Community Work from an international perspective

Community Work from an International Perspective – 15 ECTS credits.

See the  Curriculum Plan Community Work international perspectives 2016-17

All our curriculum plans are competence based which integrate theory and practice. In the Community Work course students are working with a virtual community case.

Community work is a planned process to mobilise communities to use their own social structures and resources to address their own problems and achieve their own objectives. Community work focuses on participation and fosters empowerment, emancipation and change through collective action.   Community work is closely related to work for human rights.  The community work process is about people in communities creating opportunities for growth and change.
‘Community’ can be understood in different ways, as geographical areas, interest groups, organisations or institutions.  Community work rests on a basic democratic ideal, anti-oppressive practice, equality and solidarity with the affected individuals. It aims to generate and communicate new insights with a view to effecting change.    As community work is an ideological, theoretical and practical approach to social life and the risk of social exclusion, it is ideologically sustained by a basic trust in people’s ability to improve their life chances. Society is the outcome of collective action and is perpetuated and/or changed by action.

Content and objectives

This course will focus on different theories, methods and approaches in community work from an international perspective. The course consists of several parts. One part focuses on theories and methods, another part consist of a case-study related to a video/virtual case. Students will make a project plan related to the case, by collaborating and comparing different approaches.
The students will learn about community work and its historic background and come to understand the risk of manipulation when community work is not worked out from a grass-root level. Students will also learn about the advantages and power in approaches carried out from a bottom-up perspective.  One of the main aims of the course is that students develop a critical understanding of the wide range of theories and methods of community work, develop the ability to recognize these in current projects and are able to design a project plan of community work, and show which steps and facilities are needed for realizing and managing processes and products.