Lecture on Human Needs

Report
Human Needs
A Central Concern for Social Work
Education and Practice
Human Needs and Social Work
The Preamble of the Code of Ethics of the
National Association of Social Workers states:
“The primary mission of the social work
profession is to enhance human well-being
and help meet the basic human needs of all
people, with particular attention to the needs
and empowerment of people who are
vulnerable, oppressed, and living in poverty.”
Human Needs and Social Work
Nevertheless, social work has long had an
ambivalent outlook on how central human
needs concepts should be for our profession’s
mission and goals. For instance, the
Encyclopedia of Social Work didn’t contain an
entry on human needs until the 20th edition
(Dover and Joseph, 2008). Also, not until the
current version did the Code of Ethics utilize
the concept of human needs (National
Association of Social Workers, 1999).
Human Needs and Social Work
As a result, there is a scarcity of literature
coming from within the profession of social
work that addresses human needs explicitly.
However, a growing body of human needsrelated literature from other disciplines
contributes to the liberal arts foundation of
social work. In addition, other professions
such as nursing have drawn extensively on
human needs theory.
Human Needs and Social Work
Accordingly, I will explore the history and
evolution of the body of human needs theory
and research on which social work has drawn
historically. I will also provide an overview of
the recent literature which can enrich social
work’s attention to the concept of human
needs and its relationship to such other key
social work concepts as human rights, social
justice, diversity and oppression.
History of Needs Concepts in SWK
As Bremner (1956) pointed out, the concept of
human need tends to be periodically rediscovered, as the ambivalent history of social
work’s usage suggests. Richmond’s approach
to casework clearly distinguished between
economic needs and expressed needs of
clients (Richmond, 1922).
History of Needs Concepts in SWK
Bertha Reynolds supported this growing focus
on client self-determination, but worried that
it could result in caseworker or societal
neglect of basic human needs (Reynolds,
1935). The first human behavior in the social
environment textbook was appropriately
titled Common Human Needs (Towle,
1965[1945]).
History of Needs Concepts in SWK
• Bremner, Robert Hamlett (1956). From the
Depths: The Discovery of Poverty in the United
States. New York: New York University Press.
• Reynolds, Bertha Capen (1934). Between
Client and Community: A Study of
Responsibility in Social Case Work. New York:
Oriole.
• Towle, Charlotte (1965[1945]). Common
Human Needs (Rev. ed.). Silver Spring, MD:
National Association of Social Workers.
Early Psychological Theories of
Human Need
By the mid-1940’s, psychology had produced
two conceptualizations of human motivations
and needs (Murray, 1938; Maslow, 1943).
Maslow warned that field theory such as that
of Lewin was no replacement for needs theory
(Maslow, 1943; Lewin, 1947).
Early Psychological Theories of
Human Need
Hearn used field theory to develop general
systems theory, later the foundation of the
ecosystems perspective (Hearn, 1958).
Maslow’s theory was based upon an intuitive
hierarchy of need rooted neither in
philosophical method nor empirical research
(Maslow, 1970).
Early Psychological Theories of
Human Need
Hearn, Gordon (1958). Theory Building in Social
Work. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Maslow, Abraham H. (1943). A Theory of Human
Motivation. Review, 50(4), 370-396.
Maslow, Abraham H. (1970). Motivation and
Personality (2d ed.). New York: Harper & Row.
Postwar Social Work Discussion of
Human Need
In the U.S., human need content for social work
education was seen as central by the early
1950s (Boehm, 1956, 1958; Stroup, 1953).
Bisno recognized early on what has been a
persistent human needs theory dilemma,
namely how much stress to place on common
human needs and human similarities rather
than on human individual and cultural
differences (Bisno, 1952).
Postwar Social Work Discussion of
Human Need
Functionalist theories of social welfare
envisioned a social welfare system based upon
an integrative view of human needs (Wilensky
and Lebeaux, 1958). Despite recognizing that
this integrative view was important for social
work, Kahn concluded that given the relatively
undeveloped state of needs theory, there was
little choice but to define human needs within
specific societal contexts (Kahn, 1957).
Postwar Social Work Discussion of
Human Need
Boehm, Werner (1956). The Plan for the Social
Work Curriculum Study. New York: Council on
Social Work Education.
