SWO-411A Human Behavior in the Social Environment

Human Behavior in the Social Environment provides students with critical perspectives on a variety of theoretical frameworks used to understand regularities and irregularities in human development and functioning across the life span. One important focus is the ecological-developmental approach, which emphasizes the ways in which culture and the broader social environment shape human behavior and identity, both in terms of general patterns and unique configurations. Particular attention is paid to culture, race, class, gender, and sexual orientation as dynamic social constructions that can be sources of both oppression and strength at all levels of social systems. A second focus is on the biological, psychological, and spiritual person and the interrelatedness of emotion and cognition, neurobiology, and the social environment. The course emphasizes the changing, dynamic, and interactive processes that shape human behavior and development of self across the life span.