Macro Practice in Social Work for the 21st Century

Macro Practice in Social Work for the 21st Century Bridging the Macro-Micro Divide

Second Edition
  • Steve Burghardt - City University of New York (CUNY)—Hunter College School of Social Work and Partner in the Leadership Transformation Group, LLC

A cutting-edge focus on mindful, transformative social work practice for the 21st century

Companion Website

© 2014 | 512 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Macro Practice in Social Work for the 21st Century, Second Edition offers a modern approach to building effective career skills in macro practice. Author Steve Burghardt inspires students by tracing the careers of macro-practitioners from grass roots organizers to agency executives. By focusing on how practitioners can make meaningful, strategic choices regardless of their formal roles and responsibilities, this Second Edition takes a refreshing new approach on the key issues of how to respond to diversity and oppression, the use of the internet for organization, the limits of “virtual trust,” understanding where "micro" and "macro" meet in practice, and co-leadership development.
Introduction to the Second Edition: Focus, Outline, Learning Objectives, Competencies
Section One: Pre-Engagement
Chapter 1. Starting Before the Beginning: Historical Origins, Strategic Assumptions & Professional Development: The Creation of A Textbook
Chapter 2. Developing Pre-Engagement Skills through An Understanding of Context: “History Moves”
Section Two: Engagement
Chapter 3. Using Engagement Skills to Improve Community Assessments: Joining ‘Micro’ to ‘Macro’ through Tactical Self-Awareness
Chapter 4. The Unconscious in Organizing: The Struggle to Build Authentic Relationships in Community Interventions
Chapter 5. The Social Construction of Practice: Where ‘Macro’ and ‘Micro’ Meet on the Road Towards Personal and Community Transformation
Section Three: Relationship-Building
Chapter 6. “Embody the Change You Seek:” Leadership Development through Relationship-Building
Chapter 7. Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?: Building Effective Coalitions While Resolving The Not-So-Hidden Realities of Race, Gender, Class, Sexuality and Age In Everyday Practice
Section Four: Interventions
Chapter 8. From Checkers to Chess: The Strategic Development of A Community Practitioner
Chapter 9. Think Local, Act Global: A Case Example of 21st Century Macro Practice through the Power of Social Networking
Chapter 10: Expanding the Practitioner Toolkit: Social Workers Inside the Political Arena
Chapter 11: The Re-emergence of Environmental Activism Within Social Work by Kristin Lebeaveau & Meredith Ledlie
Section Five: Evaluation
Chapter 12. Crossing the Great Divide: A Grass Roots Organizer Evaluates How to be a Socially Committed Supervisor…and Beyond
Chapter 13. So Much Information, So Little Time: Human Service Executives’ Strategic, Evidence-Based Search for Social Justice
Chapter 14. Summing Up, Moving Forward: Key lessons and New Directions for 21st Century Practice Towards Personal & Social Transformation
About the Author

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 3

Chapter 8


Looked a little too much like materials I had used for a previous course for the same students.

Professor Julia Kleinschmit
School Of Social Work, University Of Iowa
November 5, 2015
Key features
  • A new, core practice framework is presented: Pre-engagement (section I), Engagement (section II), Relationship Building (section III), Interventions (section IV), and Evaluations (section V).
  • New interviews are included of organizers, program developers, and administrative executives who exemplify macro practice and how to build connections between clinical and organizing interventions.
  • New and revised case studies in every chapter allow students to apply and practice key concepts.
  • Integrated CSWE core competencies and EPA-based activities are integrated in every chapter.
  • Discussion is included of the  use of social media as a vital part of social work practice.
  • New chapters are included on environmentalism, social work, and political/electoral advocacy.
  • Updated political, economic, and social trends as recent as the 2013 Supreme Court rulings on same sex marriage and the 1965 Voting Right Act.


  • A continuous open-chapter vignette follows the story of two young organizers as they choose different career options and the practice dilemmas these options create.
  • Applicable sections of The University of Kansas’s Community Toolbox Web page are provided for the reader and instructor.
  • Paulo Freire’s methodology in Pedagogy of the Oppressed is concretely adapted to macro practice.
  • Reflective exercises and activities are included to help build skills and focus on reflection, growth and theory.
  • An online field instructors’ guide joins classroom and field work experience for dynamic learning.

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ISBN: 9781452257457