Kahn, Alfred J. (1957). Sociology and Social
Work: Challenge and Invitation. Social
problems, 4(2), 220-228.
Wilensky, Harold L., & Lebeaux, Charles Nathan
(1958). Industrial Society and Social Welfare.
New York,: Russell Sage Foundation.
Recent Social Work Discussion of
Human needs theory
Human needs were often seen as normative and
subjective, rather than being universal and
objective (Ife, 2002). Rights-based discourse
was often counterpoised to a needs-based
approach (Ife, 2001), despite Gil’s clarification
of the compatibility of human rights and
human needs (Gil, 1992). Gil also clarified the
centrality of human needs for understanding
and achieving social justice (Gil, 2004).
Recent Social Work Discussion of
Human needs theory
• Gil, David (1992). Foreword. In Joseph Wronka
(Ed.), Human Rights and Social Policy in the
21st Century. NY: University Press of America.
• Gil, David G. (2004). Perspectives on Social
Justice. Reflections: Narratives of Professional
Helping, 10(Fall), 32-39.
Recent Social Work Discussion of
Human needs theory
Ife, Jim (2002). Community Development:
Community-Based Alternatives in an Age of
Globalisation (2nd ed.). Frenchs Forest, NSW:
Pearson Education Australia.
Ife, Jim (2001). Human Rights and Human
Needs. In Jim Ife (Ed.), Human Rights and
Social Work : Towards Rights-Based Practice
(pp. 76-88). New York: Cambridge University
Press.
Marxian, Neo-Marxian and Feminist
Approaches to Human Need
Social work theory and practice evolved during
an era of intense ideological and intellectual
debates about the degree to which human
needs were universal or relative, were
consistent with Marxism or likely to reinforce
social oppression, or were philosophically
rigorous or value laden. One socialist feminist
work prioritized the discursive nature of need
identification (Fraser, 1989).
Marxian, Neo-Marxian and Feminist
Approaches to Human Need
Recent work has reinterpreted Marx’s theory of
need (Hughes, 2000) and concluded that Marx
identified the primacy of needs (Lebowitz,
2004). Noonan criticized rights-based theories
of liberal democracy for giving primacy to
property rights over demands for human need
satisfaction (Noonan, 2004).
Marxian, Neo-Marxian and Feminist
Approaches to Human Need
Fraser, Nancy (1989). Unruly Practices: Power,
Discourse, and Gender in Contemporary Social
Theory. Minneapolis: University of
Minneapolis.
Fromm, Erich, & Marx, Karl (1966). Marx's
Concept of Man. New York: F. Ungar.
Hughes, Jonathan (2000). Ecology and Historical
Materialism. Cambridge: New York:
Cambridge University Press.
Marxian, Neo-Marxian and Feminist
Approaches to Human Need
Noonan, Jeff (2004). Rights, Needs, and the
Moral Grounds of Democratic Society.
Rethinking Marxism, 16(3), 311-325.
Human Needs and Political Economic
Theory
Major figures in philosophy (Nussbaum, 2000)
and economics (Sen, 1985) have integrated
the concept of human capabilities into their
work on international social development.
Nevertheless, some continued to argue that
needs are ultimately socially constructed
(Hamilton, 2003).
Human Needs and Political Economic
Theory
• Hamilton, Lawrence (2003). The Political
Philosophy of Needs. New York, NY: Cambridge
University Press.
• Nussbaum, Martha Craven (2000). Women
and Human Development: The Capabilities
Approach. New York: Cambridge University
Press.
• Sen, Amartya Kumar (1985). Commodities
and Capabilities. New York: Elsevier.
Doyal and Gough's Theory of Human
Need
• Drawing upon the philosophical expertise of
one author (Len Doyal) and the economic
training of the other (Ian Gough), a fullyconstrued theory of universal human need
was constructed that was designed to permit
empirical testing of its constructs (Doyal and
Gough, 1984, 1991).
Doyal and Gough's Theory of Human
Need
• Doyal, Len, & Gough, Ian (1991). A Theory of
Human Needs. New York: Guilford.
• Doyal and Gough theorized two primary basic
needs (health and autonomy) which must be
met to avoid serious harm and engage in
social participation.
