Human Behavior in the Social Environment
Published Online: 15 JUL 2008
Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. All rights reserved.
Comprehensive Handbook of Social Work and Social Welfare
How to Cite
Mattaini, M. A. 2008. Ecosystems Theory. Comprehensive Handbook of Social Work and Social Welfare. 2:12.
- Published Online: 15 JUL 2008
The ecosystems perspective in social work emerged in the 1970s from two bodies of scientific theory, General Systems Theory and ecological theory. The available research suggests that social workers often did and do fail to notice essential variables and transactional realities in their cases, including patterns of domination and oppression. There is also evidence that the ecosystems perspective can be of use in minimizing such errors. The perspective has until now been used primarily as a heuristic or metaphoric tool, with little thought of or reference to its scientific roots. Ecosystemic thinking grounded in scientific rigor, as outlined here, may have the potential to greatly expand the impact and utility of the perspective.
- ecosystems perspective;
- General Systems Theory;
- ecological perspective;
- ecobehavioral social work;
- social justice