SAN JOSÉ STATE UNIVERSITY
SCHOOL OF SOCIAL WORK
ScWk 212: HUMAN BEHAVIOR IN THE SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT I
(Course Code: 43603, Section 4)
Laurie Drabble, Ph.D., M.P.H., M.S.W.
: T/Th 9:30-noon and by appt.
Class Meeting Time:
: (408) 924-5836
Systems theory and the ecological model presented with transcultural perspectives from infancy
to the end of adult life cycle.
Emphasizes behavior of individuals and families, especially
Latino/as, African-Americans, Asian-Americans and other diverse and oppressed populations.
ScWk 212, Human Behavior in the Social Environment (HBSE), is a foundation course that
proposes various theories to examine human behavior, the life cycle (or life span), in the social
environment. The primary theoretical foundation utilized is systems theory, and the ecological
model, which views human behavior as an outcome of biological, psychological, familial, social,
economic, political and cultural factors.
In ScWk 212, a special focus is given to transcultural perspectives, and to alternative paradigms
to human development—from prenatal development to older adulthood and death. The diverse
needs of the individual, particularly populations-at-risk, are highlighted, e.g., populations of
color; women; gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender individuals; children, youth, and
older adults; people with disabilities. Moreover, social work ethics, values, and commitment are
related to issues of social and economic justice (e.g., their impact on the individual and their
This course provides a systemic and ecological theoretical linkage to practice
content offered in ScWk 220, Transcultural Generalist Practice I, and it prepares students to
understand group, organizational, and community behavior covered in ScWk 214 (HBSE II).
Upon completion of ScWk 212 students will be able to:
Understand theoretical foundations used in social work that examine reciprocal relationships
between human behavior and social environments including systems theory and the
ecological perspective. Program Objectives: M 2.1 (Theoretical frameworks) M 2.4