Doyal and Gough's Theory of Human
Need
• Civil, political, and women’s rights are
prerequisites for culturally specific ways of
satisfying intermediate needs, including food,
water, housing, a nonhazardous environment,
health and reproductive health care, security
in childhood, significant primary relationships,
economic security, and basic education.
Doyal and Gough's Theory of Human
Need
• Theory Overview (handout)
• http://ecr.ulib.csuohio.edu/1/dove/doveeh.pd
f
• Theory Chart #2:
• http://ecr.ulib.csuohio.edu/1/dove/doveei.pdf
• Backup link: http://wwwpersonal.umich.edu/~mdover/
Doyal and Gough's Theory of Human
Need
• HANDOUT #1: The theory in outline
Doyal and Gough's Theory of Human
Need
• HANDOUT #2: Figure 9.1
Doyal and Gough's Theory of Human
Need
Intentionally blank
Recent Psychological Theories of
Human Need
• Maslow’s theory was extended, giving further
attention to the need for belonging and the
importance of the interaction and caring seen
as fulfilling the need to belong (Baumeister
and Leary, 1995). Self-determination theory
identified autonomy, competence and
relatedness as universal psychological needs
(Deci and Ryan, 2000; Ryan and Deci, 2000,
2001).
Recent Psychological Theories of
Human Need
• Baumeister, Roy F., & Leary, Mark R. (1995).
The Need to Belong: Desire for Interpersonal
Attachments as a Fundamental Human
Motivation. Psychological Bulletin, 117(3),
497-529.
• Deci, Edward L., & Ryan, Richard M. (2000).
The "What" And "Why" Of Goal Pursuits:
Human Needs and the Self-Determination of
Behavior. Psychological Inquiry, 11(4), 227-68.
Recent Psychological Theories of
Human Need
• Ryan, Richard M., & Deci, Edward L. (2000).
The Darker and Brighter Sides of Human
Existence: Basic Psychological Needs as a
Unifying Concept. Psychological Inquiry, 11(4),
319-338.
• Ryan, Richard M., & Deci, Edward L. (2001).
On Happiness and Human Potentials. Annual
Review of Psychology, 52, 141-166.
Recent Psychological Theories of
Human Need
• This micro-level approach to human needs
was seen as compatible with the overarching
Doyal/Gough theory (Gough, 2004; Camfield
and Skevington, 2008).
Recent Psychological Theories of
Human Need
Camfield, Laura, & Skevington, Suzanne M.
(2008). On Subjective Well-Being and Quality
of Life. Journal Of Health Psychology, 13(6),
764-775.
Gough, Ian (2004). Human Well-Being and Social
Structures: Relating the Universal and the
Local. Global Social Policy, 4(3), 289-311.
Philosophical Discussions of Human
Need
• There is growing mainstream philosophical
consensus that the concept of need is
essential to moral and political philosophy.
Braybrooke (1987) demonstrated that lists of
needs were philosophically groundless and
that theoretical progress required the
application of solid philosophical methods to
longstanding questions of moral philosophy
concerning social policy.
Philosophical Discussions of Human
Need
Brock and contributors to his edited collection
utilized philosophical methods to debate
developments in human needs theory (Brock,
1994; Doyal, 1998). Wiggins came down on
the side of the centrality of universal rather
than relativist conceptions of human need and
stressed their importance for the
understanding of social justice (Wiggins, 1987;
Wiggins, 2005).
•
Philosophical Discussions of Human
Need
• Braybrooke, David (1987). Meeting Needs.
Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
• Brock, Gillian (1994). Braybrooke on Needs.
Ethics: An International Journal of Social,
Political, and Legal Philosophy, 104(4), 811823.
• Doyal, Len (1998). A Theory of Human Need.
In Necessary Goods (pp. 157-172). Lanham,
MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
Philosophical Discussions of Human
Need
• Wiggins, David (1987). Needs, Values, Truth:
Essays in the Philosophy of Value. Oxford,
England: Blackwell.
• Wiggins, David (2005). An Idea We Cannot Do
Without: What Difference Will It Make …. to
Recognize and Put to Use a Substantial
Conception of Need? In Soran Reader (Ed.),
The Philosophy of Need (pp. 25-50). New York,
NY: Cambridge University Press.
