Human Behavior and the Social Environment: (2-video series)
Social Work Professor Judith Smith presents these videos on the foundation of all social work training: Human Behavior and the Social Environment. This set explains both Macro and Mezzo systems and illustrates the basis of Social Systems Theory through numerous interviews.
At the root of social work is the concept of "person in environment"—the idea that every person must be considered not just as an individual, but also within the context of his or her environment. This is one of the most fundamental ideas new social work students first study, and the basis for Social Systems Theory, which explains human behavior as the intersection of three interrelated systems. These systems are known as “micro,” “mezzo” and “macro” systems.

In this video set, Professor Judith Smith sets out to define and illustrate the two other systems of social work theory: mezzo and macro Systems. By providing examples of people's personal experiences and challenges, she also explains how all three systems are affected when any one system is affected.

Thorough and illustrative, these videos present the primary principles of social work systems in a clear and direct format. Its comprehensive explanation of Social Systems Theory is enhanced by the real-life examples Smith uses to demonstrate the constant interrelation of micro, mezzo, and macro systems.

To order an individual title in this series separately, click on the title of your choice in the list below.

In this Series…

What therapists are saying…

"The examples of in-depth interviews and insightful analyses included in this video toolkit are great resources for teaching courses such as HBSE, especially when interviews and site visits on related topics are not practical or feasible. I would highly recommend this video for HBSE or other courses with similar topics."

-- Fuhua Zhai, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Graduate School of Social Service, Fordham University
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If you're looking for a straightforward presentation of Social Systems Theory, this video set is for you. Professor Smith takes you along as she tours New York City in search of real-life examples of micro, mezzo and macro systems. You'll feel as though you're sitting in on her engaging interviews which colorfully illustrate the interrelation of these systems. You'll develop a firm understanding of the role social workers play in these systems and how important the connection between the systems is to their approach.

By watching these videos, you will:
  • Gain a solid understanding of the micro, mezzo, and macro systems of social work's Systems Theory and be able to provide examples of each system.
  • Learn how the "person in environment" theory is a foundation of social work and how the micro, mezzo, and macro systems influence each other.
  • Learn key roles social workers typically play in each system and how their practice in one system relates to and influences the other systems.

Length of Series: 1:40:00

Number of Discs: 0

English subtitles available on: Stream, DVD

These DVDs play in

Judith R. Smith, LCSW, is an Associate Professor at Graduate School of Social Services at Fordham University. Her filmmaking is informed by her clinical experience as a psychotherapist, a social work researcher and professor. During her forty-year career as a clinical social worker and academic, she has produced many educational films which have grown out of her direct practice and teaching. In addition to the videos sold here, Smith’s film credits include “The separation-individuation process: The psychological birth of the human infant” produced by the Margaret Mahler Foundation; and “The Woman’s Film” produced by San Francisco Newsreel.

See all Judith Smith videos.

CE credits: 1.5

Learning Objectives:

  • Gain a solid understanding of the micro, mezzo, and macro systems of social work's Systems Theory and be able to provide examples of each system.
  • Learn how the "person in environment" theory is a foundation of social work and how the micro, mezzo, and macro systems influence each other.
  • Learn key roles social workers typically play in each system and how their practice in one system relates to and influences the other systems.
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