Exploring Mezzo 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 "mezzo system" is explored as part of a larger exploration of human behavior and the social environment.
Mezzo systems encompass one's local and small-community levels of society and in this “Mezzo Systems” video, Smith sets out to define this system by interviewing individuals and groups in a New York City neighborhood. She meets with a young woman who moved to the United States from Africa, and discusses her extended family there as well as her school, neighborhood, and friends in the U.S. She talks about her experiences with racism and sexism, and how these micro experiences are related to her mezzo and macro systems. Smith also interviews older people and explores how their personal history through the years has affected and been affected by the mezzo systems of their city and neighborhood. She emphasizes how mezzo social workers may work to help a group or community but may also engage in micro social work by assisting individuals from those groups.

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: 00:53:45

English subtitles available

Group ISBN-10 #: 1-60124-482-7

Group ISBN-13 #: 978-1-60124-482-6

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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