The social work profession is dichotomized by micro and macro practices that aim to promote social equality, eliminate all kinds of disparities, and increase people’s quality of life. Nowadays, critics claim they see a tremendous incline in social work practice towards micro therapeutic interventions with the neglect of macro practice activities. However, macro-work with the promotion of social justice and engagement in political action should be integrated with micro-work because social workers could only change vulnerable populations’ conditions if they move from individual interventions to collective action.
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The professional standards require that social workers should be able to consider all systems and policies affecting their clients’ conditions. According to Mattocks (2018), a wide range of studies show that many social workers believe that they have the responsibility to engage in policy development or political action. However, the analysis of workers’ social action behavior shows that while macro-level workers’ political activity directly results from their job requirements, micro-level professionals show low levels of engagement. Therefore, social work educators should promote a macro-level perspective among their students and teach them problem-solving and working in collaboration.
In addition, participation in macro social work activities leads to a more productive and unified action at the micro-level. For example, an advocacy activity requires skills from all levels: while micro activities focus on consumers’ needs and support, macro activities are aimed to convey those consumers’ needs to a wider auditory to make a big change (Tice et al., 2019). Hence, the bridge between the two levels is communication: the initiative could transform into a project if work in communities is properly organized, well-planned, and combined with the education of consumers.
The integration of micro and macro knowledge is crucial for more effective results of a professional’s activity. A macro-level legislator needs to get a broad vision of the problem from micro-level workers and their clients, as well as micro-level professionals interested in productive results should seek the assistance of macro-level social workers. Therefore, micro-actions could establish the foundation for macro practice, bringing the initiatives from the masses to an official level.
Mattocks, N. O. (2018). Social action among social work practitioners: Examining the micro–macro divide. Social Work, 63(1), 7-16. Web.
Tice, C., Long, D. D, & Cox, L. E. (2019). Macro social work practice: Advocacy in action. Sage Publications.