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Social Agencies Syllabus
Soc. 328-01

Agencies Preparations Page
Agencies Minimal Requirements, Weeks 1 and 2

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California State University, Dominguez Hills
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Created: August 8, 2003
Latest Update: August 30, 2003

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Index of Site Topics Syllabus for Soc. 328-01:
Social Agencies: Practice and Power

Reference No: 46743, 3 units, Tuesday, Thursday 2:30 - 3:45 p.m.
Room: SBS B110, Instructor: J. Curran
Preparations Page for Social Agencies, Soc 328-01

* * *

Instructor: Jeanne Curran, Ph.D., Esq.
Course: Soc. 328-01: Social Agencies: Practice and Power
Office: SBS-B 326
Telephone: 310-243-3831
Office Hours: TWTh 1:30 - 2:30 p.m.; evenings, before and after class
Teaching and Research Associate: Patricia Acone, A.B.T.

Course Description:

The agencies course first entered our curriculum through the paralegal program. But it is esential for Human Service majors and for those of you would enter agency-related social work, including corrections. I have maintained the legal foundation perspective because in the current global mix of job relocation and government and corporate ascension, the role of the agency is changing drastically. If you wish to work in a helping area, you need to stay on top of that.

The Foundations of Administrative Law text is out of print, and I settled for a much more practically oriented text on leadership. That sounds like a good thing, I guess, except that I want you to have a solid substantive understanding of the underlying issues of agency. We'll balance the more practical text with sumaries of the old text on site.

The course will cover the extent to which agencies affect our daily lives. The most obvious are the social work agencies with whiich you are already familiar. But the course will address administrative theory and agency practice in many areas.. And since it is possible in this huge metropolitan area, the course will include opportunities for brief experiences of interning and actual exchange with agency personnel.


    Required Texts:

  • Lee G. Bolman and Terrence E. Deal. Reframing Organizations : Artistry, Choice, and Leadership. Jossey-Bass. 1997. ISBN: 0787908223
    Good review and summary of text. Backup

    Recommended Texts:

  • Ann Raimes. Universal Keys for Writers. Houghton Mifflin. 2004. Reference book. Contains sample writings and corrections. Gives detailed advice and samples. Well done. Easy to find stuff. Expensive. Susan said $54 on Get it only as a reference book. But it looks good as a reference book. Those of you who plan to continue in formal education should consider it. Term papers and theses and dissertations. Remember?

  • Schuck, Peter H. Foundations of Administrative Law. Oxford University Press, 1994. This is NOT a law book. It is a reader, by some of the best known writers in the field on topics that influence the administration of agencies and their role in our infrastructure. It is not easy to read. BUT, since I have put lecture notes for each reading on the site, if you will read them and the discussion questions first, you will find that you can read through the text much faster and not stumble over obscure writing. This is an impressive book, if you will think about it enough to be able to discuss it. The last time I taught this course a lawyer asked one of my students, who was appearing in court, if she could read the book. She answered, "Well, yes, it's my text. We talk about it in class." "Good," said the lawyer, "You're going to meet with the judge next week. Bring that book." Unfortunately, it's out of print. But copies are around, and you might like to hunt for it.

Course Objectives:

  1. Objective: To master the concept of aesthetic process of answerability and its role in creating an atmosphere of morality and ethics in our institutions and world systems, particularly the educational system. Answerability

    Outcomes: Students will participate in class discussions on answerability and the aesthetic process of collaborative creation. Students will also choose from these discussiontopics for written discussion that will enhance their skills at translating oral thinking into written documents and serve as one measure of learning for this class. Academic Assessment

  2. Objective: To master the concept of monologic non-answerability that is typical of bureaucratization that relies on rules and customs and denies answerability on the part of client or student. To appy this critical perspective to agency stories and experiences, and to suggest remedies. Non-Answerability

    Outcomes: Students will share experiences and reading in class discussions on monologic non-answerability and the extent to which its presence in an institution creates harm. Students may choose from these discussion topics for written discussion that will enhance their skills at translating oral thinking into written documents and serve as one measure of learning for this class. Academic Assessment

  3. Objective: To master Maria Pia Lara's definition of illocutionary force as a feminist contribution to balance Habermas' step away from aesthetics in his focus on rationality.

    Outcome: Students will use site readings and discussion questions to clarify the concepts and engage in class discussions of the application of illucutionary discourse to leadership in agencies.

  4. Objectives: To master the different windows of perception suggested by Bolman and Deal, and to apply those perspectives to their workrole when they are not yet in a position of leadership.

