SSW102 - Diversity: Awareness and Practice

Outline info
Last revision date 2018-06-25 12:03:16.553
Last review date 2018-07-16 00:15:00.307

Subject Title
Diversity: Awareness and Practice

Subject Description
By relying on an anti-oppression framework, this course will invite students to explore the various forms of individual, cultural and systemic discrimination experienced by diverse groups of people in Canada. This course challenges students to use an integrative anti-oppression framework as well as an access and equity analysis to develop their own reflective practice.The foundation of this course is in social justice and the belief that understanding the systemic contexts of identities and culture and critically examining one's own social locations in the web of these power relations is of paramount significance for social [service] workers to engage meaningfully with people of different and multiple identifications (Wong, 2004). Through this framework, students will also begin to comprehend how systemic barriers shape people's access to political, social, material, human rights and personal resources.

The anti-oppressive framework enables links to be made between individual action and social structures. It informs practice by enabling the worker to evaluate the differences that exist at an individual level and within society and how these impact on each other. It provides the means of making accurate assessments by taking into account the inequities that texture the lives of those denied access to society's resources because of their defined social status and the exclusionary practices of the dominant system. It demands that we constantly engage in the process of critical self-examination, which in turn enable us to engage in the process of change (Dalrymple& Burke, 1995, p.18)

Social [service] workers need to incorporate a political dimension into their practice, not as an appendage but as the heart of our work. (Reisch, 1997)

Credit Status
One credit in the Social Service Worker or Social Service Worker Gerontology program and Social Service Worker - Immigrants and Refugees.

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

1. Demonstrate a beginning understanding of one's own self-awareness and social locations and how one's subjectivity , values, beliefs and practices get articulated in diverse situations and settings;
2. Demonstrate a beginning knowledge and understanding of how forms of oppression, prejudice and discrimination affect individuals and society;
3. Demonstrate an ability to identify the skills, knowledge and practices necessary to implement effective social work interventions;
4. Demonstrate the ability to identify and use the principles of an integrative anti-oppression, access and equity framework;
5. Demonstrate the ability to comprehend how systemic barriers shape people's access to political, social, material, human rights and personal resources;
6. Demonstrate a beginning understanding of the root causes that perpetuate the social inequities that are experienced by diverse group of people in Canada.
7. Demonstrate the ability to think critically, act respectfully and practice with sensitivity and awareness;

Cheating and Plagiarism
Each student should be aware of the College's policy regarding Cheating and Plagiarism. Seneca's Academic Policy will be strictly enforced.

To support academic honesty at Seneca College, all work submitted by students may be reviewed for authenticity and originality, utilizing software tools and third party services. Please visit the Academic Honesty site on for further information regarding cheating and plagiarism policies and procedures.

All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Student Conduct Office at

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Disabilities Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.

SWL117 or SSW101.
Can be taken concurrently

Topic Outline
1. Anti-Racist Education
2. Understanding our cultural values, traditions, beliefs and practices.
3. Defining Race and Ethnicity
4. The Historical Foundations of Racism in Canada
5. Isms: Racism, Classism, Ageism, Ableism, Sexism, Heterosexism. Will include Homophobia and Religion
6. The Face of Racism in Canada.
7. Social Stratification
8. Social Service Practice
9. Stereotypes, Prejudice and Advocacy Strategies

Mode of Instruction
This subject will consist of experiential learning exercises, audio-visual presentations, small group discussions and lectures.

Prescribed Texts
Social Work in Canada 4th edition
By Steven Hick, Thompson Education, ISBN#9781550772562

Recommended Text

Talking About Identity - Encounters in Race, Ethnicity and Language;  Carl E. James and Adrienne Shadd; Between the Lines  ISBN # 1-896357-36-9 (13 digit: 9781896357362) University of Toronto Press

Reference Material
A Writer's Resource, 4th  edition
by Maimon, Peritz, Rubens, McGraw Hill, ISBN#9780073384030

Required Supplies

Promotion Policy

Grading Policy
A+ 90%  to  100%
A 80%  to  89%
B+ 75%  to  79%
B 70%  to  74%
C+ 65%  to  69%
C 60%  to  64%
D+ 55%  to  59%
D 50%  to  54%
F 0%    to  49% (Not a Pass)
EXC Excellent
SAT Satisfactory
UNSAT Unsatisfactory

For further information, see a copy of the Academic Policy, available online ( or at Seneca's Registrar's Offices.

Modes of Evaluation
Term Work and Final Examination Requirements:

Students must attain a grade of at least 50% to pass the course.

If you are unable to complete the Final Exam/Assignment in this subject, you must provide documentation to support the absence to the instructor within one week.  If necessary, this information will be presented at the promotion meeting for consideration in determining and recommending the final grade.


All term work assignments must be completed prior to the time of the final examination. Unless students have been granted an extension in advance, late assignments will be penalized accordingly. There is no provision for rewriting late assignments, regardless of the grade awarded.  Students must contact faculty in advance of due date to discuss extensions.

All assignments must be correctly documented using APA – and follow the criteria established by the instructor, unless otherwise noted.

If an assignment is missed due to class absence, any official documentation that might be grounds for arranging a make-up opportunity must be submitted to the faculty member on or before the next scheduled class.  Make-up opportunities do not apply to all graded assignments.


Test and Exam dates have been pre-arranged and are non-negotiable.  If a test/exam is missed, the student must provide official documentation to support the reason for the absence within one week to the instructor.  Make-up tests or exams will be granted for extenuating circumstances only and at the discretion of the faculty.

For further information on evaluation and academic standing, please refer to the Seneca College Academic Policy

Grading is based on the following marking scheme:

Grade Scheme  
Journal  20%
Mid Term  20%
Group Presentation  25%
Final Exam  35%
Total 100%

Student Success:
Please come prepared to participate in class.  Make sure you bring your course text to each class, participate in class discussions, hand in any assigned work on time and attend each and every class.  Following these suggestions will increase your chances of success.


Approved by: Sandra Noble