The Human Experience is a comprehensive text that examines, analyzes and applies theories of humans, environments and human-environment interaction to professional thinking and action. Through the lens of their original theory, Explanatory Legitimacy, the authors differentiate descriptive from explanatory theories, and analyze the purposive, epistemological, and value base of theory in six major theoretical domains: longitudinal theories or those concerned with passages over time, environmental theories or concerned with sets of conditions both interior and exterior to the body, categorical theories or those that parse populations into groups, systems theories which look at relationships among parts of wholes, and contemporary and emerging theories that advance pluralism as desirable and relevant to the 21st century.
The authors highlight the previously unexamined values and assumptions that underlie theory, its generation and its use in professional practice and challenge the reader to answer two questions throughout the book: how do we know, and what do we do with our knowledge? Significant critical emphasis is devoted to diversity of humans and environments and the value-perimeter in which professionals create, analyze and use theory for decisions and activity.
--An original HBSE theory--Explanatory Legitimacy--based on a synthesis and expansion of contemporary HBSE literature and theory.
--An original analytic framework based on Explanatory Legitimacy to help students understand, critique and apply contemporary social work theory, values and beliefs.
--Significant attention on historical and contemporary views of human diversity and a progressive ideal of diversity as belonging to all humans that is linked to social justice and equality of rights, resources, privileges and opportunities.
--Accessible language, an extensive glossary, many illustrations, and highlighted thinking points to enhance student learning.
--A final section entitled Legitimacy in which theory is applied to social work practice values, thinking and action to guide decisions that social workers must make such as who is a legitimate client for social work and how does each category of theory shape legitimate social work responses.
"The importance of The Human Experience cannot be overestimated. It is a clarion call, an invitation for the Allied Health Professions, and, particularly, for Social Work, to enter the 21st century. The Human Experience takes social theory, makes it accessible and attractive, and points the way to a better way of analyzing human situations, which will lead to a better way of achieving social justice and alleviating suffering."—Tina Passman, Ph.D., M.Div., associate professor, Classical Languages & Literature and Chair, Interdisciplinary Disability Studies Academic Committee, Center for Community Inclusion, University of Maine
"Depoy and Gilson present a thoughtful and thought-provoking analysis of theory and related assumptions and values that moves theory from the sidelines to its central role in human services practice across the disciplines. The Human Experience is an exceptional text that should be required pre-service reading for all disciplines in the human services-and will surely find its way to the bookshelf of thinking human services professionals everywhere."—Lucille A. Zeph, Ed.D., director and associate professor of education, Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies, University of Maine
"In this textbook, authors DePoy and Gilson introduce the social work field to an innovative, postmodernist conceptual approach for understanding human behavior, appearance, and experience. This text will revolutionize the way instructors think about and teach their human behavior courses, and will challenge students to examine how values influence which human behaviors are considered legitimate for social work services and which types of professional responses should be provided. The text includes numerous interesting case examples and thinking points, which encourage the students to engage in critical reflection about the material. DePoy and Gilson incorporate recent postmodern thinking in the chapters on emergent and contemporary approaches to theory, including an inventive section on visual culture."—Elizabeth P. Cramer, Ph.D. , associate professor, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Social Work
* Introduction and Theory Overview: And There Was Theory
* Introduction to Explanatory Legitimacy Theory
* Scope of Human Description
* What is Legitimacy?
* Longitudinal Foundations
* Longitudinal - Grand Longitudinal Approaches
* Longitudinal - Specific Longitudinal Descriptions and Explanations
* Foundations of Environmental Theories
* Interior Environment
* Exterior - Environment
* Categorical Foundations
* Interior Category
* Exterior Category
* Systems Descriptions and Explanations
* Contemporary and Emerging Theories
* Longitudinal - Legitimacy
* Environmental Legitimacy
* Category Legitimacy
* Systems Legitimacy
* Contemporary and Emerging Legitimacy
* Putting ELT to Work
About the Authors:
Elizabeth DePoy is jointly appointed as professor in the School of Social work and professor and coordinator for interdisciplinary disability education at the Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies. She is a nationally and internationally recognized scholar for her work in developing Explanatory Legitimacy theory with Dr. Gilson, and for her substantive foci in research and evaluation methods, theory of human diversity, and geostatistical and mixed methohds of inquiry. She received a Fulbright Scholarship in 2003, has authored and co-authored seven books combined, has contributed chapters to numerous edited collections, and has published over 50 peer reviewed articles.
Stephen Gilson, Ph.D. is professor in the school of social work, and professor and co-coordinator for interdisciplinary disability studies at the Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies, University of Maine.