Nursing Theories of Human Need
• Building upon the work of Montagu (1955)
and others, Fortin traced the evolution of
nursing’s use of human needs theory (Fortin,
2006). At least two textbooks integrated
human needs concepts throughout (Ebersole,
Hess, Tough, Jett and Lugen, 2008; Ellis and
Elizabeth, 1994). (References upon request)
Nursing Theories of Human Need
• Powers said that needs might be construed as
deficiencies and needs-based approaches
might result in oppressive approaches to
nursing practice (Powers, 2006). Others used
critical theory for humanist discourse about
need (Holmes and Warelow, 1997) or adopted
a transcultural approach to reconciling
objective human needs with culturally
informed nursing practice (Kikuchi, 2005).
Religion, Spirituality and Human
Needs
• Approaches to human needs also arose from
theology and religious studies. Spirituality
and/or religious practice are now seen as an
important aspect in many conceptions of
human need (Canda, 2008). The origins of
religion were traced to the human need for an
organized response to human deprivation
(Nelson, 2006).
Religion, Spirituality and Human
Needs
• For instance, the biblical concept of justice
was traced to concern for the needs of
widows, orphans, migrants, and the poor
(Marshall, 2006). Also, the need for religion
was linked to the need to belong (Seul, 1999).
Religion, Spirituality and Human
Needs
• The evolution of human culture was found to
be tied to the practice of religious rituals in
nearly every cultural context (Rappaport,
1999). The major Abrahamic religions have all
developed conceptions of human need,
including Judaism (Heschel, 1965), Islam
(Ismail and Sarif, 2004), and Christianity
(Hugen, 2004).
Social Work Practice and Human
Needs
• No extant practice model in social work has
human needs as a central concept. Joseph
(1986) contended that human needs concepts
should be central to community organizing.
Reynolds (1991[1938]) distinguished between
the needs of people and the needs of society,
thus introducing a reciprocal and dialectical
approach to the evolving person-in-theenvironment approach.
Social Work Practice and Human
Needs
• Reid (1978) and Saleeby (2006) both raised
concerns that a focus on needs might be
disempowering to clients. Yet both the
strengths perspective and the eco-systems
perspective are both potentially compatible
with human needs concepts (Dover and
Joseph, 2008).
Social Work Practice and Human
Needs
• Both the goodness of fit approach of the
ecosystems-based life model of practice and
the needs resource approach to assessment
incorporate needs concepts (German and
Gitterman, 1980; Vigilante and Mailick, 1988).
Social Policy and Human Needs
• The post-Cold War recognition that capitalism
would be a longstanding social formation
produced criticism of defeatist approaches
towards the meeting of human needs in the
meantime (Dover, 1992). (Dover, Michael A.
(1992). Notes from the Winter of Our Dreams.
Crossroads: Contemporary Political Analysis &
Left Dialogue, 27(December), 20-22.)
Social Policy and Human Needs
• Gil’s approach to policy analysis provided a
tool for need-based social policy advocacy
(Gil, 1992).
(Gil, David G. (1992). Unravelling Social Policy:
Theory, Analysis, and Political Action Towards
Social Equality (5th ., rev. and enl ed.).
Rochester, VT Schenkman Books)
Social Policy and Human Needs
• Yet despite earlier work which distinguished
between service needs and human needs and
introduced the concept of human capabilities
(McKnight, 1989), McKnight’s later work
criticized needs assessment approaches which
stressed deficiencies (McKnight, 1995).
Social Policy and Human Needs
• Nevertheless, Robertson stressed the manner
in which human needs concepts were a
countervailing discourse to the dominance of
market principles (Robertson, 1998), and
Gough explained that most nations had mixed
economies in which the needs of people and
the needs of capital could be reconciled due
to advances in social production and social
policy (Gough, 2000).
Needs Assessment Research
• The Doyal/Gough theory spawned two booklength approaches to community-based needs
assessment (Percy-Smith and Sanderson,
1992; Percy-Smith, 1996). When conceptions
of need of clients and providers are compared,
clients were more focused on basic human
needs and providers on the service needs they
perceived clients to have (Darling, Hager,
Stockdale and Heckert, 2002)
Human Rights and Human Needs
• Yet Reichert and has pointed out that
declarations of human need were originally at
the root of promulgations of international
human rights (Reichert, 2003). Wronka added
that human rights provide the legal
framework for insisting that human needs be
met Wronka (Wronka, 1992, 2008).