    Outcomes: Students will participate in class discussions on the supervisor or administrator as Other, and consider the ways in which they can most effectively adapt to different leadership types, and discover alternative ways around those to whom they do not wish to adapt. In other words, they will determine some means of answerability for themselves.

  5. Objective: To understand that alienation and frustration are an inherent part of social work. Of most work, actually. To recognize the role such alienation and frustration play in burnout, and then to learn to build support networks to prevent burnout for themselves as workers, for others whom they supervise.

    Outcomes: Class discussions, summaries of which will appear on the Internet, will provide myriad examples for applications. Students will choose an application of specific personal interest and prepare an approach to the application, either for understanding, or in some cases, making it better, using the theoretical tools on which we have focussed. Students may choose measures of learning from these applications.

  6. Objective: To gain some practical experience through a scheduled visit, partial internship, or formal sharing with someone who has such experience. We prefer that you actually have the field experience, but we understand that schedules sometimes do not permit.

    Outcomes: Students will prepare a debriefing on their field experience that will be shared with the class. This will count as one of their measures of learning.

  7. Objective: Towards the end of the semester students will look back on their own class interactions as an example of the creative production of a forum through application of the tools of the aesthetic process of answerability and the understanding of illocutionary force. This evaluation of the class will be initiated in class and internet discussions.

    Outcomes: Students may choose this evaluative process as a measure of their learning in this class.

Academic Assessment:

Common Sense:

Permission to enroll in this course is premised on upper division status, rendering you capable of performing competently. However, I recognize that crises occur and that you have many conflicting demands as students, family members, and workers. Please remember that A's are earned, not given for the status characteristic of "being a good student who could get an A if he/she made the effort." One way to deal with such crises effectively is to be sure that I know when they are happening. Because most of my lectures and your practice are on the site, it's easier to make up missed time over conflicts than you might think.

Nota bene: If you have the flu, please don't come and give it to the rest of us. We'll help you catch up when you're well. I lost three weeks to flu a year ago. The bugs are getting stronger and more resistant to medication. If I lose three weeks during classes, you'll be left with a substitute.

If you haven't slept, and are falling asleep from exhaustion, please stay home and sleep. Sleep deprivation is a very real problem. We all drive freeways to get here, and go home often late at night. You can kill yourself and others that way. Please don't.

I do not give specific deadlines, because I want you to use your common sense and your own discipline to study effectively. All work can be made up within university imposed limits.

Preparations Schedule for Social Agencies, Soc 328-01

Minimal Preparations for Textual Readings in Agencies
Week 1
Answerability and Academic AssessmentBolman and Deal, Introduction
Academic Assessment
Week 2
Dialogic Answerability in Hierarchical Institutions
Bolman and Deal
Chapters 1 and 2
and The Aesthetics of Answerability
Lecture on Dialogic Answerability in Institutional Hierarchy
Week 3
Organizations from McDonald's to Harvard UniversityBolman and Deal
Chapters 3 and 4
Week 4
What Do Managers Really Do?
And What Do Workers Really Do?
Bolman and Deal
Chapter 5
and Mintzberg, The Manager's Job: Folklore or Fact
Week 5
Managers: Stewards and Enterpreneurs
And How Do They Fit?
Bolman and Deal
Chapters 6 and 7
Week 6
Interpersonal and Group Dynamics
And Answerability
Bolman and Deal
Chapter 8
Week 7
The Political Perspective
Is There a Right or Left?
Is There a God?
Bolman and Deal
Chapters 9 and 10
Week 8
Organizations as Political AgentsBolman and Deal
Chapter 11
Week 9
Organizations as Ritual, Symbol, TheatreBolman and Deal
Chapters 12, 13, and 14
Week 10
Integrating PerspectivesBolman and Deal
Chapter 15
Week 11
But What Can I Do?Bolman and Deal
Chapters 16 and 17
Week 12
Does Any of It Really Matter?Bolman and Deal
Chapters 18, 19, and 20
Week 13
Review, Revise, and Practice
Answerability as a Moral and Illocutionary Force
jeanne and Pat
not available
Week 14
Answerability as a Moral and Illocutionary Force in Social Agencies
One day for presentations.
Thanksgiving Break
Week 15
Answerability as a Moral and Illocutionary Force in Social Agencies
Two days for presentations.
Week 16
Exam Week

Site Copyright: Jeanne Curran and Susan R. Takata and Individual Authors, August 2003.
"Fair use" encouraged.

Footnote 1. Esq. means Esquire, and is sometimes used to indicate that you are a member of the Bar.
jeanne is a member of the California Bar. Back to top.