Area of interest? Social Justice

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As previously stated in class, students may choose to submit this assignment as a powerpoint in lieu of a written submission. It is suggested that you use the suggest format below in preparation of your powerpoint slides. You may use more than one slide for each section.

Instructions: You are to identify an area of interest you would like to know more about in doing social work with the LGBTQ+ population. We have covered many topical areas and challenges across the LGBTQ+ life span. In our discussions, we touched on social work at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels. We considered how practice, policy, and research are impacted by “identity-focused” education efforts and the results when sexual minority identity and gender minority identity are absent.

In thinking about your topical area, begin by considering the following:

  • What have you heard or learned that you found of interest, either because you’ve never thought about the topic as it relates to this population, or it created an emotional response for you? (Such as the discussion on the lack of protection of a surviving lesbian or gay partner after their partner’s death)
  • What didn’t you hear that you wanted covered in class that is of interest to you? (Such as the incarceration of transgender individuals)
  • Does the potential area impact every LGBTQ person or is there value in identifying a certain segment of the LGBTQ population? Understand that not everything is going to impact the entire LGBTQ population.
  • Consider an event or stage of life that may be of interest, such as adolescence, puberty, marriage, coming-out, transitioning, end-of-life issues, health, etc.
  • You may consider a macro focus, examining health disparities, bullying in school, discrimination in the workplace, lack of marriage benefits, etc.
  • Do not forget to consider other intersecting identities.

I find it helpful to be able to frame the area of interest in terms of a question. This can also help in trying to find your journal articles. For example, some of my areas of interest have been:

  • “Does a person’s sexual orientation have an impact on their substance use and abuse?”
  • “Does the role of disclosure reaction (coming out and the person’s reaction) have an impact on substance use and abuse among lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth?”
  • “What are the key components in creating ‘safe schools’ for LGBTQ youth?”
  • “How do we as social workers optimize care for Trans* people living with HIV/AIDS?

As you develop your area of interest, and then your question, it is helpful to check to see what literature is out there and available. Remember you are going to need at least 2 articles from peer-reviewed journals to support your area of interest. Consult your syllabus on the process of searching for your journal articles.

Hints on finding the appropriate articles to support your area of interest:

  • In searching for articles, keywords are critical. If you have too broad of terms, you are likely to get many articles. When I entered “transgender, HIV,” there were thousands of articles. When refined the search to include “care for,” it greatly reduced the number of articles.
  • Once you locate an article, quickly scan the abstract to see if the article addresses your question. Pay attention to the conclusion. If the article helps support your question, select it for consideration. Although you are only required to provide 3 articles, it is not a bad idea to include several extra in case one of them you selected does not meet your expectations.

You now have your topical area, your question, and your journal articles and are ready to go.

Here is a suggested format as well as an example for you to use.

Area of Interest

Question to Explore

Supportive Research

Conclusion and Application to Social Work

Reflection

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