Global Perspectives in Social Work

Applied Community Studies
Social Work
Course Code
SOWK 4260
Semester Length
15 weeks
Max Class Size
Method(s) Of Instruction
Course Designation
Certificate in Global Competency
Industry Designation
Typically Offered
To be determined


Course Description
In this course, students will examine the impact of globalization on social welfare in the local and international contexts. Course content will include contemporary and historical issues related to indigenous peoples, social justice, the environment, wealth, gender, human rights, and political freedoms, particularly as these relate to migration and settlement. Students will consider how globalizing forces are manifest in local communities in order to respond to and anticipate the social consequences of this process. Special attention will be given to investigating and applying principles and practices developed by indigenous peoples.
Course Content

Course content will be guided by research, empirical knowledge and best practice. The following values and principles, consistent with professional standards, inform course content.

  • Social workers assess and anticipate the impact of globalization on social welfare at the local and international level.
  • Knowledge of global events and trends informs social work assessment, advocacy, intervention and planning.
  • Social workers evaluate and adjust practice in response to emerging global changes.
  • Social workers are knowledgeable of, and prepared to adopt promising practices developed in Canada and internationally.
  • Emerging practices for international collaboration and social welfare developed by or in partnership with indigenous peoples offer unique perspectives which may foster innovation and creativity to meet the challenges posed by globalization.
Learning Activities

Small group discussion

Means of Assessment

This course will conform to Douglas College policy regarding the number and weighting of evaluations.
Typical means of assessment may include some or all of the following:

Written paper
Presentation (individual or group).

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Provide an analysis of the impact of global issues and global change on society and specifically how these changes relate to social welfare of people in the Lower Mainland and throughout Canada.
  2. Provide examples of the impact of a globalized system on the social welfare of people locally and internationally.
  3. Evaluate policies governing immigration to Canada, and Canadian policies and practices related to refugees within a historical context of human migration.
  4. Critically examine the effects of colonization on indigenous peoples in the global community and articulate  personal values concerning colonization, and indigenous issues and rights.
  5. Explain social problems such as international human trafficking and the exploitation of migrant labour, and formulate a social work response to these problems at the local level.
  6. Examine the impact of migration on individuals, families, and communities in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia and design community-based strategies to target improvements consistent with the social determinants of health.
  7. Compare social work values and ethics to similar/competing global goals.
  8. Understand and critique the role of major international institutions, including the International Monetary Fund, the United Nations, World Health Organization, World Bank and the World Trade Organization in international economic and social development.
Textbook Materials

Text(s) and articles such as the following, the list to be updated periodically:

Andolina, R., Laurie, N., & Radcliffe, S. A. (2009). Indigenous Development in the Andes. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
Dominelli, L. (2014). Globalization, contemporary challenges and social work practice. International Social Work, 53 (5), 599-612.
Drolet, J., Yan, M. C., & Francis, J. (2013). A working paper on settlement, integration, and welcoming communities domain, 1996 – 2012. Vancouver: Metropolis BC.
Lyons, K. (2006). Globalization and social work: International and local implications. British Journal of Social Work, 36 (3), 365-380.
Mathie, A., & Cunningham, G. (Eds.). (2008). From clients to citizens: Communities changing the course of their own development. Warwickshire, UK: Practical Action.
Waters, J. (2001). Migration strategies and transnational families: Vancouver’s satellite kids. Vancouver: Metropolis.








Course Guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

Course Transfers

These are for current course guidelines only. For a full list of archived courses please see

Institution Transfer Details for SOWK 4260
Simon Fraser University (SFU) No credit

Course Offerings

Summer 2023