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Macro Systems Paper Essay

Macro Systems are the division of the broad practices of Social Work. The divisions of social work are often divided into three practices which include the categories of macro, mezzo, and micro. Often commended as being a system which provides intervention services that affect entire communities and their systems of care and concern, Macro level social work has been known to be highly effective.

Responsibility of the Human Service Worker in the Macro Environment

Because Macro System focuses on large groups, socials workers who use this practice most often work in efforts to help clients more so on a community level rather than individually. Lobbying to change health care laws, organizing state-wide activist groups or being activist for social policy change have often become battles of social workers who see the needs of their clients who are not in a position to initiate the necessary changes. Social Workers ultimate responsibility in the macro system environment is to be the voice of the people to which they provide their services. It is also left up to human service workers to collaborate with those people who are the over seers of the services that they distribute to make certain that the services provided meet the needs of the people.

Personal, Interpersonal, and Political Empowerment

Empowerment is essential in the Macro system environment. Personal empowerment is centered on the individual and is the functionality of having an influence on events which are personified in the ideology of the person. Interpersonal Empowerment is proportioned by the successful interaction with others and the level of concern that we place on the regards other people have for us. This level of empowerment is based on social status, class, gender and sex and refers to a person’s ability of influence others. Political empowerment is the process of allocating resources, and stresses the goals of social change as well as social actions. Political empowerment is very interactive with society but still makes room for a person to maintain his or her individuality

Individual Involvement in Multiple Social Systems

An individual’s involvement in multiple social systems is very common. In the micro system the focus is based on individual personal interaction. In the micro system an individual may discover that he or she needs counseling and may seek one on one professional help. The mezzo system includes communities, institutions, or small structures such as neighborhoods. This system is a derivative of such organizations as self-help groups or community advocacy programs. Taking on an active role in the mezzo and micro systems as well, the macro system addresses issues in these systems as well. The macro system affects systems and communities. In the macro system individuals are actively involved in creating change in social programs such as health care.

Macro Systems in Response to Child Maltreatment, Sexual Abuse, Crime, and Delinquency Child maltreatment, sexual abuse, crime, and delinquency are key factors in the mere existence of the social work program. In the macro system child maltreat takes precedence over all else and because of strict guidelines of care and concern in reference to children, the macro system provides several outlets to report abuse or suspected abuse of children as well as vulnerable adults. In response to Sexual Abuse in the macro systems have come up with medical procedures to detect sexual abuse in some cases and certain laws such as PREA (Prison, Rape, and Elimination Act) were established to protect individuals in prison communities from enduring sexual abuse.

Crime and Delinquency which often go hand in hand are addressed on different levels. In the macro system, children who are delinquent are often placed in juvenile corrections in an effort to rehabilitate. Boots Camps such as the Mississippi Challenge Academy at Camp Shelby which was established in 1993. This program was considered a second chance for juvenile delinquents. In the macro system there is no clear cut or precise course of actions because every case is different. The level of response is totally dependent upon the mitigating circumstance surrounding the event.

Functionalism and Interactionist Theory Relative to Poverty

“A functionalist framework is used to synthesize well-known ideas about societal integration and, conversely, disintegration. If the underlying Darwinian metaphor in functional analysis is retained, and supplemented by dialectical metaphors, then functional theorizing can insightfully address the forces of societal disintegration. (Turner, Johnathan H. A macro-level functional theory of societal disintegration. The International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy. (1996): P36)”. In regards to the functionalism theory applied to poverty in the macro system it exemplifies that there is a place for poverty in society. Impoverished people and their needs are essential to social workers as well as service providers who distribute or allocate resources those who need them. “Many social workers have made use of symbolic interactionism as a microsociological underpinning for work with individuals, couples, families and groups.

The profession has less often applied interactionist thought to work with larger social systems. Queralt (1996), however, in her text on human behavior and the social environment, gave importance to the community theorizing of Robert Park, a Chicago School sociologist who taught many symbolic interactionists. In addition, she discussed Park’s application of concepts like the “web of life,” succession, and competition to community processes and judged these as forerunners of the modern social work ecological model. (Breakwell, G. M. (1982).

The holly and the ivy: Social psychology and social work. In P. Stringer (Ed.), Confronting social issues: Applications of social psychology, Vol. 1 (pp. 204-223). London: Academic Press.) In total contrast to the functionalist theory, the interactionist theory concludes that people are poor because of situations or circumstance occurring in life which was by far beyond their control. In the essence of poverty the functionalist believe that there is a place for poor people in society and that it’s necessary to have poor people and the interactionist basically believes that no one should be poor.


In conclusion the macro system is a major component of social work. Unlike the micro a mezzo systems, the macro system focus on larger entities of society which include schools, neighborhoods, or communities. I most favor the macro system because it’s much easier to determine your effectiveness as a social worker. It’s great to be able to help individuals but in the macro systems, the social worker serves as the voice of the people and often cause or create change in policies, allocations of resources, and brainstorming new ideas to improve those resources already in place.


Breakwell, G. M. (1982). The holly and the ivy: Social psychology and social work. In P. Stringer (Ed.), Confronting social issues: Applications of social psychology, Vol. 1 (pp. 204-223). London: Academic Press.

Konopka, G. (1972). Social group work: A helping process. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall

Turner, Johnathan H. A macro-level functional theory of societal disintegration. The International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy. (1996): P36)”

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