Human Rights and Human Needs
• O’Neill has discussed the relationship of needs
to rights and concluded that the human
obligation (responsibility) to meet needs
should be prioritized (O’Neill, 1998). Noonan’s
work has suggested the path towards a fuller
social democracy, in which needs take primacy
over some property rights (Noonan, 2005).
Human Rights and Human Needs
• Within social work, Witkin has concluded that
our concern for human rights is linked
ultimately to our commitment to the right to
human need satisfaction (Witkin, 1998).
Human Needs and Social Justice
• There is growing philosophical consensus that
social justice can’t be conceptualized or
achieved without incorporating the concept of
human needs (Brock, 2005). One eloquent
appeal sought to link the needs of strangers to
any society’s sense of social solidarity or
aspiration for liberty and justice (Ignatieff,
1986).
Human Needs and Social Justice
• Gil later clarified that no conception of social
justice can exist without first defining human
needs and how their satisfaction is related to
the achievement of justice (Gil, 2004).
Wakefield drew upon human needs theory in
his discussion of the use of the concept of
distributive justice within the helping
professions (Wakefield, 1988).
Human Needs and Cultural Diversity
• Shortly after Maslow’s formulation of this
theory of human need, Lee contended that
hierarchical theories of human need were
rooted in Western individualism and were
culturally specific, not universal (Lee, 1948).
Etzioni, however, contended that human
needs can be universal and yet met in
culturally specific ways (Etzioni, 1968).
Human Needs and Cultural Diversity
• Within social work, this has been recognized
at the theoretical level (Guadalupe and
Freeman, 1999), at the pedagogical level
(Blake, 1994), and at the level of the mission
of the field as a whole (Mullaly, 2001).
Human Needs and Cultural Diversity
• In addition, two recent contributions to the
practice literature have concluded that
growing understanding of universal human
needs and cultural common denominators can
create conditions for effective cross-cultural
social work (Dover, 2009; Vontress, 2008).
Human Needs and Cultural Diversity
• Dover, Michael A. (2009). Rapport, Empathy
and Oppression: Cross-Cultural Vignettes.
Reflections: Narratives of Professional Helping,
15(Forthcoming).
• Vontress, Clemmont E. (2001). Cross-Cultural
Counseling in the 21st Century. International
Journal for the Advancement of Counselling,
23(2), 83-97.
Human Needs and Oppression,
Dehumanization and Exploitation
• Gil defined oppression as incorporating
economic exploitation, and viewed social
injustice as characterized by dehumanization
(Gil, 1998). Van Wormer (2004) also adopted
a definition of oppression that incorporated
exploitation, as did Appleby, Colon and
Hamilton (2007). Marsiglia and Kulis (2009),
however, conceptualized oppression as being
group-based, as was done by Ann Cudd
Human Needs and Oppression,
Dehumanization and Exploitation
• Cudd clearly differentiated between
oppression and economic exploitation. She
restricted oppression to group-based
domination that is systematically coercive and
unjust, although it has material as well as
psychological components. She denied that
all forms of economic exploitation are
inherently coercive.
Human Needs and Oppression,
Dehumanization and Exploitation
• This opened up theoretical room for
identifying the nature of systematic economic
exploitation within any system of production
(Hahnel, 2006). Cudd’s definition of
oppression, while consistent with a theory of
animalistic dehumanization, was inconsistent
with a theory of mechanistic dehumanization
(Haslam, 2006).
Human Needs and Oppression,
Dehumanization and Exploitation
• These theoretical developments enabled the
development of a typology of theories of
oppression, dehumanization and exploitation
(Dover, 2008). Each of these three sources of
injustice can inhibit the ability of people and
communities to meet their human needs in a
way that is consistent with their human rights
and with their culturally valued way of life.
Human Needs and Oppression,
Dehumanization and Exploitation
• These emerging conceptualizations of human
need, human rights, social justice, social
injustice, and oppression, dehumanization and
exploitation reinforce the central role for
human needs theory in social work theory and
practice.

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