people interact with each other in a greater variety of roles (less differentiated and contractual) and encourage interaction as whole persons rather than roles
  • Culture – valuing, production and expression of a local or community-based culture; where culture is produced rather than just consumed and there is diversity and broad based participation.

In 1995, Ife argued that in Western countries like Australia, there was a crisis in the welfare state. The welfare state, which has also been known as the post-war social contract, had come from a consensus across the population which was emerging in Western countries where people still had fresh in their minds the horrors of the Depression and WW2 (and gratitude for people from all social classes who had fought for their country). The idea of collectively intervening in society to ensure that everyone had access to the basics like education and health care and a safety net of welfare payments if they were sick, disabled or unemployed, inspired the welfare state.

According to Ife (1995) and many others, the welfare state was heading into a crisis because attitudes and values had changed. There was no longer a broad consensus about the need for a welfare state and the attitudes and values now in ascendancy were economic

rationalism (implying that collectivism isn’t rational), individualism and competition – a social survival of the fittest approach to society. This value system is reflected in an ideology which has gained prominence in Western countries (and elsewhere) since the 1980s and is often referred to as neoliberalism. If you google this term, you’ll get an idea of how the term is understood.

Ife (1995) argued that this developing ideological dominance threatened the principles and values many in our society held dear, values such as social justice and ensuring people’s human rights. Added to this threat, was the growing awareness that our society was now facing serious ecological decline brought on by fast (or techno) capitalism’s reliance on unfettered growth (Trainer, 1989). Environmentalists were starting to warn about the emerging science on global warming and climate change as well as the evidence of serious damage globally to air quality, water quality, soil quality and biodiversity (Suzuki, 1997).

Thus, Ife’s perspective on community development practice is founded on the idea that all practice should be underpinned by the visionary and explicitly value-laden goals of (1) ecology and (2) a commitment to social justice and human rights.

1. During the asset mapping process you will have come across a range of collective responses to COVID19. Choose one you would like to know more about eg. a local community group, a school or other group such as Facebook, and identify the model/s of community practice that best explain the way it works. (1 000 words)- Chose Joondalup City Council- The local community group should be from Joondalup, Western Australia.

2. Consider how your asset mapping processes demonstrates a strengths perspective? Explain this with reference to recognised models of community work practice (eg. Rothman; ABCD).

3. With reference to Ife’s (1995; 2016) framework of roles and skills in community work, discuss the roles you undertook and the skills demonstrated to achieve your asset map.

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