Exploring Macro Systems
by Judith R. Smith
Social work professor Judith Smith illustrates a central concept of all social work training— Social Systems Theory. In this video, the "macro system" explored as part of a larger exploration of human behavior and the social environment.
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.

Macro systems  encompass large systems of society and in this "Macro Systems" video (one of two videos in the Human Behavior and the Environment set), Smith illustrates this expansive system and the role social workers play in it. Using New York's University “Settlement House,” the first settlement house in the country, as her model, Smith interviews its CEO and explores how this large institution provides such a vast array of social services to the city. Smith visits the senior center at University Settlement House to meet with the social workers there and see first-hand how a macro system operates. She learns that this large system impacts many individuals and again provides clear examples of the interrelated influences of micro, mezzo, and macro systems.

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, PhD, Associate Professor, Graduate School of Social Service, Fordham University

Length of video: 00:46:14

English subtitles available

Group ISBN-10 #: 1-60124-481-9

Group ISBN-13 #: 978-1-60124-481-9

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.
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